How Do Teams Qualify For The FIFA Women's World Cup?

How Do Teams Qualify For The FIFA Womens World Cup

The FIFA Women’s World Cup is a global soccer event that occurs every four years. Originally created in 1991, the FIFA Women’s World Cup features the best women’s national soccer teams from each continent in a head-to-head competition. In the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 32 teams will compete, making it the largest Women’s World Cup to date. You may wonder, how do teams qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup?

To qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, each continent is allotted a fixed amount of team slots that are eligible for the tournament. To determine which teams are awarded a continental slot, each continent separates its competing teams into group stages. The winners of each group are allocated a place in the Women’s World Cup, while the runners-up compete in a playoff for the remaining continent slots. Additionally, there is an international playoff between nine teams competing for the remaining three slots. The host nation is always awarded a spot in the competition as a courtesy.


Continent Slots

In the FIFA Women’s World Cup, each continent is allotted a fixed amount of teams that are eligible to compete. This is done to ensure an equitable distribution of teams in the tournament. Here is the breakdown of slots by continent for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup:

  • Asia: 5 slots
  • North America, Central America, and the Caribbean: 4 slots
  • Africa: 4 slots
  • Europe: 11 slots
  • South America: 3 slots

The total number of continental slots is 27. For the remaining five slots, two slots are allotted to the host nations (Australia and New Zealand), and the last three slots are competed for in an international playoff.

Continental Group Stages

To determine which countries are given a continental slot, each continent hosts a round of group stages. Every team that wishes to compete for a slot is placed in a pool. The large pool is then broken up into smaller groups. Each team in the group plays the other teams twice, one home match and one away match. The winner of each group is then granted a World Cup slot. Depending on the continent and the number of remaining slots, the runners-up from the group stages compete in a playoff for the remaining few slots.

For the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup European Group Stages, 51 teams competed for only 11 slots. The 51 teams were broken up into nine groups, and the winner of each group was granted a slot. For the remaining two European slots, the nine teams that placed second in their groups entered a playoff.

Host Nation

As with the men’s World Cup, the FIFA Women’s World Cup grants the host nation a complimentary placement in the tournament. For the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Australia and New Zealand will each be given a spot in the competition. This is because the World Cup will be hosted across both nations.

Previous World Cups

Since the FIFA Women’s World Cup’s creation in 1991, the qualifying format and number of slots have changed over the years. In the original 1991 World Cup and the 1995 World Cup, only 12 national teams competed. The number of teams in the competition grew to 16 for the 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011 World Cups. Following the tournament’s growing popularity, 2015 and 2019 expanded the roster to 24 national teams. In the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a total of 32 teams will compete, making it the largest Women’s World Cup in history.

FAQ

How many teams qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup?

In the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 32 teams will qualify for the competition, making it the largest Women’s World Cup to date. To determine which teams will qualify for the competition, a fixed number of slots is granted for each global region. The current breakdown of slots is as follows: five slots for Asia, four slots for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, four slots for Africa, eleven slots for Europe, and three slots for South America. The remaining five of the 32 slots are determined in two ways. Two slots are granted to the host nation (Australia and New Zealand), and three are competed for in an international playoff. Usually, there is only one host nation filling just one slot. However, with the expansion of the 2023 World Cup and the co-hosting of the competition between Australia and New Zealand, two slots will automatically be allotted.

How many teams qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup from each continent?

In the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, five teams from Asia will qualify, four teams between North America, Central America, and the Caribbean will qualify, four teams from Africa will qualify, eleven teams from Europe will qualify, and three teams from South America will qualify. Additionally, Australia and New Zealand will automatically qualify for the competition because they are co-hosting the event. Three additional teams from around the world will qualify for the World Cup following an international playoff. These teams do not take up any of the predetermined regional slots.