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World Cup 2030 set for six countries | Saudi Arabia to bid for 2034 tournament

World Cup 2030 is set to be held in six countries across three continents, while Saudi Arabia could be set to host the 2034 edition of the tournament.

Spain, Portugal and Morocco are on course to co-host the 2030 edition of the men’s tournament, with three South American nations – Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay – staging the opening matches to mark the tournament’s centenary.

Montevideo in Uruguay, the city which hosted the first World Cup finals match in 1930, is poised to stage the opening match in seven years’ time with games in Argentina and Paraguay to follow.

The rest of the 48-team tournament will then move to north Africa and Europe, under a proposal from UEFA, the Confederation of African Football and South American confederation CONMEBOL which was accepted by the FIFA council at a meeting on Wednesday.

The hosting arrangement is now subject to formal approval by FIFA’s congress.

Uruguay’s selection for 2030 is in recognition of their role as hosts and winners of the opening tournament, Argentina’s as runners-up in that tournament and Paraguay’s as the traditional home of CONMEBOL.

Those countries will qualify automatically for the finals and play their opening games on home soil.

Where has the men’s FIFA World Cup been held in the past?

  • 2022 – Qatar (November to December)
  • 2018 – Russia
  • 2014 – Brazil
  • 2010 – South Africa
  • 2006 – Germany
  • 2002 – Japan and South Korea
  • 1998 – France
  • 1994 – United States
  • 1990 – Italy
  • 1986 – Mexico
  • 1982 – Spain
  • 1978 – Argentina
  • 1974 – West Germany
  • 1970 – Mexico
  • 1966 – England
  • 1962 – Chile
  • 1958 – Sweden
  • 1954 – Switzerland
  • 1950 – Brazil
  • 1938 – France
  • 1934 – Italy
  • 1930 – Uruguay

FIFA president Gianni Infantino welcomed the news, saying: “In a divided world, FIFA and football are uniting.

“In 2030, we will have a unique global footprint, three continents – Africa, Europe and South America – six countries – Argentina, Morocco, Paraguay, Portugal, Spain and Uruguay – welcoming and uniting the world while celebrating together the beautiful game, the centenary and the FIFA World Cup.”

President of CONMEBOL Alejandro Dominguez said: “We aimed high and dreamed big.

“The 2030 Centenario World Cup starts where it all began. The host of the opening matches of the Centenario World Cup will be Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.”

However, the Football Supporters Europe group was deeply unimpressed by the arrangement.

It posted on X: “FIFA continues its cycle of destruction against the greatest tournament on earth.

“Horrendous for supporters, disregards the environment and rolls the red carpet out to a host for 2034 with an appalling human rights record. It’s the end of the World Cup as we know it.”

Analysis: What about the fans?

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“I hope you’re sitting comfortably, because the World Cup in 2030 is going to be in six countries and in three different continents. The main hosts of the tournament are going to be Spain, Portugal and Morocco. But the first three games are going to be in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay.

“The first three games will feature those nations. I know quite a lot of people will be asking why games are being held in South America as well. It is because 2030 will be the centenary of the first World Cup. The first World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930. It was won by Uruguay and they along with Argentina, Paraguay and Chile wanted to host the World Cup in 2030.

“There’s been some deals going on behind closed doors at FIFA, some very powerful men have been speaking to each other saying, ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back’, why don’t we have this big World Cup where everybody is going to be happy?

“There’s going to be games in Europe, Africa and South America. But the flipside of this is, what about the fans? Fans will be complaining because how are they going to be able to afford to follow their teams. What if England are drawn to play the opening game against Uruguay?

“They would have to go to South America before coming back to Europe, and possibly even to Morocco. It’s controversial, it’s complicated, but FIFA think this is the best solution for the 2030 World Cup.”

Saudi Arabia to bid for 2034 tournament

The awarding of the 2026 finals to the United States, Canada and Mexico followed by this proposed award to Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay means that only bids from the Asian Football Confederation and the Oceania Football Confederation will be considered for the 2034 finals.

