The 9th FIFA Women’s World Cup begins in two days on July 20, with the final Aug. 20. This is the first women’s tournament being played in two countries – Japan and South Korea co-hosted the men’s World Cup in 2002 – and it will take place at 10 stadiums in nine cities across Australia and New Zealand, it is also the first time that the World Cup is held in Southern Hemisphere. Two stadiums in Sydney will have games, including the final at Stadium Australia, site of the Opening and Closing ceremonies for the 2000 Olympics.

World Cup format

The tournament was expanded to 32 teams this year, the third time it’s increased in size. The women’s World Cup began in 1991 with 12 teams, grew to 16 squads in 1999 and had its most recent increase, to 24 teams, in 2015. The World Cup begins with group play, with the 32 teams divided into eight, four-team groups. Between July 20 to Aug. 3, each squad will play the other three teams in its group one. The top two teams in each group advance to the knockout rounds, and there are tiebreakers -- including goal differential, goals scored and head-to-head record -- should two teams finish with the same number of points.

The knockout round is : Win or go home. If the score is tied after regulation, there is 30 minutes of overtime, split into two 15-minute halves with a 10-minute halftime. If the score remains tied after that, it goes to penalty kicks.

World Cup prize money

FIFA announced that it is increasing the prize pool to $152 million, with the champions getting a total of $10.5 million. That’s still not men’s tournament money – Argentina got $42 million for winning last year’s World Cup in Qatar – but it’s getting closer. Four years ago, the USWNT got $4 million, and that was double what they’d gotten in 2015.

FIFA also guaranteed that every player in the tournament will get at least $30,000. The 23 players on the World Cup champions getting $270,000 each. With the global salary for a women’s player still just around $14,000, this is not an insignificant commitment by FIFA.

The biggest event in History

The 2023 FIFA World Cup will be, quite simply, the biggest event in the history of women’s sports. Ticket sales for the tournament have exceeded 1 million. Record global viewership is expected. The First-time participants Haiti, Morocco, Panama, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Vietnam and Zambia.The USA team can become the first team in the World—women’s or men’s—to win three straight World Cup titles. 

Women’s World Cup 2023 squads: Countries, Groups

There are eight groups in this year’s tournament, with four teams in each as follows:

  • Group A: New Zealand, Philippines, Norway, Switzerland
  • Group B: Australia, Republic of Ireland, Canada, Nigeria
  • Group C: Spain, Costa Rica, Zambia, Japan
  • Group D: England, Haiti, Denmark, China PR
  • Group E: USA, Vietnam, Netherlands, Portugal
  • Group F: France, Jamacia, Brazil, Panama
  • Group G: Sweden, South Africa, Italy, Argentina
  • Group H: Germany, Morocco, Columbia, Korea Republic

The United States has been the most successful team in the history of this tournament, winning the trophy a total of four times. They won back-to-back in 2015 and 2019. If they were to win again this year, they would be the first team to ever win a World Cup three times in a row, men or women’s. Germany has been the second most successful team in the Women’s World Cup, winning the trophy a total of two times back to back in 2003 and 2007.