PWNFT CHANCE OF JOINING FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP STRENGTHENS
The Philippine women’s national football team’s (PWNFT) bid for the World Cup has become more favorable after FIFA announced the regional allocations for the next edition set to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand in 2023.
The Bureau of the FIFA Council also approved the allocation of places at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be the first edition of the tournament expanded from 24 to 32 teams.
Looking back, the Filipina footballers missed the qualification back in 2019 after losing to China, Thailand, and South Korea in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup held in Jordan. And had the PWNFT won in the latter country, they would be one of the five teams to be granted to play in the world cup.
While the five Asian teams granted for the passage were Japan, Australia, China, Thailand, and South Korea.
Nonetheless, eight new slots will be opened which are broken down to five direct berths and three to be determined by a new playoff tournament where Africa and the Americas each get a new direct slot while Europe gets to include three more teams.
With the new development, instead of having five teams for Asia, the overall direct spots would be six teams for which if following the sequencing, PWNFT will be eligible to play.
However, if the PWNFT should not qualify directly, they will get another shot through the playoffs that will grant three berths.
Allocations for the ten teams in the competition would be two each for Asia, Africa, North and Central America, South America, and one each for Oceania and Europe.
“This makes me so excited that I just want to play but I can’t because of the pandemic,” national team captain Inna Palacios affirmed in an interview on Eat Sleep Breathe Football.
“I really want to be in the World Cup and I’m going to try and do the best and all that I could just to get there. It will be a team effort though, we all need to work hand in hand to be able to get there. I always tell my teammates [to keep the] eye on the prize. It’s not [about what we are playing] right now, it’s really about the far end which is the World Cup,” Palacios concluded.