England will discover their group opponents for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada on Saturday as the official draw takes place in the country’s capital region of Ottawa-Gatineau, live on British Eurosport 2.
The Lionesses will go into the tournament with high hopes having booked their place for the 2015 finals after breezed through their qualifying group with a 100 per cent win record, with Mark Sampson’s side scoring 52 times and conceding just once.
Of those 52 goals, Chelsea Ladies striker Eniola Aluko netted a quarter of them, including a hat-trick in the 10-0 demolition of Montenegro in the final qualifying match in September.
Canada 2015 marks the first time that 24 teams will take part in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is set to take place across six cities from coast to coast – Edmonton, Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Winnipeg – between June 6 and July 5.
The eyes of the football world will turn to Ottawa, the host nation’s capital city, which will stage the draw for the prestigious contest on December 6.
From 5.00pm UK time onwards, in the confines of the Canadian Museum of History, nations competing in the seventh edition of the tournament, will find out which opponents lie in wait for them next year.
The four teams that have shared the six previous global crowns between them will all be present in the draw, with two-time winners Germany and United States, as well as Norway and Japan, set to be highly fancied, but there will also be numerous teams in Canada that can be considered dark horses, such as Brazil, France, China, Sweden and England.
The draw ceremony itself is scheduled to last almost an hour, during which Canada will provide a taste of what awaits for all competing nations and fans who will coming from all over the world to watch.
All this will come courtesy of cultural and artistic performances, appearances from national sporting legends, and speeches and videos presenting the competition and the host nation, as well as the latter’s passion for sport and women’s football in particular.
By the end of the ceremony, the 24 teams taking part will have been divided into six pools of four, and all of the fixtures as well as the schedule of group-stage matches will have been determined, with the team going head-to-head against hosts Canada in the opening match on June 6 in Edmonton also set to be known.
Overseeing affairs in Ottawa will be Jerome Valcke, FIFA Secretary General, and Tatjana Haenni, FIFA Deputy Director of the Competitions Division and Head of Women’s Football, who will both be assisted by a number of national celebrities, including Kara Lang, an iconic Canadian forward.
Next year’s Women’s World Cup is set be the outstanding highlight of the 2015 international football calendar and all 52 matches from the pinnacle of the women’s game will be broadcast live on UK terrestrial television for the first time by BBC Sport.
The corporation will provide comprehensive coverage of next year’s tournament on TV, radio and online, with all 52 games from the group stages to the final set to air across BBC Two, BBC Three and BBC Red Button.
Women’s football’s biggest showpiece will therefore receive the most extensive coverage ever on free-to-air television, while pan-European broadcaster British Eurosport will also screen its own live coverage of every match from the tournament.
The all-important draw on Saturday, December 6, kick starts the build-up to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and fans can find out who plays who in the group phase of next year’s competition by watch live coverage of the draw on British Eurosport 2, starting at 5.00pm.
Alongside live TV coverage of the group stage draw in Canada, live streaming of the entire hour-long ceremony can be viewed online via the official FIFA YouTube channel (see video player below).
For further background and build-up to the the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, visit fifa.com/womensworldcup.
Saturday 6th December
FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 Draw
LIVE: 5.00pm-6.00pm British Eurosport 2 / FIFA TV