Women's World Cup 2023: Biggest World Cup, The Teams, The players, Locations, History
Welcome to "The Black Mambas of Football" podcast, your go-to source for the latest soccer news and updates on top football strikers worldwide. Each week, we'll bring you highlights of the best goals, the most impressive performances, and discuss the standout players in the world of football, including the remarkable Black Mambas strikers. Join us as we delve into the world of the World Cup, Champion's League, Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, and Serie A, and shine a light on legendary players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, and the iconic Pele. In today's episode, we'll cover Australia and New Zealand co-hosting the 2023 Women's World Cup, the various firsts and advancements in this year's tournament, the pursuit of a third successive win by the US, disruptions faced by nations in their World Cup preparations, notable player statistics and age ranges, key player injuries, and a recommended book for football fans.
The ninth edition of the Women's World Cup is set to be an exciting one, as Australia and New Zealand co-host the tournament for the first time. What's even more remarkable is that this edition will feature 32 nations, including the defending world champions, the United States.
Organizers have high hopes for the tournament, particularly the opening two games, which they believe will draw in a crowd of 100,000 fans. With over 1.3 million tickets already sold in advance, the 2023 Women's World Cup is on track to be the most-watched in history. The games will be spread across 10 venues in nine different cities.
In fact, organizers have set an ambitious target of reaching two billion television viewers for this edition, which would be double the audience of the 2019 World Cup in France. It's clear that there is growing interest and support for women's football worldwide.
Fifa President, Gianni Infantino, recognized this support, stating, "The future is women. Thanks to the fans for supporting what will be the greatest Fifa Women's World Cup ever." It's a positive sentiment that reflects the progress and recognition that women's football is receiving.
In addition to the usual powerhouse teams, such as the United States, this World Cup will see several nations making their debut. The Republic of Ireland, Vietnam, Zambia, Haiti, Morocco, Panama, the Philippines, and Portugal will take the stage, adding to the diversity and excitement of the tournament.
With the final scheduled to take place at Stadium Australia on August 20, 2023, fans and players alike are eagerly anticipating this historic event.
The Women's World Cup is making history with a series of firsts that will have a significant impact on the sport. This tournament is being hailed as the biggest women's sports event ever held, and its influence on women's football worldwide cannot be denied.
One groundbreaking change is that FIFA will now directly pay players at the Women's World Cup. The amount varies depending on how far teams progress in the tournament, ranging from around £24,000 per player for the group stage to over £200,000 for the eventual champions. These numbers are substantial, considering that the average salary in women's football is just £11,000, as reported by FIFA's benchmarking study from last year. Additionally, the overall prize money has skyrocketed from £23m in 2019 to an impressive £84m.
Referees will also be introducing a first with the implementation of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system. Not only will referees utilize VAR for their decisions, but they will also publicly explain the reasoning behind these decisions via microphones and loudspeakers. This transparency aims to involve fans at the stadiums and viewers at home in understanding the calls made during the matches.
Furthermore, referees are being encouraged to prevent time-wasting, which could lead to longer periods of added time. Also worth mentioning is the permission granted to team captains to wear armbands displaying messages related to inclusion, gender equality, and peace. Rainbow armbands, symbolizing LGBTQ+ inclusion, were prohibited at the men's tournament last year. However, it should be noted that none of the available armbands explicitly advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusion.
These firsts at the Women's World Cup hold immense significance for the future of women's football, as they contribute to the financial growth, transparency, and promotion of important messages within the sport.
Who will come out on top in this year's Women's World Cup? The United States has been on an incredible winning streak since their defeat in 2011. They have won 13 out of 14 games on the global stage and are aiming for a historic third successive victory, following their triumphs in 2015 and 2019. However, the American team has undergone some changes since their previous win.
Boss Jill Ellis has stepped down, and Carli Lloyd, a two-time World Cup and Olympic gold medal winner, has retired from international play. This leaves room for new talent to shine. With 14 out of 23 players participating in their first World Cup, and the iconic Megan Rapinoe announcing that this will be her last, there could be a changing of the guard in women's football.
