The Women’s World Cup concludes with the final between England and Spain. In any case, 17 days after the German soccer team’s embarrassing first-round exit, a nation will be presented with the gold trophy for the first time.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino had already described the finals in Australia and New Zealand as the “best of all time” ahead of the final weekend. The ninth edition of the tournament brought enormous and global attention to women’s football – the first time the sport had progressed in 32 participating countries. World Cup Tops and Flops in Australia and New Zealand:
The Matildas: The Australians’ dream run around superstar Sam Kerr ended only in the semi-final against England. However, the co-hosts delighted many rugby and cricket fans in the country and ensured record numbers. However, they were denied medals in the third-place match against Sweden with a score of 0:2.
Game Class: The big winner is women’s football. More speed, more athleticism, more power, more passion, a new class of playfulness – development is advancing rapidly. However, in most countries, structures are lacking. “A level playing field” – the same conditions for men – will continue to be the theme.
Universal Answer: “Almost two million spectators came to the stadiums and filled the stands everywhere. In addition, there are two billion spectators worldwide who follow not only their own team, but the entire World Cup,” enthused Infantino. The World Association took more than half a billion euros.
outsider: The debate over whether 32 teams was too many was quickly silenced: Haiti lost 0-1 to England in the opening round, Nigeria drew 0-0 against Olympic champions Canada and, like South Africa and Morocco, reached the round. 16, and Colombia even reached the quarter-finals.
German team: The two-time world champions had to go home after a 1-1 draw with South Korea in the last group game – they wanted to play for the title. National coach Martina Voss-Decklenburg continues, but like the DFB men in Qatar, it’s become clear that Germany are no longer among the world’s best.
USA and Brazil: In the last World Cup hosted by superstar Marta, the South Americans missed out in the round of 16 – a failure for Swedish coach Pia Sundage. In the first knockout round against Sweden, she had a bye to 2015 and 2019 American world champion Megan Rapinoe. Head coach Vladko Antonovski has already resigned.
Consistency: The long journeys to Australia and New Zealand and the distance between venues required multiple flights for more than a million fans and delegates. Although world governing body FIFA advertises “green stadiums”, experts have previously acknowledged that matches on the other side of the world are not sustainable.
Weather: Although teams often played in pleasant temperatures during the Australian winter, it was sometimes very cold in New Zealand and down jackets were standard equipment for spectators, coaches and substitutes. In addition, many football players had to use it: it was already dark at 5 pm.
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