Media Release

Fédération Internationale de Football Association

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Women's Football

Final Draw for the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 set for 17 July

FIFA and U.S. Soccer announced today that the Final Draw for the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 would take place at 11.00 PDT (20.00 CET) on Thursday, 17 July 2003 at the Home Depot Center in Carson/Los Angeles, California. In addition, both the FIFA Women’s World Ranking and the FIFA Women’s World Cup USA 2003 Official Website will be unveiled at a press conference on the day prior to the Final Draw - Wednesday, 16 July 2003.

Final Draw
The Final Draw will determine the group stage matches between the 16 national associations that will compete for the title of Women’s World Champion in the 32-match, 23-day tournament that will take place in the United States between 20 September and 12 October. All but one of the 16 berths of the competition have been filled by teams representing all six confederations around the globe: China PR, DPR Korea and Korea Republic (AFC), Nigeria and Ghana (CAF), Canada and host USA (CONCACAF), Brazil and Argentina (CONMEBOL), Australia (OFC), as well as Germany, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and France (UEFA). The final entrant will be determined following the second match of a two-game playoff contested by Mexico and Japan on Sunday, 12 July at the National Stadium in Tokyo. The two competing teams thrilled more than 75,000 spectators with a dramatic 2-2 draw in the first leg on 5 July at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.

FIFA Women’s World Ranking
In preparation for the world’s premier football event for women, FIFA will lift the veil of secrecy over who is topping the FIFA Women’s World Ranking at a press conference on 16 July, as it will play an important part in the Final Draw itself. For the Final Draw, the sixteen participating national associations will be divided into four groups of four teams, each headed by seeded nations. The FIFA Women’s World Ranking will determine which three teams will join the host and defending champion USA as the top seeded teams.

In addition, the FIFA Women’s World Ranking (published four times a year) will provide women's football with an objective yardstick for measuring the sporting performance of a steadily expanding number of national teams. FIFA has gone to great lengths to establish a women’s football database so that reliable statistics can now be evaluated. With the help of the international sports information provider Infostrada Sports, more than 3,000 international matches dating back to 1971 up to the end of June 2003 (approximately 50% friendlies) have been taken into account.

FIFA Women’s World Cup Official Website
At the press conference on 16 July, FIFA will also launch and present in detail the FIFA Women’s World Cup Official Website, which will be available via FIFAworldcup.com. In conjunction with Yahoo!, FIFA has created a groundbreaking site unlike any other dedicated to women’s football - not only will it feature video archives of previous FIFA Women’s World Cup competitions, but it will also provide the most complete and in-depth history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup along with profiles of the players, teams and venues in English, German and Chinese.

The Competition
Looking forward to the tournament, fans will have the opportunity to see the world’s best female football players in action from coast to coast as the teams vie for the championship in six American venues: RFK Memorial Stadium in Washington D.C.; Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Gillette Stadium in Foxboro/Boston, Massachusetts; Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio; PGE Park in Portland, Oregon; and The Home Depot Center in Carson/Los Angeles, California.