That appears to give Saudi Arabia, who were initially rumoured to be interested in bidding for 2030, a very strong chance of hosting, although Australia may enter the running too, after they successfully co-hosted the Women’s World Cup alongside New Zealand earlier this year.

Later on Wednesday, it was confirmed Saudi Arabia would bid for the showpiece tournament in 2034.

Saudi Minister of Sport Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal said in a statement via the Saudi Press Agency: “Hosting a FIFA World Cup in 2034 would help us achieve our dream of becoming a leading nation in world sport and would mark a significant milestone in the country’s transformation.

“As an emerging and welcoming home for all sports, we believe that hosting a FIFA World Cup is a natural next step in our football journey.”

Saudi Arabia overwhelming favourites for 2034 World Cup

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“Saudi Arabia wanted to host the World Cup in 2030 as well. They were considering a joint bid with Greece and Egypt. But I think now they’re going to focus on the World Cup in 2034.

“What has been announced today I think helps Saudi Arabia’s case. Normally, World Cups are generally rotated around continents. They take it in turns. What we’re going to have in 2030 is a World Cup in Europe, South America and Africa.

“So those three Confederations will have used up their go. In 2034, FIFA will be inviting someone from Asia or Oceania to come forward and host the World Cup. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to work out that Saudi Arabia are going to try to host that World Cup.

“They are going to be the overwhelming favourites to get that tournament.”

Portugal set to host first World Cup | Morocco in line to become second African nation to host finals games

The scandal surrounding the conduct of former Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales at the final of the Women’s World Cup has ultimately not prevented Spain being lined up to host its second finals, after it staged its first alone in 1982.

Rubiales remains the subject of ongoing FIFA disciplinary proceedings.

If the 2030 proposal is approved, Morocco would become only the second African nation to host World Cup finals matches, after South Africa in 2010.

Portugal have never hosted a World Cup before, but Euro 2004 was held in that country.

A South American bid had been set to go head-to-head with the Morocco-Spain-Portugal bid, and a decision had been expected at an extraordinary FIFA congress due to take place in the final quarter of next year.

However, the South American bid would have faced a difficult task to overcome a bid that had backing from UEFA and CAF, and now CONMEBOL has worked with the European and African confederations to come up with this proposal.

Brazil, in 2014, were the last South American nation to host the tournament.

Sweden beat Argentina to qualify as Group F winners

A much-changed Sweden reached the Women’s World Cup last 16 with a perfect record after Rebecka Blomqvist’s second-half header and substitute Elin Rubensson’s 90th-minute penalty helped them beat Argentina 2-0.

Blomqvist met Sofia Jakobsson’s cross with a fantastic header in the 66th minute to put the third-ranked Swedes firmly on course to advance as Group G winners, before Rubensson sealed the win with a superbly taken spot kick.

Argentina, who lost midfielder Florencia Bonsegundo to injury minutes before the break, needed a victory to stand any chance of going through but never really troubled the Swedish defence or goalkeeper Jennifer Falk.

They remain without a win in their four World Cup appearances and finished bottom of the group.

Sweden's Elin Rubensson celebrates the second goal of the match during the Women's World Cup Group G soccer match between Argentina and Sweden in Hamilton, New Zealand, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Juan Mendez)
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Elin Rubensson added a second for Sweden late in the game

Sweden will next face holders United States in a blockbuster clash in Melbourne on Sunday – a rematch of the Olympic quarter-finals in 2021 when the Europeans won 3-0 en route to the final.

Having already secured qualification after winning their first two games, Sweden only needed a point to top the group and coach Peter Gerhardsson made nine changes to the side that thrashed Italy 5-0.

Argentina's Dalila Ippolito reacts besides referee Salima Mukansanga after Sweden scored the second goal during the Women's World Cup Group G soccer match between Argentina and Sweden in Hamilton, New Zealand, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
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Argentina have exited at the group stage for a second successive World Cup

Only defenders Amanda Ilestedt and Magdalena Eriksson retained their places and Sweden were far from their rampant best, with Olivia Schough’s weak free-kick their only shot on target in a disjointed first half.

