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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Staggering statistics demonstrate FIFA Women’s World Cup growth

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  • Three African teams have reached the Round of 16 for the first time in the Women’s World Cup
  • Nigeria became the first African nation to complete their group unbeaten.
  • Morocco is the first African team to win two successive matches and keep clean sheets in successive matches.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 is capturing the hearts and minds of football fans not only in the two co-host countries but across the globe.

At the end of the Group Stage, records have been broken in areas as diverse as ticket sales, broadcast figures and digital media data.

The tournament has also set new benchmarks for performances on the pitch, as well as creating new highs in hospitality and merchandise sales, as well as for the number of participating volunteers.

The tournament is truly going Beyond Greatness to, with sixteen captivating days and sixteen thrilling matches of the ninth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup remaining.

On the field, countries from all continents are writing their own piece of history. For the first time, teams from all six Confederations won a match at the tournament.

New Zealand became the first team from Oceania to register a victory, while the Philippines, Zambia, Portugal, Jamaica, South Africa, and Morocco also got their first win. Africa’s representatives are breaking all kinds of records.

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Three teams have reached the Round of 16. Nigeria became the first African nation to complete their group unbeaten. Morocco is the first African team to win two successive matches and keep clean sheets in successive matches. Fans from the co- host nations, as well as tens of thousands of travelling supporters have fully embraced the biggest women’s sports event on the planet, with an average of 25,476 fans attending the 48 first-round matches, a 29% increase from attendances at France 2019.

By Friday 4 August, over 1,715,000 tickets had been sold, comfortably surpassing pre-tournament ticket sales targets. In Aotearoa New Zealand, the record crowd for a football match in the country– women’s or men’s – was broken twice in 12 days, first in the opening match and subsequently eclipsed when 42,958 fans watched Portugal take on the United States of America.

In Australia, the tournament also set a record for a standalone women’s football match, when 75,784 fans attended Australia’s opener against Republic of Ireland.

At the previous FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, ten matches across the entire tournament attracted over 25,000 spectators. By comparison, this year’s Group Stage has already seen twenty-one matches surpass the 25,000 mark.

Hospitality sales meanwhile are tracking 27% above France 2019, and 534% above Canada 2015. As the tournament pauses for breath before the knock-out stage commences, broadcast figures from around the world have equally been overwhelmingly positive, with records broken across multiples countries on a near daily basis.

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Some of the many highlights include the Matildas’ final group game against Canada reaching 4.71 million Australians to become channel Seven’s most watched programme this year. In Aotearoa New Zealand around 1.88 million, a third of the population, has been watching the tournament.

Colombia’s first group match tripled the highest television audience from the previous FIFA Women’s World Cup (2.84 million) and even eclipses all audiences from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, except for the Final. China PR produced the highest audience for a single match anywhere in the world with 53.9 million viewers watching their team take on England.

In the United States, more fans watched their team play against Netherlands, than any other previous group stage match in history (6.43m).

The skyrocketing television audiences have been replicated on FIFA’s digital platforms. Traffic in the first 15 days has already surpassed the entirety of the 2019 tournament, welcoming 22 million unique users, with an average of 2.4 million users visiting FIFA Women’s World Cup channels daily.

FIFA committed to providing the 32 participating member associations with the same level of support as the men’s teams received at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. So far, 410 training sessions – 88 at the Venue Specific Training Sites and 322 at the Team Base Camp Training Sites – have been facilitated, another first for this tournament.

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For those sessions, over 2,000 cones were provided to teams in Australia and 1,600 in Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as 1,536 adidas footballs for training purposes, 1,280 Official Match Balls and 6,748 bibs for teams and match operations.

In the FIFA Fan Festivals, another ‘first’ was achieved, with sites created in each of the nine host cities. To date, over 400,000 fans watched the matches, with Sydney/Gadigal recording the single day record of 17,756 fans.

The tournament across multiple sites has been supported by 5,000 volunteers who have brought the greatest ever FIFA Women’s World Cup™ to life, doubling the number of volunteers in 2019. The overwhelming majority of volunteers are from the two co-host countries, while around 5% of volunteers travelled from sixty-eight different nations, representing all six FIFA Confederations.

 

 

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

CAF Women’s Champions League Qualifiers draw holds on Wednesday

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The 2024-2025 women’s interclub football season will officially kick off on Wednesday, 24 July, with the draw for the CAF Women’s Champions League qualifiers in 4 zones: UNAF, UNIFFAC, WAFU B and CECAFA.

The draw will be conducted at 10:00 GMTat the CAF Headquarters in Egypt and live-streamed on CAF TV and CAFOnline.com. 

Below are the teams entered by zone and the dates of the qualifying tournaments:

WAFU B (10 – 23 August): Ainonvi FC (Benin), Hasaacas Ladies (Ghana), Inter d’Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), AO Étincelles OU USFA (Burkina Faso), AS Garde Nationale (Niger), Edo Queens (Nigeria), ASKO de Kara (Togo).

