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13 Things You Need To Know About The FIFA Women's World Cup 2015

The month-long tournament is about to kick off.

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3. The format is a bit different to the men's World Cup, as there are only 24 teams involved.

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This means there are six groups of four in the first round, with the top two teams in each group going through, as well as the four best third-placed teams. It will be decided on points, and then goal difference, so every goal potentially counts.

4. The six groups for the first round are:

Group A: Canada, China, New Zealand, Netherlands

Group B: Germany, Ivory Coast, Norway, Thailand

Group C: Japan, Switzerland, Cameroon, Ecuador

Group D: United States, Australia, Sweden, Nigeria

Group E: Brazil, South Korea, Spain, Costa Rica

Group F: France, England, Colombia, Mexico


5. The 24 teams qualified from a variety of different sources.

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Eight European teams from their qualification groups.

Three teams from the CONCACAF Women's Championship.

Three nations from the African Women's Championship.

Five teams from the Women's Asian Cup.

Two teams from the Copa America Femenina.

The OFC Women's Nations Cup winner.

The CONMEBOL-CONCACAF play-off winner.


9. All matches will be played on artificial turf, which has been the subject of significant complaints.

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Many have raised the issue that it is less safe for players, and affects the quality of play as well. Abby Wambach was at the centre of a group of elite players who filed a lawsuit against FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association, which has since been dropped, alleging that it was more likely to cause injuries. They also raised the question of discrimination, pointing out that the men's World Cup would only ever have been played on natural grass.

10. More specifically, there appear to be some issues with the turf in the BC Place stadium in Vancouver.

The turf was installed only around a week before the first games were scheduled to be played. However, this is much less time than it usually requires to be broken-in, and be an ideal surface to play on. FIFA's Don Hardman said to the media "It's been an aggressive schedule this week but we're confident we'll be ready to go."

12. It's fairly easy to watch, regardless of where you are.

In the US, FOX Sports Network will broadcast all 52 matches on its three main channels. Spanish-language broadcasts in the US will be on Telemundo, NBC Universo, and online at NBC Deportes.

In the UK, all the games will be Freeview, primarily on BBC 3 and BBC Red Button, with some later stage games on BBC 1 and BBC 2.