Blomqvist finally got the breakthrough after the hour mark and was brought down inside the penalty area by Gabriela Chavez in the closing minutes to allow Rubensson to drive the resulting penalty into the roof of the net.

What’s next?

Group G winners Sweden will face World Cup holders the USA in the last 16 on Sunday August 6 in Melbourne; kick-off 10am.

What is the schedule?

The group stage has begun and runs over a two-week period finishing on August 3. Group winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16, which takes place from August 5 to August 8.

The quarter-finals, which will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for August 11 and 12.

The first semi-final will then be played on August 15 in Auckland, with the other semi-final taking place on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.

A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.

Last-gasp Girelli header earns Italy nail-biting win over Argentina

Cristiana Girelli’s 87th-minute header gave Italy a 1-0 win over Argentina in their Women’s World Cup opener at Eden Park, denying the South Americans a first win at the global soccer showpiece.

Veteran striker Girelli, 33, replaced 16-year-old midfielder Giulia Dragoni in the 83rd minute and needed only four minutes to make an impact, beating goalkeeper Vanina Correa with a fine header to seal a hard-fought victory.

Italy’s Ariana Caruso and Valentina Giacinti both had goals ruled offside in a competitive first half after Argentina nearly made a sensational start to the game, when Mariana Larroquette’s bicycle kick went narrowly wide in the second minute.

Goalkeeper Francesca Durante pushed away Argentine midfielder Florencia Bonsegundo’s attempt from a free kick in stoppage time, ensuring Italy earned three points to join Sweden on top of Group G.

What’s next?

Group G returns on Friday July 28 when Argentina take on South Africa. Sweden face Italy on Saturday July 29.

The final group games will take place on Wednesday August 2. Argentina will play Sweden, while Italy finish the group with a match against South Africa.

What is the schedule?

The group stage has begun and runs over a two-week period finishing on August 3. Group winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16, which takes place from August 5 to August 8.

More from Women’s World Cup 2023

The quarter-finals, which will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for August 11 and 12.

The first semi-final will then be played on August 15 in Auckland, with the other semi-final taking place on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.

A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.

Women’s World Cup: Italy vs Argentina latest score

Cristiana Girelli’s 87th-minute header gave Italy a 1-0 win over Argentina in their Women’s World Cup opener at Eden Park, denying the South Americans a first win at the global soccer showpiece.

Veteran striker Girelli, 33, replaced 16-year-old midfielder Giulia Dragoni in the 83rd minute and needed only four minutes to make an impact, beating goalkeeper Vanina Correa with a fine header to seal a hard-fought victory.

Italy’s Ariana Caruso and Valentina Giacinti both had goals ruled offside in a competitive first half after Argentina nearly made a sensational start to the game, when Mariana Larroquette’s bicycle kick went narrowly wide in the second minute.

Goalkeeper Francesca Durante pushed away Argentine midfielder Florencia Bonsegundo’s attempt from a free kick in stoppage time, ensuring Italy earned three points to join Sweden on top of Group G.

What’s next?

Group G returns on Friday July 28 when Argentina take on South Africa. Sweden face Italy on Saturday July 29.

The final group games will take place on Wednesday August 2. Argentina will play Sweden, while Italy finish the group with a match against South Africa.

What is the schedule?

The group stage has begun and runs over a two-week period finishing on August 3. Group winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16, which takes place from August 5 to August 8.

More from Women’s World Cup 2023

The quarter-finals, which will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for August 11 and 12.

The first semi-final will then be played on August 15 in Auckland, with the other semi-final taking place on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.

A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.

Women’s World Cup kits: England, ROI and USA among released kits

With less than 100 days until the start of the Women’s World Cup, teams including England, the Republic of Ireland and the USA have all revealed their new kits for the tournament.

