Women’s World Cup field expansion improves Vietnam's chances

By Dong Huyen   August 1, 2019 | 11:13 pm PT
Women’s World Cup field expansion improves Vietnam's chances
Vietnam's women are among the top six teams in Asia. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
With FIFA expanding the number of teams at the Women's World Cup from 24 to 32, Vietnam can realistically aim for a berth.

In the last two World Cups Asia had five slots, but with the number of teams increased to 32, a sixth opens up. It means Vietnam, who are among the top six teams in the continent, can dream of playing their first World Cup four years from now.

"The astounding success of this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France made it very clear that this is the time to keep the momentum going and take concrete steps to foster the growth of women’s football," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on July 31.

"Dozens more member associations will organize their women’s football program knowing they have a realistic chance of qualifying."

Vietnam were very close to qualifying for the 2015 World Cup when they made it to the final play-offs, but lost 1-2 to Thailand at home.

In the 2019 qualifiers they failed to make it through the second round after finishing at the bottom of group B behind powerhouses Australia, Japan and South Korea.

The World Cup was played from June 7 to July 7 in nine cities in France. The U.S. were the defending champion and they successfully defended the title with a 2-0 victory over the Netherlands in the final.

FIFA haven't awarded the 2023 event yet, and Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, South Africa, New Zealand, and South Korea are the bidders.

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