With exactly two weeks to go until the start of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, here is everything you need to know ahead of the tournament…
When does the 2019 Women’s World Cup begin and where?
The eighth edition of the tournament, which is set to be the biggest female sporting event ever, will take place from 7 June to 7 July in France. Twenty-four countries from around the world will be competing for the biggest prize in the women's game. Across nine host cities, 52 matches will be played to determine the tournament winner.
Which Chelsea Women representatives are playing?
Six countries competing include 12 Chelsea Women players. Karen Carney, Fran Kirby, Millie Bright and Carly Telford are part of England’s World Cup squad. Magdalena Eriksson, Jonna Andersson and Hedvig Lindahl are in Sweden’s squad. Maren Mjelde and Maria Thorisdottir will play for Norway, Erin Cuthbert will be representing Scotland and captain of New Zealand, Ali Riley, and Ji So-Yun of South Korea will be in France too.
Where will the games be played?
The nine host cities are:
Montpellier – Stade de la Mosson
Nice – Stade de Nice
Valenciennes – Stade de Hainaut
Paris – Parc des Princes
Lyon – Stade de Lyon
Reims – Stade Auguste-Delaune
Le Havre – Stade Oceane
Grenoble – Stade des Alpes
Rennes – Roazhon Park
The opening match of the tournament between the hosts and South Korea is on 7 June and will be held in the French capital, Paris.
The semi-finals and final will take place in Lyon at the Stade de Lyon, where the Blues played our semi-final first leg of the Women’s Champions League against Olympique Lyonnais in April.
Which teams are competing?
Group A consists of hosts France, South Korea, Norway and Nigeria, while Germany, China, Spain and South Africa complete Group B.
Group C has Australia, Italy, Brazil and Jamaica, while England are in Group D alongside Scotland, Argentina and Japan.
Group E is made up of Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand and the Netherlands, with United States, Sweden, Chile and Thailand in Group F.
How do the group stages work?
With six groups of four teams, the format of the Women’s World Cup is different from the men’s game. The top-two sides all advance into the knockout stages, along with the four best teams who finished third.
What are the Blues’ group stage fixtures?
Due to the time zone being just one hour ahead, the kick-off times will take place across the afternoon and evening, which is suitable for the UK audience.
The list of group fixtures that include Chelsea representatives can be found below. All kick-off times are BST.
Friday 7 June
France v South Korea – Parc des Princes (20:00)
Saturday 8 June
Norway v Nigeria – Stade Auguste-Delaune (20:00)
Sunday 9 June
England v Scotland – Stade de Nice (17:00)
Tuesday 11 June
New Zealand v Netherlands – Stade Oceane (14:00)
Chile v Sweden – Roazhon Park (17:00)
Wednesday 12 June
Nigeria v South Korea – Stade des Alpes (14:00)
France v Norway – Stade de Nice (20:00)
Friday 14 June
Japan v Scotland – Roazhon Park (14:00)
England v Argentina – Stade Oceane (20:00)
Saturday 15 June
Canada v New Zealand – Stade des Alpes (20:00)
Sunday 16 June
Sweden v Thailand – Stade de Nice (14:00)
Monday 17 June
South Korea v Norway – Stade Auguste-Delaune (20:00)
Wednesday 19 June
Japan v England – Stade de Nice (20:00)
Scotland v Argentina – Parc des Princes (20:00)
Thursday 20 June
Cameroon v New Zealand – Stade de la Mosson (17:00)
Sweden v USA – Stade Oceane (20:00)
Women’s World Cup history
The Women's World Cup was founded in 1991 and held in China. USA were the first country to lift the trophy when they beat Norway 2-1 in the final. However four years later in Sweden, 1991 finalists Norway became world champions after putting two goals past Germany. In 1999, USA hosted the tournament and regained the cup when they won 5-4 on penalties against China in front of 90,185 fans. The following World Cup, also held in the USA was sealed by Germany who narrowly defeated Sweden 2-1.
Four years later in China, Germany successfully defended their Women’s World Cup crown to become the first ever team to retain the trophy when they triumphed 2-0 over Brazil. The 2007 champions hosted the sixth edition, Japan and USA reached the final which was settled by a penalty shoot-out after full-time concluded with a draw. The Japanese were victorious, winning the shoot-out 3-1. Canada 2015 was a huge success, with 24 teams lining up for the very first time in the competition's history. USA became the first nation to lift the trophy three times after thumping Japan 5-2. England secured the bronze medal against Germany, winning 1-0 in extra-time courtesy of Fara Williams converting from the spot.
How can I watch?
In the UK, BBC will have live coverage of every World Cup match across TV, radio, the Red Button and online. Home nations England and Scotland, who go head-to-head in their opening group match on 9 June, can be watched live on BBC One from Nice.
The opening match between hosts France and South Korea on Friday 7 June will be shown live on BBC One from Paris. The final will also be shown on BBC One from 4pm on Sunday 7 July.