Argentina

Argentina's away kit for the Women's World Cup (image: adidas)
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Argentina’s away kit for the Women’s World Cup (image: adidas)

Taking inspiration from the landscapes of Serrania de Hornocal in the north to Ushuaia in the south, the Argentina away kit represents the natural landscapes found across the country.

The adidas jersey comes in tones of dark and light green with orange accents. It is accompanied by black shorts and socks.

The home kit will follow ahead of the tournament.

Australia

Australia's Women's World Cup kits (image: Nike)
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Australia’s Women’s World Cup kits (image: Nike)

As one of the tournament hosts, Australia’s Nike home kit will feature their trademark yellow jersey with dark green shorts. It also features a “created-by-hand acrylic pour and marbling pattern”, which aims to represent Australia’s diversity and transformation of the national team

Their away kit comes in all-turquoise, with a dark blue stripe along the side of both shirts and shorts.

A Nike release added: “Australia’s National Team Collection celebrates its diverse country and community and is an invitation to all Australians to join in and embrace this once-in-a-lifetime moment and iconic team.”

Brazil

Brazil's Women's World Cup kits (image: Nike)
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Brazil’s Women’s World Cup kits (image: Nike)

Brazil’s Nike kits are inspired by the Amazon rainforest. The iconic yellow home shirt has leaf patterns representing the landscape’s ecosystems weaved into the fabric, accompanied by bright green trim and dark blue shorts.

The vibrant blue away kits also include impressive foliage patterns in bright green on the shirt sleeves. It will be accompanied by white shorts and blue socks.

Canada

Canada's Women's World Cup kits (image: Nike)
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Canada’s Women’s World Cup kits (image: Nike)

Both of Canada’s Nike home and away kits use their traditional red and white colours. The home kit has a red and black jersey paired with black shorts and red socks. It uses a geometric maple leaf design.

The away kit has a white shirt with red accents, paired with red shorts and white socks with red trim.

China

China's Women's World Cup kits (image: Nike)
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China’s Women’s World Cup kits (image: Nike)

China’s Nike kits use two of their culturally traditional colours in red and yellow.

The home kit is inspired by the ‘xiangyun’ symbol – a traditional Chinese stylised cloud associated with good luck and good fortune. It features on an all-red kit with yellow accents.

This is flipped for the away kit – the shirt, shorts and socks are all yellow with red accents.

Colombia

Colombia’s away kit takes inspiration from the Cano Cristales River – often referred to as the ‘River of Five Colours’ – which adidas says “celebrates the unique changing phenomenon that occurs due to the reflection of light against the water”.

The striking purple jersey has a marble-like pattern with light purple and pink hues, featuring yellow accents that give a nod to their traditional home kit colours.

The home kit will follow ahead of the tournament.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s home kit will come in their traditional red, with white and blue accents. The adidas kit will be paired with blue shorts and white socks.

The away kit will be all-white, featuring thin gold stripes down the front of the jersey. The back is plain white, apart from the final quarter, which features the stripes. The accents also come in gold and black.

England

The Lionesses model the new kit to be worn at this summer's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand (image: Nike)
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The Lionesses model the new kit to be worn at this summer’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand (image: Nike)

As Wembley celebrates its 100th year, England’s Nike home kit is inspired by the Art Deco movement and design of the stadium.

The home kit will feature the traditional white shirt, with its off-white tone imitating the original Wembley’s chalky white brick exterior in 1923. It is paired with blue shorts and white socks, also paying homage to the 1984 England team, the first women’s team assembled for a major tournament.

The all-blue away kit also features a geometric pattern which offers a nod to the Art Deco movement. The use of blue shorts on both kits comes after England players expressed concerns over wearing white shorts while on their periods.

France

France's Women's World Cup kits (image: Nike)
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France’s Women’s World Cup kits (image: Nike)

France’s kits – made by Nike – are inspired by Orphism, an art movement popularized in the 1920s, when the first French women’s football teams were taking the field.

