The ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand has been interesting to say the least. Hostilities in the group phase will go to bed this week as all the fixtures in the group stage would have been concluded by the end of this week.

We have seen how the girls have been separated from the women. Kudos must be given to the host countries because attendance at the games have been impressive and organisation has been spot on so far.

Safe for some minor or insignificant instances, officiating has been very good. The standard of the women’s game has improved and this clearly seen in the display of skills, technical ability of players and the dynamics of tactical set-ups plus diverse approaches that have been showcased in games played.

Corporate support and partnership for the women’s games have been on a rise. The ongoing Women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand has enjoyed a good number of corporate sponsorship and support.

Above said, one distinct element that has played out in the group phase is that the women’s game in no longer easily predictable. FIFA ratings of teams, popular predictions and form guides have been defied and torn to shreds.

Nobody rated or expected the Super Falcons to beat Australia, debutants Morocco were not fancied to hand a damaging defeat to South Korea, the Raggae Girlz of Jamaica were not tipped to hold France to a barren draw and Germany with deadly striker Alexander Popp were not expected to be beaten by Colombia.

Given all the elements seen so far in the group phase of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, it is only natural for every fan of the game to anticipate a bigger and more interesting fiesta as we anticipate the knockout stage of this World Cup, that is already full of intrigues and great sub-plots.

Gbenga James,

ACC Journal
Benin City, Edo State,

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