It’s time to start the France 2019 planning.
While this week the Matildas were enjoying Australia’s support, across the other side of the world France were releasing new details for the 2019 FIFA World Cup.
“Dare to Shine” is the official slogan and it was revealed on Tuesday along with the official Emblem.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, French Football Association (FFF) President Noel Le Graet, and French Sports Minister Laura Flessel attended the event, as well as FIFA’s Head of Women’s Football Sarai Bareman, which took place in the beautiful Musee de l’Homme in the centre of the French capital.
“I think it will the best Women’s World Cup in the history of FIFA,” President Infantino told the gathered media and figures from the footballing world. “I think it will be magnificent. France is a great football nation for both men and women.”
The tournament will commence on 7 June 2019 with the opening match at the Parc des Princes in Paris and the final will be played at the Stade de Lyon one month later on 7 July 2019.
Other key dates include:
- 22 – 25 June 2019 – Round of 16
- 27 – 29 June – Quarter Finals
- 2-3 July 2019 – Semi Finals (Lyon)
- 6 July 2019 – Third place match
Alongside Paris and Lyon, France have named seven other venues (9 in total).
They include Paris, Lyon, Valenciennes, Reims, Le Havre, Rennes, Grenoble, Montpellier and Nice.
Like Germany 2011, France has chosen mainly mid-sized stadiums with the seating capacities ranging from 20,000 to 37,000.
Paris (48,000) and Lyon (59,186) are the only exceptions due to their opening and closing match duties. Happily for the footballers, all the grounds will have natural grass.
With France a much smaller nation than Canada, football fans will have the luxury of travelling easily between cities for the various matches.
In 2015, the World Cup expanded from 16 nations to 24.
France, as the host nation, will receive an automatic berth with the other 23 spots spread out between the six confederations as below.
|AFC (Asia)||5||8 teams
2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup
(3 – 22 April 2018)
|CAF (Africa)||3||8 teams
African Cup of Nations
(17 Nov – 1 Dec 2018)
(North, Central America and Caribbean)
2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship
|CONMEBOL (Sth America)||2.5||10 teams
2018 Copa América Femenina
|UEFA (Europe)||8||35 teams
UEFA Women’s Qualifiers
6 April 2017 – 13 Nov 2018
|OFC (Oceania)||1||11 teams
2018 OFC Women’s Nations Cup
With half spots each, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL will also see intercontinental playoff between the fourth-place CONCACAF team and the third placed South American side late in 2018.
For Australia it means that means a semi final appearance in Jordan will be enough to see them qualify for their seventh Women’s World Cup.