- France 2018 kicks off on Sunday 5 August
- Les Bleuettes keen to keep the good times rolling for French football
- The tournament has previously unearthed some all-time greats
The eyes of the world were on Russia for the first half of the footballing summer. And as fate would have it, they will now turn to France, the home of the newly crowned world champions and the venue for the second global event of the holiday season: the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018.
From 5 to 24 August, the 16 best teams in the age group will fight it out in Brittany for the title. Reigning champions Korea DPR are favourites to retain their crown, though they can expect a stiff challenge, not least from the tournament hosts, who are determined to see French football remain on a high. Competition regulars Japan, USA and Germany are among the other contenders for glory.
FIFA.com marks your card ahead of a tournament that promises to be both thrilling and keenly contested.
Dates: 5-24 August
Participants: 16 teams from the six FIFA confederations, drawn into four groups
Format: the top two in each group advance to the quarter-finals
History: this is the ninth edition of the competition. The first took place in Canada in 2002 and the most recent in Papua New Guinea in 2016
Facts and figures
- Only three countries have ever won the competition: USA, Germany and Korea DPR. All three will be present in Brittany, though their paths will not cross in the group phase.
- Group A rivals France, Ghana and New Zealand were all drawn in the same section at Papua New Guinea 2016 as well, when the French advanced but the Africans and the Oceania side did not. Nigeria and Germany have also been drawn in the same pool, having already met three times in the competition’s history, most notably in the finals at Germany 2010 and Canada 2014.
- In securing their ticket for France 2018, Haiti qualified for their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup in any age group and also became the first Caribbean side ever to do so.
- Paraguay’s top scorer in the South American qualifiers with seven goals, striker Jessica Martinez failed to find the back of the net in the three FIFA tournaments she has already graced in her short career. The joint-highest scorer in the African qualifiers for France 2018 with 10 goals, Ghana’s Princella Adubea is also waiting for her first World Cup goal after two previous tournament appearances.
Three reasons to follow the tournament
- The U-20 world finals is where the future stars of world football make their entrance on the global scene. Marta, Alex Morgan and Wendie Renard all appeared in the competition before excelling at senior level.
- France 2018 provides an opportunity to discover Brittany. The tournament’s four host cities – Vannes, Concarneau, Dinan/Lehon, and Saint-Malo – are all well worth a visit, as you can find out for yourself in our Destination section.
- The tournament also offers a taste of what France has in store for us when it hosts the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™, from 7 June to 7 July next year.
In the build-up to the tournament, FIFA.com has been presenting some of the players likely to make an impact on the tournament. You can read about them right here: