FIFA Women's World Cup: A Legacy of Triumphs and Growth Since 1991
FIFA Women's World Cup: A Legacy of Triumphs and Growth Since 1991

New Delhi: The senior women's national teams of the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), the sport's worldwide governing body, compete in the FIFA Women's World Cup, an international association football championship. Since 1991, when the first competition, then known as the FIFA Women's World Championship, was held in China, the event has been held every four years and one year after the men's FIFA World Cup.

National teams compete for 31 spots in the competition under the current structure over a three-year qualification period. The 32nd spot is automatically filled by the team from the host country. The World Cup Finals is a competition that takes place over the course of about a month at locations in the host country or nations.

Four different national teams were victorious in each of the eight FIFA Women's World Cup competitions. The United States is the current champion after winning the 2019 competition in France. They have won it four times. Germany takes home two awards, followed by Japan and Norway, each with one.

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The Women's World Cup has taken place in six different nations. The event has been held twice in China, once in the United States, and once each in Canada, France, Germany, and Sweden.

The competition will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand in 2023, making it the first Women's World Cup to be staged in the Southern Hemisphere, the first to be hosted by two nations, and the first FIFA senior competition for either men or women.

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The first Women's World Cup had held in Italy in 1970, with the inaugural competition taking place in July of that year. Following this, Mexico hosted a second unofficial World Cup in 1971, with Denmark taking first place after defeating Mexico, 3-0, in the championship match at the Azteca Stadium. Four editions of the Mundialito were held in Italy in the 1980s, and both England and Italy came away with two victories.

In the 1970s, a number of nations abolished their bans on women's football, which prompted the formation of new teams in other nations. Following the official continental women's tournaments in Europe in 1984 and Asia in 1975, Ellen Wille demanded that the FIFA Congress make a greater effort to promote the women's game. This took the form of the 1988 FIFA Women's Invitation Tournament, which was held in China as a trial run for a potential world championship for women.

The competition featured twelve national teams: four from UEFA, three from AFC, two from CONCACAF, one from each of CONMEBOL, CAF, and OFC, and four from UEFA. The event was regarded a success with audiences averaging 20,000 after the opening match between China and Canada drew 45,000 spectators.

In the championship game, Norway, the defending champion of Europe, defeated Sweden 1-0, and Brazil defeated the hosts on penalties to take third place. As a result of the competition's success, FIFA approved the creation of the official World Cup on June 30, 1991, with China serving as the host nation once more. Once more, twelve teams competed, with the United States defeating Norway in the championship game by a score of 2-1 behind Michelle Akers who scored 2 goals.

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The 1995 tournament in Sweden featured an experiment with a time-out idea that was eventually adjusted mid-game to only take place after a pause in play. Only one tournament saw the time-out, and that one saw it eliminated. In the 1995 final, Norway defeated Germany 2-0 to win the tournament's lone championship after netting 17 goals throughout the group stage.

One of the most well-known tournament incidents in the 1999 edition was American defender Brandi Chastain's celebration of victory after her team won the Cup on a penalty kick against China. She celebrated by taking off her jersey and waving it over her head (as guys frequently do). 90,185 people watched the 1999 championship game in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Women's World Cups in 1999 and 2003 were both hosted in the United States; in 2003, China was intended to host, but SARS forced the tournament to be shifted. In exchange, China was given the right to host the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup and kept their automatic qualifying for the 2003 edition.

The 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup was held in Germany, as chosen by vote in October 2007. FIFA granted Canada the right to host the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in March 2011. The number of teams increased from 16 to 24 during the 2015 edition.

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Both Brazilian player Formiga and Japanese player Homare Sawa competed in their record-breaking sixth World Cup during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, a feat never before attained by either a female or male player.

Christie Pearce, who is 40 years old, is the oldest player to have ever participated in a Women's World Cup game. FIFA chose France to host the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup over South Korea in March 2015.

The United States won the competition for a record-breaking fourth time in the 2019 edition, which took place in France.

The FIFA Women's World Cup will be held in Australia and New Zealand for the first time as joint hosts in 2023, with a 32-player field instead of the current 24. The competition will be staged for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere. This will be the first FIFA senior competition to be hosted across two confederations, with Australia and New Zealand being members of the Asian Football Confederation and Oceania Football Confederation, respectively.

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