Usually my eyes glaze over when officials begin to talk about the enormously long list of rules and mathematical formulas behind qualifying for the Men’s World Cup, but some how I think the Women’s World Cup will be easier. Women are more organized and less complicated, right? So, I’m going to do my best to keep up with North America, Central America and South America and occasionally I’ll include the rest of the world. Feel free to follow along…
Friday, August 13th at CONCACAF headquarters in New York, it was announced that Mexico will be hosting regional qualifying for the 2011 Women’s World Cup. Qualifying will take place in the vacation destination spot of Cancun and Playa del Carmen from Oct. 28 to Nov. 8, 2010. Now, I’m not sure how they chose the location, but somebody was thinking! The women’s game might not command an equal amount of fanfare than the men, but they sure know how to pick Qualifying locations.
By the way, do you know what CONCACAF stands for? Well, I looked it up for you. It stands for: Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football.
The United States has been drawn into Group B along with Costa Rica, Haiti and Guatemala. That could turn into an emotional roller coaster with Haiti still recovering from the devastating earthquake. Group A features host Mexico, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana. Group A will play in the 9,000-seat Estadio Beto Ávila in Cancún, which is the regular venue for Mexican baseball team the Quintana Roo Tigres.
Group B will face off in Estadio Unidad Deportiva in Playa del Carmen, which holds around 7,000 fans and is home to the Inter Playa del Carmen soccer team in Mexico’s third division. Both stadiums feature natural grass surfaces. Playa del Carmen is just 42 miles south of Cancun on the Yucatán Peninsula. Sounds like paradise.
The eight-team competition, formerly known as the CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, will send both finalists to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. Dragging out the qualifying just a bit, the tournament’s third-place finisher will face the fifth place team from Europe in a home-and-home series for a World Cup.
After round-robin play within the groups, the top two teams in each of the group will cross over for the all-important semifinals, with the first-place team in Group A facing the second place team in Group B and vice-versa.
The match dates and times for the 2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying will be announced in the near future.
On the other side of the world, three nations have already qualified for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup: Australia, Korea DPR and Japan all from Asia will join host Germany. Australia joined the Asian Football Federation in 2005, making AFC’s qualifying rounds all the more competitive. The remaining 12 qualifiers will be determined over the next few months during the fall. Germany, as host, doesn’t have to compete to qualify.
2010 CONCACAF Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournament
Cancún and Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Trinidad & Tobago