**As FIFA inter-continental Play-off starts Saturday
By Harry Awurumibe, Africa’s No.1 Women Football Journalist
Africa may get extra slots as Cameroon, Senegal and eight other nations fight for the remaining three slots to complete the 32-team 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup final billed for Australia and New Zealand this summer.
Both Cameroon and Senegal will this weekend be in action as the FIFA Inter-continental Play-off which will produce the remaining three slots kick-off in two cities in New Zealand. It will run from February 18 to 23, 2023.
The Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon will on Saturday, February 18 at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton, tackle their Asian counterpart, Thailand in the Group A semi-final match.
The winner of the tie between Cameroon and Thailand on Saturday will then face European representatives, Portugal in the final to determine the Group A winner on February 22 also in Hamilton.
Also, the winner of play-off Group A will be playing in Group E in the 2023 FIFA Women’s Cup tournament proper.
The second African representatives, Senegal playing in Group B, will battle North American country Haiti in the semi-final match also on Saturday,
February 18 at North Harbour Stadium, Auckland.
The winner will then face South Americans, Chile in the final at same venue on February 22 just as the winner of Group B, will enter in Group D in the main tournament proper.
However, four countries will compete in Group C of the Play-off for the remaining one ticket to play in Group F in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup final of the global tournament.
The four nations to play in the semi-final in this group are Chinese Taipei (Asia); Paraguay South (America); Papua New Guinea (Oceania) and Panama North (America) respectively.
The first match of Group C billed for Sunday, February 19, will see Chinese Taipei take on Paraguay in the first semi-final match at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton while Papua New Guinea and Panama will clash in the second semi-final tie later in the day at North Harbour Stadium, Auckland.
Winners of the Chinese Taipei versus Paraguay match will face the winner of Papua New Guinea and Panama clash in the epic final on
February 23 at Waikato Stadium, Hamilton.
Sportsrevelation reports that the winners of the three Play-off groups will complete the 32-nation expanded 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup final in Australia and New Zealand. Besides, should Cameroon and Senegal qualify from their groups, the number of African representatives in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup final will rise to six.
Already qualified are African Champions South Africa; 2nd Best team- Morocco; Bronze medallists- Zambia and 4th placed nation Nigeria.