Sarai Barman, Director of Women’s Football at FIFA, is pleased that the new competition offers the opportunity for more teams to play at the highest level.
“The decision in 2019 to expand the FIFA Women’s World Cup from 24 to 32 teams has already had a huge impact on the growth and development of women’s football. More countries now have the opportunity to play on the biggest stage in the world and it all starts with this play-off tournament. »
As a bonus for local fans, New Zealand Football will play three friendlies against the top-ranked team from those play-off matches and another first-class guest team, the identity of which has yet to be confirmed.
These play-off matches are a major test event for hosting the FIFA Women’s World Cup five months away, which kicks off on 20 July 2023.
This qualifying tournament will give FIFA, the host cities, stadiums, training venues and the government the opportunity to test the readiness of operations, infrastructure and resources. Hosting a competition of the size and scope of the FIFA Women’s World Cup is a very exciting opportunity, so hosting the playoff matches and preparing for the test will be a real bonus. »
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