The draw for the eighth edition of the Women’s World Cup will be held on Saturday, 8 December, in Paris at 6pm local time (5pm GMT/7pm CAT).
Nigeria, South Africa and Cameroon, the podium-finishers in the just-ended Africa Women’s Cup of Nations 2018, will be Africa’s torchbearers in the World Cup.
Here are seven things to know about the draw.
The number of participating nations in the tournament was increased from 16 to 24 teams starting the last edition in 2015.
This saw Africa’s slots increase by one and thus, France 2019 will be the second time Africa sends three nations to the tournament.
The 24 nations that will compete at next year’s event have been split into four pots of six nations.
The allocation of which team goes into which pot is based on the latest FIFA Women’s World Rankings.
Therefore, among the 24, the teams ranked highest are in Pot 1 and the ones with the lowest ranking are in Pot 4.
The key exception is France who as hosts are automatically seeded and thus are in Pot 1.
Based on ranking, the African trio headed to France 2019 have all landed in Pot 4 (see featured photo).
Teams will be drawn into six groups of four teams each and no group can have more than one team from the same confederation.
The one exception is UEFA, which has the most teams: nine. Each group can have no more than two UEFA teams.
Teams in Pot 1 will be drawn first and placed in different groups, then we will move to Pot 2 and do the same and then Pot 3 and finally Pot 4.
AFC (5 teams)
Japan (reigning Asian champions)
CAF (3 teams)
Nigeria (reigning champions)
CONCACAF (3 teams)
United States (reigning champions)
CONMEBOL (3 teams)
Brazil (reigning champions)
OFC (1 team)
New Zealand (reigning champions)
UEFA (9 teams)
Netherlands (reigning champions)
Four nations will make their Women’s World Cup debut in 2019: Chile, Jamaica, Scotland and Africa’s very own South Africa.
For Jamaica and South Africa, France as the hosting nation holds special memories, as it is in France (1998) that their men’s national sides marked their World Cup debut as well.
In the first edition featuring 24 teams in 2015, three debutants advanced to the knockouts namely: Cameroon, Switzerland and Netherlands.
Cameroon was the only African nation that advanced, as our other torchbearers in 2015 (Nigeria and Ivory Coast) were knocked out at the group stage.
Actually, that was the first time since the 1999 World Cup that an African nation had progressed past the group stage.
World Cup Basics
- France 2019 will be held on 7 June-7 July across nine cities
- Three-time champions USA are the holders
- Japan and USA have met in the last two finals (2011 and 2015)
- A total of 16 of the 24 nations will advance to the knockout stages, i.e., the top two teams in each of the six groups plus the four best third-placed teams will advance.
Bonus: Where to watch the draw
- FIFA’s official website will have a livestream of the draw.