The home kit features a light blue jersey and shorts with Orphism-inspired patterns, paired with red shorts. The trim features the red, white and blue of the French national flag.

The white away kit features a bespoke, hand-painted pattern cut into hexagon shapes with a lilac hue, again reminiscent of the Orphism art movement. It is paired with dark blue shorts and white shorts.

Germany

Germany's away kit for the Women's World Cup (image: adidas)
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Germany’s away kit for the Women’s World Cup (image: adidas)

Germany’s away jersey kit is, according to adidas, “inspired by the various deep green woodland areas found within the country – from the Black Forest to the Zauberwald”.

The kits come in hues of green with a handmade graphic print, with details in gold. It comes paired with black shorts.

The home kit will follow ahead of the tournament.

Italy

Italy will play a traditional all-blue kit featuring a marble pattern on the shirt and shorts. The adidas kit is trimmed in gold with white accents, including ‘Italia’ across the back of the neck.

The marble motif continues in an all-cream away kit, with a marble pattern in gold and blue. The trim also comes in blue, with green, red and white outlining the stripes on the shoulder.

Jamaica

Jamaica’s World Cup kits have been created in collaboration between adidas and fashion label, Wales Bonner.

The home kit features the traditional yellow jersey with thin vertical green stripes, accompanied by black and green accents as a nod to Jamaica’s flag. It will be accompanied by white shorts.

The away kit is a deep brown shirt and shorts. Along the neckline, arm cuffs and side panel of the jersey is a red, green and gold-striped design. The remaining accents are all gold.

Japan

Japan's away kit for the Women's World Cup (image: adidas)
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Japan’s away kit for the Women’s World Cup (image: adidas)

Japan’s away kit comes in striking pink and lilac. With purple around the top of the jersey and arms, the pink on the remainder takes inspiration from the sunrises at Mount Fuji. It is paired with lilac shorts and socks.

adidas describes the sunrise motif as “representing the collective mission of the Japanese team – as the Women’s World Cup emerges on the horizon – to add another winner’s star to the team badge”.

The home kit will follow ahead of the tournament.

Netherlands

The Netherlands' Women's World Cup kits (image: Nike)
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The Netherlands’ Women’s World Cup kits (image: Nike)

The Netherlands kits reflect the two identities of the counter – the red, blue and white of the country’s flag, and the bright orange synonymous with the Dutch.

The iconic orange home kit – made by Nike – includes a two-toned kit with a geometric pattern. The away kit is primarily dark blue with a light blue pattern. It also features red trim and a white badge, incorporating the colours of the national flag.

New Zealand

New Zealand's Women's World Cup kits (image: Nike)
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New Zealand’s Women’s World Cup kits (image: Nike)

Tournament co-hosts New Zealand have opted for an eye-catching kit, celebrating the country’s stunning landscapes and using the long-time symbol of their national identity – the silver fern.

The home kit comes in traditional black, with the silver fern imprinted across both the jersey and shorts. To create a distinct pattern, Nike designers used black and silver spray paint techniques.

The away kit – a white jersey and teal shorts with white socks featuring teal trim – is inspired by the 1991 squad, who took New Zealand to their first World Cup.

Nigeria

Nigeria's Women's World Cup kits (image: Nike)
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Nigeria’s Women’s World Cup kits (image: Nike)

As we have come to expect, Nigeria’s kits are exciting and eye-catching, blending the distinctiveness of local prints and patterns with the current styles from the fashion scene in Abuja.

The Nike home kit comes in the now well-known bright green, featuring a bespoke pattern on the arm cuffs and socks inspired by traditional Nigerian artwork and textiles.

The away kit, which comes in dark green with coral socks, combines modern and traditional prints. Looking closer at the graphics on the jersey and shorts, it pays homage to the team’s ‘Super Falcons’ nickname name.

Norway

Norway's Women's World Cup kits (image: Nike)
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Norway’s Women’s World Cup kits (image: Nike)

Both of Norway’s kits reflect the red, white and blue of their national flag, made by Nike. Their home kit features a red jersey with dark blue shorts and accents.

