Legendary Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright says the Football Ferns will feel intense pressure as co-hosts of the FIFA Women’s World Cup but he urges them to use the home crowds to their advantage.
“You hope that they can use the momentum of the crowd, passion of the crowd to give them the extra boost that they are going to need because it’s going to be tough,” Wright has told Newshub.
Wright is one of a number of high-profile guests of FIFA for Saturday night’s draw for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, to be held at Auckland’s Aotea Centre and broadcast globally.
“Unfortunately, when you’re hosting it, the pressure is intense leading in, you feel that, so it’s for you to get there, and when you play — play with everything you got,” Wright said.
“Try and show people we are doing the best [you can], you may not be the best but we’re doing our best to show you guys we’re going to try and leave a mark on this World Cup in respect of our country hosting it.”
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Watch the Newshub interview
The draw will be made before more than 800 football and media visitors from around the world.
Teams have been seeded on their current FIFA world rankings, except for New Zealand and Australia who go into Pot 1 as co-hosts of the tournament.
New Zealand’s Football Ferns will be in Group A of the tournament.
Groups C, E and G will be hosted in New Zealand.
The two biggest drawcards for match attendances are expected to be champions United States and EURO champions England.
Except for European teams, teams from the same confederation can not be drawn in the same group.
Pot 1: New Zealand, Australia, United States, Sweden, Germany, England, France, Spain
Pot 2: Canada, Netherlands, Brazil, Japan, Norway, Italy, China, South Korea
Pot 3: Denmark, Switzerland, Republic of Ireland, Colombia, Argentina, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Jamaica
Pot 4: Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Morocco, Zambia, playoff winner A, playoff winner B, playoff winner C.
How to buy tickets
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Applications are open for volunteers who want to help make next February’s FIFA Women’s World Cup play-off tournament a success in Auckland and Hamilton. The tournament will decide the last three teams to qualify for the Women’s World Cup.
The volunteers will help at the stadia, training sites, hotels, Auckland Airport and transport hubs.
For more information and to apply online, go to: