UEFA Plans Changes To Reduce Goals In Women’s Football

MANCHESTER, England (AP) – England have 32 unanswered goals. France have scored 29 times and received two targets. Denmark has 28 goals scored and only one conceded.

The first four days of the women’s World Cup qualifying rounds in Europe have made it clear to Nadine Kessler, head of UEFA women’s football, that a change in format is needed to reduce the uneven results that have accentuated the enormous gaps in terms of economic resources and the number of professional players on the campuses.

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“The qualification system for the World Cup and the Euro, which is organized by UEFA and not by FIFA, is being carefully evaluated beforehand and will be reformed in the future,” Kessler said in an interview with The Associated Press.

While England, France and Denmark’s four resounding victories could be partially attributed to being part of groups of six teams – which generally feature at least one low-ranking rival – Spain, in a group of five teams, have scored. 23 goals without their defense missing in their first three wins.

UEFA is juggling – just like for the men’s tournaments – to find how it can give lower-ranking national teams the experience of competing against the elite teams while not affecting their progress by exposing them to goals. .

“I think we really need to take a closer look at what to do to have more balanced games,” Kessler said. “But also have the opportunity to see where the level is and compete against the best.”

UEFA took the format used in the men’s qualifiers for 2022 and adopted it in the European Championship for women and the women’s qualifier heading to the World Cup 2023, dividing the 51 European teams into nine groups – and eliminating the pre-qualification or separation schemes. for high-level teams as she had been using it in women’s competitions.

“We’ve done this (preliminary round) beforehand and maybe that wasn’t the right solution for a competitive equilibrium,” Kessler acknowledged. “Then it was changed to a group stage with all this. I can tell you that there was a debate on sowing prior to the qualifying rounds ”.

Kessler offered his remarks after the draw for Euro 2022, which England qualified as the host country. It was for this reason that the English team only began its participation in a competitive tournament since reaching the semifinals of the 2019 World Cup, but it has not faced a dangerous rival.

As they head to the 2023 tournament, which is hosted by Australia and New Zealand, the England team led by Sarina Wiegman scored 10-0 victories in their visits to Luxembourg and Latvia and easily beat Ireland 4-0. del Norte at Wembley Stadium last weekend.

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