Football Ferns Head Coach Tom Sermanni says his team’s draw for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World is tough but they will be ready for the challenge.
FIFA confirmed the draw for the biggest women’s sporting event in the world at a glitzy affair staged tonight at the La Seine Musicale in Paris.
The Football Ferns will meet European Champions the Netherlands, World No 7 Canada and Cameroon in the tournament from 7 June – 7 July in France.
“As expected, it is a tough draw. It is a World Cup and when you are in the third pot you are going to get some tough opposition,” said Sermanni, who was named as the Football Ferns Coach in October.
“But it is not an insurmountable draw. They are three teams that we can be very competitive against and on the right day we can get a result against them. It is probably as good a draw as we could have expected.”
The Football Ferns players will feel like they have déjà vu in France as the draw mirrors two of the opponents they faced in Canada four years ago. The Ferns went down 1-0 to the Netherlands and drew 0-0 with Canada in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
DRAW | This is who the #FootballFerns will line up against at the @FIFAWWC in France next year, what do you think of the draw and how will they fare in Group E? #DareToShine pic.twitter.com/HOivG5Phrz
— New Zealand Football (@NZ_Football) December 8, 2018
Sermanni said it was a special to be in Paris for the draw and expects the tournament to be a great spectacle for women’s football.
“It is a World Cup being held in a football country and that makes such a difference,” he said. “The infrastructure will be fantastic, the stadiums will be first class, the support around the games will be professional, and the crowds will be phenomenal. It will be a fantastic World Cup.”
It is the first time that France will host the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the third time for a European nation. France are in Group A with South Korea, Norway and Nigeria.
The USA are the defending FIFA Women’s World Cup champions and the most successful team in the history of the tournament with three titles. They have been drawn in Group F with Thailand, Chile, and Sweden. Group D shapes as one of the toughest groups with England, Scotland, Argentina and Japan.
n Group E, the Football Ferns will look to win their first game at a FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. New Zealand has a long history in the event, they featured in the maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991, but had to wait until 2007 for their return.
The Football Ferns first showed their quality on the world stage at Germany 2011, where they drew with Mexico, in addition to narrow one-goal defeats against England and eventual winners Japan.
In the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, the Ferns drew with host nation Canada and China PR, and were unlucky to not advance to the knockout stage of the competition.
The Ferns know their draw at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France and will have to get past the Netherlands, Canada and Cameroon to make history in the tournament.
2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup draw – Football Ferns games (NZT)
12 June, 1am
16 June, 7am
21 June, 4am
Group A: France, South Korea, Norway, Nigeria
Group B: Germany, China, Spain, South Africa
Group C: Australia, Italy, Brazil, Jamaica
Group D: England, Scotland, Argentina, Japan
Group E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, Netherlands
Group F: United States, Thailand, Chile, Sweden
FIFA Women’s World Cup Fact Box
When: 7 June – 7 July 2019
Where: Nine cities across France
For more information: https://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/