Women’s World Cup 2023: When is it, who has qualified and what to expect from England

Georgia Stanway - Women’s World Cup 2023: When is it, who has qualified and what to expect from England - Getty Images/Marc Atkins

Threats of a television blackout for this summer’s Women’s World Cup have been avoided in the UK after the BBC and ITV agreed a deal to show live coverage of every match of the tournament.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino last month labelled offers for the World Cup rights as a “slap in the face of all women worldwide” and called on broadcasters to improve their bids or risk matches not being shown in the UK and Europe.

It is not known whether the BBC and ITV increased their offer but an agreement understood to be worth £7-7.9 million has been reached for the two free-to-air channels to broadcast all 64 matches.

The fixtures, which will be played from July 20 to August 20, will be split across BBC and ITV, although both networks will show the final on their main channel.

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “We have shown every Women’s World Cup on the BBC since 1999 and we are happy to extend our partnership with Fifa for the upcoming tournament. In partnership with ITV we are delighted to make this World Cup available to the widest possible audience and free to air.”

When is the 2023 Women’s World Cup?

The 2023 Women’s World Cup will take place from July 20 to August 20, 2023, in the southern hemisphere’s winter.

Where is it?

The tournament will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand, who beat Colombia to win the vote. Venues include those which will be well known to rugby fans, such as Eden Park (Auckland), Suncorp Stadium (Brisbane), and Stadium Australia (Sydney).

Australia’s first match has been moved to a larger venue in Sydney because of “significant interest in tickets”. The 83,000-capacity Stadium Australia – the biggest stadium being used across the World Cup, and the venue for August 20’s final – will now stage Australia’s opening Group B meeting with the Republic of Ireland.

What are the groups?

What are the fixtures?

Who is in the England squad?

How to watch

BBC and ITV have the rights to show the Women’s World Cup in the UK, with the 64 matches split across the two networks. ITV will show coverage of its matches across ITV1 and ITV4.

Both BBC One and ITV1 will show the final on August 20 live.

What does the England kit look like?

England’s new kit went on sale on Monday, June 5.

The FA says that it pays homage to the 1984 Lionesses.

The team will wear gym blue shorts with the home shirt (away is ‘coast blue with a gym blue trim’). Players had expressed concerns about white shorts while on their periods.

“I really like the new kits,” Keira Walsh said. “The home kit is just classic, very England. That is what we love about it. It really represents us as a nation.

Can England win the World Cup?

By Tom Garry

Seven weeks ago, if you had asked most women’s football aficionados worldwide who they were tipping to win this summer’s World Cup, most would have mentioned England, along with the holders the United States and two-time champions Germany as the leading contenders.

But then the Lionesses saw captain Leah Williamson and Chelsea star Fran Kirby both ruled out of the tournament because of knee injuries, and with Euros Golden Boot-winner Beth Mead now also confirmed as missing the World Cup too, the outside, global perception of England’s threat will be very different.

Can England still win the World Cup, without those players? Yes, it’s certainly possible, as Sarina Wiegman’s squad remains one of the strongest that will fly Down Under.

But will they win it? That now seems much more doubtful, and frankly, even reaching the latter stages would register as another big achievement in the circumstances.

It’s a fairly youthful England squad compared to most previous tournaments, with an average age of 25.7, down from 27.1 for the 2019 World Cup. There is plenty of exciting talent – not least skilful stars including Lauren James, Chloe Kelly, Lauren Hemp – but there will be rival teams at these with far more major-tournament experience, particularly in view of England’s injuries.

It is not just that trio’s absences that will matter: Centre-back Millie Bright has been selected, but still faces a race to be fit in time for the opening game, having been sidelined since March. And even before their injuries worries mounted, the Lionesses already knew they were in the tougher half of the draw.

In the same half of the draw – which is entirely separated from the other half until the final because of the divide between teams based in Australia and teams based in New Zealand for the tournament – are most of the world’s in-form sides: A strong-looking Germany side, a resurgent France with their new manager Herve Renard, co-hosts Australia and the competition’s poster star Sam Kerr, Olympic champions Canada and South American champions Brazil. Four-time winners the United States find themselves in the other half of the competition and unable to meet any of those sides prior to the final.

The Lionesses reached the semi-finals at each of the past two World Cups. Another run to the semi-finals should not be sniffed at. In order to achieve that – if they both win their groups and tough-looking last-16 games – England would have to get past Germany in a blockbuster quarter-final, as they are on collision course for a last-eight meeting in Sydney. To get past a tie like that will require a performance for the ages.

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How to get tickets

Tickets for multi-match packages went on sale from October 6 – available from just $20 AUD/NZD for adults and $10 AUD/NZD for children.

Who are the defending champions?

The US. They beat the Netherlands in Lyon in 2019.

How have England done before?

England have now qualified for the Women’s World Cup six times. They have reached the quarter-finals three times and the semi-finals twice, most recently in 2019 when they were knocked out by eventual winners US.

What ball will be used at the tournament?

The official ball for this summer’s Women’s World Cup will use the same technology that was deployed during 2022’s men’s tournament in Qatar, to send VAR officials real-time data to contribute to semi-automated offside decisions.

The ball, created by adidas and named ‘OCEAUNZ’, contains a motion sensor powered by a rechargeable battery, which can be charged by induction and is suspended in the centre of the ball.

Official ball for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 - FIFA
Official ball for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 - FIFA

“Adidas has created an iconic [ball] that reflects diversity, inclusivity and togetherness, fitting themes for the first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup to be co-hosted by two different countries from different confederations,” Fifa’s secretary general Fatma Samoura said. “This edition of the tournament will be extremely special.”

What are the best of the latest odds?

  • US 5/2

  • England 4/1

  • Spain 6/1

  • Germany 7/1

  • France 10/1

  • Brazil 20/1

Odds correct as of June 12