England's impressive success in Euro 2022 has put them in the conversation as potential World Cup favorites. However, injuries have taken a toll on the team, with key players like Beth Mead sidelined. Spain boasts the world's best women's player, Alexia Putellas, and Germany, a two-time winner, has a strong and experienced squad. France, under the leadership of seasoned manager Herve Renard, and co-hosts Australia, with the support of enthusiastic crowds and the prolific forward Sam Kerr, are also contenders to watch out for. It's anyone's game, and that's what makes the Women's World Cup so exciting.
So, the Women's World Cup is almost here, and while the excitement is building, there have been some controversies surrounding the tournament preparations. It seems that several nations have faced disruptions due to domestic issues.
Countries like Spain and France have been making headlines with player-federation disputes, although it seems that France has managed to resolve their issues with the appointment of Renard. Jamaica and even Nigeria's head coach have taken action against their federations over issues such as pay, resources, and personnel.
England's players are frustrated with the Football Association's stance on performance-related bonuses, while Australia's squad has criticized the gender disparity in prize money and the lack of collective bargaining rights for some nations.
But it's not just player-federation disputes that have caused disruptions. The South Africa squad, for example, did not participate in their final warm-up fixture on home soil, resulting in a hastily assembled back-up team, which even included a 13-year-old girl, to avoid a fine.
Despite the controversies, the Women's World Cup prize money has seen a significant increase of 300% from the last tournament in 2019. However, it is still significantly lower than what the men received in Qatar last year.
In Australia, the players are pushing for better conditions and greater professionalism in the women's game. They want all players in the A-League Women to be fully professional and not have to work part-time jobs on top of playing football.
It's clear that the players are speaking up and demanding change and better support for women's football. Let's hope that the Women's World Cup can be a catalyst for positive progress and growth in the game.
At this World Cup, we've got quite the mix of experience and youth on the pitch. With 32 teams competing, there are a whopping 736 players taking part in this tournament. Some of these players have been here before, with three of them making their sixth appearance on this global stage. Let's give a shoutout to Marta from Brazil, Onome Ebi from Nigeria, and Christine Sinclair from Canada for their incredible dedication to the sport.
Now, when it comes to age, we've got some interesting records to talk about. Ebi takes the crown as the oldest player in Australia and New Zealand, having celebrated her 40th birthday in May. But let's not forget about Brazil's Formiga, who holds the record for the oldest player to grace the competition at a whopping 41 years and 112 days in 2019. These athletes prove that age is just a number when it comes to their love for the game.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have some young guns making their mark. Take South Korea's Casey Phair, for example. She's just 16 years old and if she gets some playing time in either of her country's first two group matches against Colombia or Morocco, she'll become the youngest player ever to participate in a Women's World Cup. Talk about starting your career on a high!
This World Cup truly showcases the incredible diversity of talent across different age groups. It's a testament to the growth and inclusivity of women's soccer on a global scale.
There is a growing injury list among several nations participating in the upcoming matches. The United States, Netherlands, England, France, and Canada are all facing the absence of key players due to injuries. It's a tough blow for their teams.
The United States, in particular, will be without captain Becky Sauerbrunn, who is dealing with a foot injury. Forward Mallory Swanson and midfielder Sam Mewis are also sidelined with knee injuries. Christen Press, another forward for the United States, is also nursing a knee injury.
The Netherlands will be missing the talent of Vivianne Miedema, their all-time leading scorer, due to an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. This same injury has prevented Leah Williamson and Mead from participating for England.
The Lionesses will also have to do without attacking midfielder Fran Kirby, who is recovering from a knee injury.
France, on the other hand, will be deprived of midfielder Amandine Henry, as well as Delphine Cascarino and Marie-Antoinette Katoto, both of whom have ACL injuries. These players' absence will surely be felt on the field.
Canada will have to cope without their forward Janine Beckie, who is also unable to participate due to an ACL injury.
Injuries are always unfortunate, but these nations will have to rally together and find a way to perform at their best despite the absences. It will certainly be a challenging time for these teams.
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On today's episode, we covered the anticipation for the 2023 Women's World Cup, the groundbreaking features of this year's tournament, the fierce competition among teams, the challenges faced by nations in their preparations, the impressive stats of players participating, the impact of injuries on key players, and a recommendation for football fans to check out "World Cup History - World Cup Quiz" by Etienne Noumen. Thanks for listening to today's episode, I'll see you guys at the next one and don't forget to subscribe!