After finishing fourth in Group B of the UEFA Women’s EURO, the Malta women’s national team was placed in Pot 5 ahead of the European qualifying group stage draw for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup which will be held on April 30.
The record 51 contenders will be split into six groups of six teams, and three of five, to be played between September 2021 and September 2022.
The teams are divided into six pots based on the UEFA women’s national team coefficient ranking issued after the conclusion of the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 qualifying group stage.
Pots 1 to 5 contain nine teams each and Pot 6 contains the six remaining teams. The draw starts with Pot 1 and then continues with Pot 2 until Pot 6. Each pot is emptied entirely before proceeding to the next pot.
As a rule and for each pot, the teams drawn are allocated in alphabetical order from Group A to Group I. When a draw condition applies or is anticipated to apply, the team drawn is allocated to the first available group in alphabetical order. Since Pot 6 only contains six teams, these teams are drawn into the sixth positions in Groups D to I.
Based on the UEFA Executive Committee decisions valid at the time of the draw, the following teams cannot be drawn into the same group: Armenia & Azerbaijan, Kosovo & Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo & Serbia, Kosovo & Russia, Ukraine & Russia
Pot 1: Netherlands, Germany, England, France, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Italy, Denmark
Pot 2: Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Iceland, Scotland, Russia, Finland, Portugal, Wales
Pot 3: Czech Republic, Ukraine, Republic of Ireland, Poland, Slovenia, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland
Pot 4: Slovakia, Hungary, Belarus, Croatia, Greece, Albania, North Macedonia, Israel, Azerbaijan
Pot 5: Turkey, Malta, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Latvia
Pot 6: Montenegro, Lithuania, Estonia, Luxembourg, Armenia, Bulgaria
Germany are aiming to follow their wins in 2003 and 2007 while the Netherlands were runners-up in 2019. Cyprus are making their Women’s World Cup debut while Luxembourg take part in a full qualifying group stage for the first time.
The winners of the nine qualifying groups will progress directly to the finals with the runners-up taking part in the UEFA play-offs in October 2022.
In the play-offs, the three best runners-up will be seeded directly to round 2 of the play-offs. The six remaining runners-up contest three single-leg play-offs in round 1. The three winners from round 1 and the three teams seeded directly to round 2 will then compete in single-leg play-offs determined by a draw. The two play-off winners with the highest ranking (based on results in the qualifying group stage and round 2 play-offs) will qualify for the finals. The remaining play-off winner will compete in the inter-confederation play-offs.
Qualifying group stage
13–21 September 2021
18–26 October 2021
22–30 November 2021
4–12 April 2022
29 August–6 September 2022