Women's Football

UEFA confirm format of Women's World Cup qualifying in Europe will change

Jamie Spencer
England scored 30 goals in just two games against Latvia
England scored 30 goals in just two games against Latvia / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

UEFA will change the qualifying process for the Women’s World Cup after the 2023 tournament as a result of extreme mismatches such as England’s 20-0 demolition of Latvia this week.

England have hit double figures in three of their six qualifying games so far, going close to equalling a women’s football’s international record when they put 20 past Latvia. They have scored 30 times against Latvia in just 180 minutes and are yet to concede.

It isn’t only England who have been among the goals. France, Spain and Norway have scored double figures in two games each, while Belgium put 19 past Armenia shortly before the Lionesses’ second rout of Latvia.

Such incredible mismatches highlight a lack of depth within women’s international football and are of no benefit to either team as it helps neither improve or develop.

“We acknowledge that we absolutely don’t want to see that,” Nadine Kessler, UEFA’s head of women’s football and former Germany international, told The Guardian.

“It’s not good for the development of women’s football, not for smaller or big associations, and it will change as of 2023,” she went on to confirm.

Various new formats are under consideration for the 2027 World Cup, one of which is a Nations League-stye model used for the men where teams typically play against those of similar ability.

“We’re looking at all of the formats that we’ve used before. We’re looking at what was good and what wasn’t good to then draw up what hopefully will be the best format to improve the competitiveness,” Kessler explained.

“We are considering lots of different options, like a Nations League but not only a Nations League, to see how we can close this gap.”

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