The away kit has a white shirt and socks with red shorts. Both the jersey and shorts have dark blue panelling, similar to the home offering.

Portugal

Portugal's Women's World Cup kits (image: Nike)
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Portugal’s Women’s World Cup kits (image: Nike)

According to Nike, Portugal’s kits offers a “nod to modern art and fashion as well as the country’s maritime roots and traditional craftsmanship to proudly represent Portuguese heritage”.

Their home kit remains rather traditional, with a red shirt and shorts featuring dark green panelling to reflect the country’s national flag.

The away kit offers an eye-catching motif, inspired by the country’s famous ‘calcada Portuguesa’ designs. Again drawing from Portugal’s flag and football crest, it has red, gold and green shapes on a light gold shirt.

It is accompanied by green shorts and light gold socks with green accents on the away jersey.

Republic of Ireland

For the Republic of Ireland’s first Women’s World Cup, they will wear their traditional green jersey for their home kit. It features green, white and gold trim – paying homage to the national flag – with ‘Eire’ on the back of the neck.

It will be paired with green socks and white shorts. The FAI added: “The FAI consulted with the senior leadership group within the squad and with management on the possibility of switching the colour of the shorts but with the supply of protective underwear the players felt that staying with white shorts was the preferred option.”

The away kit will follow ahead of the tournament.

South Korea

South Korea's Women's World Cup kits (image: Nike)
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South Korea’s Women’s World Cup kits (image: Nike)

According to kit manufacturer Nike, “the Korea National Team Collection is inspired by the country’s youth culture and globally renowned fashion style”.

They will wear red jerseys and shorts, with vibrant pink socks and accents. This includes panelling down the side of the kit, which aims to reflect the youthful spirit of the country and the team.

The away kit features a white shirt and black shorts. There is blocking along the side of the jersey inspired by the Korean fashion scene, pointing to the traditional ideas of balance and opposites on the Korean flag.

Spain

Spain's away kit for the Women's World Cup (image: adidas)
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Spain’s away kit for the Women’s World Cup (image: adidas)

Spain’s away jersey features an eye-catching floral design along the sides of the top, as well along the arms. It takes inspiration from the coral reefs found around Spain’s coast, which they share in common with tournament hosts Australia and New Zealand.

The lilac adidas jersey – which includes darker purple and pink accents – is paired with lilac shorts and socks.

The home kit will follow ahead of the tournament.

Sweden

Sweden's away kit for the Women's World Cup (image: adidas)
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Sweden’s away kit for the Women’s World Cup (image: adidas)

Sweden are keeping with their traditional yellow and blue for their World Cup away kit. The dark blue jersey draws from the glacial rivers and ice caps that are found throughout the country, with patches of lighter blue on the graphic print. It is highlighted with yellow accents.

The home kit will follow ahead of the tournament.

USA

USA's Women's World Cup kits (image: Nike)
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USA’s Women’s World Cup kits (image: Nike)

Much like the France kits, the USA offerings are inspired by the art movement of abstract expressionism. According to Nike, it “started in the 1940s in New York City as the art epicentre began to shift from Europe to the U.S. – similar to what the USA team has done for women’s football”.

The home kit features a white shirt with contrasting blue paint splatters. The “distinct drip-paint technique pattern” was done in the action-painting method of abstract expressionism. It is paired with dark blue shorts.

The all-blue away kit features a distinct pattern. The sleeve cuffs feature a unique red stars and stripes graphic print, with the neckline of the jersey also featuring red blades, formed to look like the tips of stars.

What is the World Cup schedule?

The group stage will begin on July 20 and run over a two-week period finishing on August 3 and see group winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16, which takes place from August 5 to August 8.

The quarter-finals, which will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for August 11 and 12.

The first semi-final will then be played on August 15 in Auckland, with the other semi-final taking place on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.

A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.