Thursday, July 25, 2024

Copper Queens’ quest for World Cup qualification receives a boost as CAF gets an extra slot allocation

The Copper Queens quest of qualifying to the World Cup has been boosted after the world football governing body, FIFA decided to add an extra allocation for CAF in the expanded 32 teams world cup.

According to a statement from the FIFA accessed by the ZamFoot Crew, CAF will now be allocated four direct slots into the prestigious competition from the previous 3. UEFA are the biggest benefactors as they move from eight to eleven direct slots.

“The Bureau of the FIFA Council has today taken several important decisions concerning upcoming FIFA competitions. Following the amazing success of the 2019 edition, the decision was taken last year to expand the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ to 32 teams and thus continue to foster the growth of women’s football. FIFA has since worked closely with the confederations to formulate a proposal for the allocation of slots and the Bureau of the FIFA Council has today confirmed the following berths for the 2023 edition:

Direct slot allocation (29 of the 32 participation slots)

  • 6 direct slots for the AFC;
  • 4 direct slots for CAF;
  • 4 direct slots for Concacaf;
  • 3 direct slots for CONMEBOL;
  • 1 direct slot for the OFC; and
  • 11 direct slots for UEFA.”

The two host countries for the 2023 World Cup, Australia, and New Zealand, will automatically qualify for the Tournament, and their slots have been taken directly from the quotas allocated to their confederations, namely the AFC and the OFC respectively.

Should the Copper Queens miss out on the direct four slots they will have a second chance to qualify as two teams from Africa will battle with eight teams from other Confederations for three slots.

The slots will be decided through a ten-team playoff tournament with the following play-off slot allocation:

  • 2 play-off slots for the AFC;
  • 2 play-off slots for CAF;
  • 2 play-off slots for Concacaf;.
  • 2 play-off slots for CONMEBOL;
  • 1 play-off slot for the OFC; and
  • 1 play-off slot for UEFA.

Play-off tournament format

Four teams will be seeded in the tournament based on the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking before the play-off draw, with a maximum of the one-seeded team per confederation.

In Group 1, comprising three teams, seed 1 will play for a place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup against the winners of the knockout game involving the two unseeded teams in the group.
In Group 2, comprising three teams, seed 2 will play for a place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup against the winners of the knockout game involving the two unseeded teams in the group.

In Group 3, comprising four teams, seeds 3 and seed 4 will play against the two unseeded teams in the group, with the two winners then playing for a place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Teams from the same confederation will not be permitted to be drawn in the same group.

The play-off tournament will be used as a test event in Australia and New Zealand for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and both hosts will be invited to participate in friendly matches against the teams in Group 1 and Group 2, thereby ensuring that all teams play two matches during the playoff tournament.

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