The 2023 Women’s World Cup: A Preview

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off tomorrow and here are some things you need to know.


This is the ninth edition of the Women’s World Cup and the first World Cup ever to hold in Oceania with Australia and New Zealand set to host the tournament. Some matches are set to hold at odd hours of the day for people in our region which may pose a challenge to those who want to enjoy the tournament.


Group A: New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Switzerland

Group B: Australia, Canada, Republic of Ireland, Nigeria

Group C: Costa Rica, Japan, Spain, Zambia

Group D: England, Haiti, Denmark, China

Group E: United States, Vietnam, Netherlands, Portugal

Group F: France, Jamaica, Brazil, Panama

Group G: Sweden, South Africa, Italy, Argentina

Group H: Germany, Morocco, Colombia, South Korea

This is the first version of the competition to host 32 teams, with the previous one in 2019 hosting 24 teams.


It should be no surprise to see the USA as the bookmakers’ favourite to win the competition. The country has won the last two tournaments in a row. They are however experiencing a changing of the guard with stalwarts like Rapinoe on their way out and new talent like Trinity Rodman stepping into the limelight.

On the back of their successful Euros campaign, England find themselves second favourites to win the competition. They were unbeaten under head coach Sarina Wiegman until April this year when Australia dealt them a reality check. England will go into the competition unable to call upon some big-name players such as Leah Williamson, their captain, and Beth Mead, their star forward who both ruptured their ACLs playing for Arsenal this past season.

Germany come in third and for good reason. They reached the final of the last Euros and can call on the Wolfsburg duo, Alex Popp and Lena Oberdorf. Popp, the older player brings a lot of experience to the team while Oberdorf is an exciting young prospect.

Spain follow them in fourth and may struggle to live up to expectations as disharmony within the squad has led to some star names opting out of the tournament.

The Nigerian female team, unlike their male counterparts, qualified for the World Cup but find themselves a distant favourite. Despite arguably having the best African team on paper, they are expected to struggle as they’ve been placed in a really tough group. Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene’s exception has raised some eyebrows and the coach is under fire after missing out on the last WAFCON title.


Australia are the host country and as such have home advantage. However, they’ve never progressed past the quarter-finals of the competition. Australia will look to better their record in the World Cup, spearheaded by the stellar Sam Kerr.

Canada are the Olympic champions and have failed to impress perennially in the World Cup, and with discord between the squad and the Federation, they come into the tournament at a bad time. With all this though, they should still be an interesting team to watch.


Many players are going into this competition with an active dispute with their country’s federation. Nigerian women have had to fight for fair treatment. The Haiti team have no sponsors and haven’t played a home match in about three years and a player’s mother even had to open a GoFundMe for her daughter. France just recently changed their manager after many complaints were levelled against the former head coach. Spain are in a similar situation, in terms of complaints against their coach, but have decided to stick with Jorge Vilda leading to some big-name players boycotting the World Cup.

There have also been complaints about the prize money available to the players. The Australian team released a video criticising FIFA for the prize money for the tournament being only a quarter of what the male footballers got at the last Men’s World Cup. This is also the first Women’s World Cup in which the broadcast rights are being sold seperately from the Men’s World Cup and FIFA have complained of broadcasters lowballing them for the rights to the competition. Broadcasters say this is due to the location of the tournament as a lot of the matches will hold at weird hours for the majority of the world.

With more teams in this World Cup it looks to be interesting. We look forward to seeing how it all plays out.

Ifeanyichukwu Achife

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