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Back Olympic and World Cup qualifiers ensure busy April in women’s football

CAF to complete Olympic complement
۵-۹ April

The final two sides headed to Paris for the 2024 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament will be confirmed on 9 April, as the fourth and final round of CAF Olympic qualifying concludes.

Nigeria, the African nation with the most Olympic appearances with three (2000, 2004 and 2008) face South Africa, who have two Olympic participations to their name (2012, 2016), on 5 and 9 April. On the same dates, Zambia will cross swords with Morocco. The Copper Queens made their Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, while the Atlas Lionesses are still searching for their maiden qualification.

The winner of Nigeria-South Africa will be in Group C at Paris 2024 alongside Spain, Japan and Brazil, while either Zambia or Morocco will go up against USA, Germany and Australia in Group B.

Qualifying begins for UEFA Women’s EURO 2025
۵-۹ April

European teams kick off their qualifying campaign for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2025, which will be hosted by Switzerland, on 5 April, to begin a busy schedule for the already-qualified Olympic participants.

Reigning World champions and winners of the recent UEFA Women’s Nations League, Spain, are away to Belgium, while Olympic hosts France welcome the Republic of Ireland. Germany, for their part, make the short journey to neighbouring Austria.

“A big challenge awaits us before the start of the Olympics in the shape of EURO qualifying,” said Herve Renard, coach of Les Bleues.

On 9 April, the French will travel to Sweden, Germany will welcome Iceland, and Spain will host Czechia. Of the three European teams qualified for Paris 2024, only Spain will be making their Olympic debut. Hosts France had their best run in 2012 with a fourth-place finish, while Germany took home the gold medal in 2016.

Brazil, Canada, USA and Japan battle it out in SheBelieves Cup
۶-۹ April

Four behemoths of the women’s game will contest the annual American invitational tournament, the SheBelieves Cup.

The semi-final draw pits Brazil against Canada and Japan against USA, who have won their home tournament six times and go into this edition buoyed by victory at the inaugural Concacaf W Gold Cup in March. Both fixtures take place in Atlanta on 6 April, three days before the third-place match and final are staged in Columbus.

“This is a group that’s moving forward together, that still wants more time together,” said USA interim coach Twila Kilgore after her side’s 1-0 win over Brazil in the Gold Cup final. “We’ve set new goals, we’ve set a new style of play, and I’m just so proud of them.”

The Stars and Stripes will be looking to reclaim Olympic gold after their triumphs in 1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012. As for the Nadeshiko, their best result to date has been a silver medal (2012), just like the Seleção (2004 and 2008). Canada are the defending Olympic champions after their victory at Tokyo 2020.

New Zealand, Colombia and Australia face Olympic warm-ups
۶-۹ April

New Zealand continue their preparations for the Olympics – where they will contest Group A alongside France, Colombia and Canada – with two friendlies against Thailand, on 6 and 9 April. These will be the Football Ferns’ first fixtures in Aotearoa New Zealand since the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

“As we build towards the Paris 2024 Olympics, we want to establish a side that combines our experienced players with emerging younger talent to put us in the best place ahead of the next FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2027,” said head coach Jitka Klimkova.

They will meet a Colombia side who are continuing their preparations for a third Olympic tournament by taking on Mexico on 6 April and Guatemala three days later. Linda Caicedo and Co recently followed up their quarter-final exploits at the Women’s World Cup by reaching the same stage of the W Gold Cup, where they lost 3-0 to USA.

Australia, meanwhile, will gear up for a fifth Olympic participation by taking on Mexico on 9 April.

“Every game we schedule is considered and forms part of the team’s preparation for the biggest tournaments in the world to enable us to compete against the best teams out there,” coach Tony Gustavsson told the Australian FA’s website.

AFC U-17 Women’s Asian Cup 2024
۷-۲۰ April

Asia’s three FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Dominican Republic 2024™ participants will be confirmed at the AFC U-17 Women’s Asian Cup in April. The eight countries taking part are Indonesia, Japan, Korea DPR, China PR, Korea Republic, Thailand, Australia and the Philippines.

The two finalists and the winner of the match for third place will secure berths for the tournament, which is due to take place across October and November later this year. Two years ago, when India staged the U-17 World Cup, the AFC was represented by the host nation, China and Japan.

۲۰۲۴ CONMEBOL U-20 Women’s Championship
۱۱ April-5 May

The South American confederation will soon find out who will accompany hosts Colombia at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2024™, completing the 24-team tournament in the process.

Four berths will be on offer at the CONMEBOL U-20 Championship, which runs from 11 April to 5 May in Ecuador. The sides which finished first and second in the two groups will qualify for the U-20 World Cup in September.

Participating in the regional tournament will be Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. At the 2022 edition of the U-20 World Cup in Costa Rica, Brazil and Colombia represented South America.

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