‘It’s not good’: UEFA confirms women’s qualifiers will change after mismatch | Women’s football


The format of the European qualifiers for the Women’s World Cup and the Women’s Euro will change from 2023, confirmed UEFA women’s football manager Nadine Kessler after 29 games with margins of seven or more goals between. September and November drew strong criticism.

“We recognize that we absolutely don’t want to see this,” Kessler said of scores such as England’s 20-0 loss to Latvia and Belgium’s 19-0 victory over Armenia, which resulted in prompted many calls for change. “This is not good for the development of women’s football, not for small or large associations, and that will change from 2023.”

Kessler said a Nations League-style competition was under consideration as part of the talks. “We are looking at all the formats that we have used before,” she said. “We look at what was good and what was not and then define what hopefully will be the best format to improve competitiveness… We are looking at a lot of different options, like a League of Nations but not just a League of Nations, to see how we can close this gap.

Kessler warned that qualifying changes alone would not be enough. Referring to the impact of the pandemic, she said: “There are huge levels of inactivity around the world, in leagues, in national team football, and if you don’t play regularly, at an elite level, for a national team, if your league is not up and running and needs to be canceled, then these are all factors that explain why right now we are getting results like we are not getting never seen before.

Quick guide

These 29 hammer blows in full


European Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifiers with a winning margin of at least seven goals

20-goal margin (1)
England 20-0 Latvia

19-goal margin (1)
Belgium 19-0 Armenia

12-goal margin (1)
Spain 12-0 Faroe Islands

11-goal margin (3)
Republic of Ireland 11-0 Georgia
North Macedonia 0-11 Northern Ireland
France 11-0 Estonia

10-goal margin (6)
Luxembourg 0-10 England
Latvia 0-10 England
Norway 10-0 Armenia
Faroe Islands 0-10 Spain
Armenia 0-10 Norway
Greece 0-10 France

Nine-goal margin (1)
Northern Ireland 9-0 North Macedonia

Eight-goal margin (8)
Germany 8-0 Turkey
Luxembourg 0-8 Austria
Spain 8-0 Scotland
Denmark 8-0 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cyprus 0-8 Netherlands
England 8-0 North Macedonia
Czech Republic 8-0 Cyprus
Azerbaijan 0-8 Denmark

Seven-goal margin (8)
Albania 0-7 Norway
Lithuania 0-7 Switzerland
Belgium 7-0 Kosovo
Germany 7-0 Israel
Latvia 1-8 Austria
Germany 7-0 Bulgaria
Hungary 0-7 Spain
Belgium 7-0 Albania

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“The format will help remedy that, that’s for sure, but what creates success and what creates competitiveness? These are regular investments, good structures on the ground, national championships that operate regularly, with good standards, and regular participation in our qualifiers for the World Cup or the Euro.

“It is also the global pool of players that will allow you to professionalize your structures. It is very important that we start to think more about women’s football with a long-term strategic vision. “

The lack of a match schedule beyond the 2023 World Cup is a major obstacle to progressing UEFA talks and shaping this long-term plan. Kessler strongly criticized Fifa’s plans for biennial World Cups and blamed them for the delay.

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“You asked me about our qualifying formats,” said the winner of Euro 2013 with Germany. “I can’t even tell you because I don’t know what the international matches calendar will look like after the summer of 2023. We are a year and a half away from a new cycle. This calendar is there to regulate not only international football but also national football, it regulates the load of international players, and we don’t know what it is.

“I don’t even know how many match days there will be for the qualifying campaigns because we are stuck discussing a biennial World Cup that I don’t see as being able to resolve development issues or competition that we have because it’s a tournament for the elite.


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