OCEANIA has one direct entry and a playoff spot for the upcoming 2023 Women’s World Cup.
This was confirmed through a statement released on Christmas eve by the international governing body of football, FIFA.
The statement confirms that the countries in Oceania will get one direct spot and one playoff spot for the expanded women’s World Cup in 2023.
However, there were mixed reactions in Oceania, some disappointed, and others welcome the good news with suggestions.
For the Solomon Islands, the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) welcomes the good news but suggested that New Zealand, the co-host for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup help support other Oceania countries to better their standard in football.
Speaking to Football in Oceania, SIFF President William Lai said he thinks it is fair as the sport is not that developed other than New Zealand.
However, he would like the Kiwis to help their fellow Oceania countries to get better.
“What I want to see is that NZ FA should help other nations in OFC to improve the standard.
“NZ FA being the biggest nation by far needs to do more to help the poorer nations of Oceania,” Lai tells Football in Oceania.
Lai is happy that the World Cup is coming closer to our shores, but that he “is not sure” of the real impact.
“Only if NZ FA can do more to care to the women game to the other football-mad countries like the Solomon Islands by giving more aid.
“Our women will grow faster and until then, 1.5 spot is good enough,” he added.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup will comprise 32 teams and be held in both Australia and New Zealand.
Since New Zealand is also hosting the tournament, they have a direct qualification spot in the OFC.
This leaves the other 10 member associations to fight it out through an intercontinental playoff to determine the second team in Oceania.
By CARLOS ARUAFU