Despite all of the arrests, hullabaloo and delusional blame shifting surrounding Sepp Blatter and FIFA, life must go on. Not only did FIFA not cancel today’s elections (Sepp Blatter was reelected, as if there was ever any doubt), we have a World Cup to play next week! In case you didn’t know, the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off this Saturday, June 6, in Edmonton! The first game will feature the hosts, Canada, taking on China at 4:00 pm local time, which is 2:00 pm here on the East Coast. We’ll be having fairly extensive coverage of the tournament, including group previews and USWNT coverage from our good friend Captain Hatch (remember his awesome World Cup coverage from last year?), so here are just a few things you need to know before the tourney starts:
The tournament final is comprised of 24 teams (the men’s tournament includes 32 teams now), split into six groups of four teams. The top two teams from every group, and the four best third place teams, will all move on to the knockout stages. Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Group A: Canada, China, New Zealand (the kiwis!) and the Netherlands (booooo)
- Group B: Germany (boooo!), Ivory Coast, Norway and Thailand
- Group C: Japan, Switzerland, Cameroon and Ecuador
- Group D: USA (USA! USA! USA!), Australia, Sweden and Nigeria
- Group E: Brazil (Marta, Marta, Marta!), Korea Republic, Spain (get your “ths” ready) and Costa Rica
- Group F: France, England, Colombia and Mexico
What to Know About this Cup
In no particular order, here’s some stuff you should know before every:
- Canada was the only nation who bid for this World Cup, as Zimbabwe withdrew their bid. Zimbabwe have never qualified and were ranked 103rd in the world at the time, so their bid was viewed as a long shot.
- This World Cup will be played on turf, a fact that sparked not only controversy, but even lawsuits from the players, who wanted to force the tournament to be played on grass… because that’s the way it really should have been.
- The World Cup will be broadcast in America on FOX Sports and Telemundo.
- The mascot for this tournament is Shuéme, a female great white owl (yes… pictured above).
- The games will be played in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton. Sorry, Halifax. You didn’t make it.
- The final of this month-long tourney will take place on July 5.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup was founded in 1991, and has been held every four years since. Here are some quick results:
- 1991: Hosted by China, won by the good ol’ USA, over Norway in the final (boom, sucka!)
- 1995: Hosted by Sweden, won by Norway over Germany in the final
- 1999: Hosted by USA, won by USA over China in the final (remember Brandi Chastain’s sports bra?)
- 2003: Hosted by USA, won by Germany over Sweden in the final
- 2007: Hosted by China, won by Germany over Brazil in the final (damn that Germany!)
- 2011: Hosted by Germany, won by Japan over the USA in the final (sigh)
Other Fun Facts and Stats
Here’s a little something for all you stat heads.
- The USA and Germany are tied for the most titles with two apiece.
- Marta (Brazil) and Birgit Prinz (Germany) are tied for the most goals in tournament history, with 14. Prinz is retired, so Marta could take sole possession in this tournament.
- The USWNT’s leading scorer is Abby Wambach, who has 13 goals. She’s on the squad this year and looking to add to that total.
That’s it for now, folks. For a little fun, here’s a video from FOX Sports’ coverage!
[fbvideo link=”https://www.facebook.com/FOXSports1/videos/721697341289057/” width=”900″ height=”506″ onlyvideo=”1″]
Featured image courtesy of: USA Today Images
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