UNAF (21 – 31 August): CF Akbou (Algeria), Tutankhamun (Egypt), AS Far (Morocco), ASF Sousse (Tunisia)

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CECAFA (17 August – 4 September): PVP Buyenzi (Burundi), FAD (Djibouti), CBE FC (Ethiopia), Kenya Police Bullets (Kenya), Kawempe Muslim (Uganda), Rayon Sports (Rwanda), Yei Joint Stars (South Sudan), Simba Queens (Tanzania), Warriors Queens (Zanzibar)

UNIFFAC (16 – 24 August): Lekié FF (Cameroon), TP Mazembe (DR Congo), Atlético de Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), CSM Diables Noirs (Congo)

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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Colombia 2024: Danjuma invites 32 as countdown begins to Final Tournament

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Flying Eagles, Falconets To Resume Camp On Thursday -

With just eight weeks to their first match of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Colombia 2024, Head Coach Chris Musa Danjuma has called up four goalkeepers, eight defenders, eight midfielders and 12 strikers to a training camp in the Federal Capital, Abuja in the first phase of preparation for the global tournament.

Team captain Oluchi Ohaegbulem is top of the list, with first-choice goalkeeper Faith Omilana, defenders Shukurat Oladipo and Comfort Folorunsho, midfielders Chinyere Kalu, Adoo Yina and Rofiat Imuran, and forwards Janet Akekoromowei, Flourish Sabastine and Aminat Bello also called.

Nigeria, a fixture at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals since the tournament began as an U19 event in Canada 22 years ago, will contend with three-time winners Germany, Asian powerhouse Korea Republic and South American representatives Venezuela in group D of the competition scheduled for three Colombian cities, 31st August – 22nd September.

All the invited are expected at Serob Legacy Hotel, Wuye, Abuja on Sunday, 7th July.

ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS:

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Goalkeepers: Anderline Mgbechi (Delta Queens); Rachael Unachukwu (Nasarawa Amazons); Faith Omilana (Naija Ratels); Shukura Bakare (Nasarawa Amazons)

Defenders: Oluchi Ohaegbulem (Nasarawa Amazons); Jumoke Alani (Nasarawa Amazons); Shukurat Oladipo (FC Robo Queens); Oluwabunmi Oladeji (Naija Ratels); Folashade Adegbemile (Delta Queens); Chidera Okenwa (Delta Queens); Comfort Folorunsho (Edo Queens); Taiwo Lawal

Midfielders: Adoo Yina (Nasarawa Amazons); Olushola Shobowale (Nasarawa Amazons); Aminat Folorunsho (Rivers Angels); Chioma Olise (Edo Queens); Chinyere Kalu (Nasarawa Amazons); Joy Igbokwe (Naija Ratels); Rofiat Imuran (Stade de Reims, France); Zikora Agama (Naija Ratels)

Forwards: Delight Nwosu (Dannaz Ladies); Adaobi Okah (Remo Stars Ladies); Chiamaka Okwuchukwu (Rivers Angels); Chinaza Agoh (Delta Queens); Mary Nkpa (Heartland Queens); Chiamaka Osigwe (Edo Queens); Janet Akekoromowei (Asisat Academy); Mary Offor (Adamawa Queens); Flourish Sabastine (Stade de Reims, France); Sharon Ulumma (Heartland Queens); Aminat Bello (Otero College, USA); Reilly Adebowale (Bohemian FC, Republic of Ireland)   

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Nigeria’s Flamingos drawn against debuting hosts in FIFA U-17 World Cup

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The Flamingos, Nigeria’s U-17 women’s football team have been drawn against hosts, Dominican Republic for the finals of the Women’s U-17 World Cup holding from 16 October to 3 November in two host cities of Santo Domingo  and Santiago de los Caballeros.

 Both Nigeria and Dominican Republic are drawn in Group A along with Ecuador and New Zealand.  In Group B are Spain, USA, Korea Republic and Colombia.

Group C has  Korea DPR, Mexico, Kenya and England while those competing in Group D are  Japan , Poland, Brazil and Zambia.

The hosts will make their debut in the competition on 16 October against Ecuador in Santiago de los Caballeros, with New Zealand and Nigeria completing Group A.

Herrera, the first Dominican woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, had a special message for her compatriots taking part in the World Cup. She said: “I am the living example that you can achieve your dreams. So, keep up the good work. I am looking forward to seeing those amazing games.”

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Reigning champions Spain, meanwhile, will kick off their campaign in Group B, in which they will face USA, Korea Republic and Colombia, runners-up last time around.

“The advice to all the players that will participate here is to be confident and go live your dream. ¡Y Buena suerte!” said Flores, who took part in this tournament two years ago in India.

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