By 90Min
June 03, 2019

This year's FIFA Women's World Cup will be the biggest and best yet. That is something that you have been told repeatedly for the last few weeks and months as the tournament nears.

But simply saying it over and over again doesn't just make it true. So here's a look at seven actual reasons why 2019 really will be the biggest and best Women's World Cup yet...


VAR

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The standard of the officials chosen by FIFA at previous World Cups has been criticised in the past, which means four years of further referee development and the advent of the VAR era promises to ensure the bad calls of tournaments in years gone by are not repeated in 2019.


New Kits

Typically the hallmark of the United States and Germany, more countries than ever before have launched new specific women's kits for this summer, including France, England and Australia.

Most sides have previously worn the same strip as their male counterparts, but now kits are being designed with women's teams in mind. What's more, many replica versions are being sold in both women's and men's size, so nobody is excluded from supporting their country.


Ticket Sales

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FIFA confirmed as early as mid-April that more than 720,000 World Cup tickets had been sold, with BBC reporting that was around 60,000 more than had been sold at a similar stage in 2015.

The final and semi finals sold out very quickly, while a number of group stage fixtures, including the tournament opener between France and South Korea, and the United States versus Sweden had also sold out. Since that time, further group games have sold out, while availability for the quarter finals is limited - one is already sold out.

It all points to a new Women's World Cup attendance record being set in 2019. The existing record is a shade over the 1.35m people who attended games in Canada four years ago.


Prize Money

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The financial stakes in terms of just competition prize money are literally double what they were in 2015, with FIFA announcing that the Women's World Cup prize money in 2019 will be around $30m, up from the $15m that was split between the countries in 2015.

The winner will receive $4m, twice the prize pot awarded to the United States last time.

FIFA has also allocated $20m to pay for travel, training and to compensate club teams who have lost players to the tournament in the middle of a domestic season.


Marketing

Nike have a history of creating iconic adverts for men's World Cup and European Championships, including the famous 'Winner Stays On' in 2014 and 'Write the Future' in 2010, but now in 2019 there is one for the Women's World Cup, the aptly named 'Dream Further'.

It features numerous superstar players expected to light up the tournament, including 2017 Best FIFA Women's Player Lieke Martens, England's Fran Kirby and Australia's Sam Kerr.

Elsewhere, other brands are now increasingly aware of the growing popularity and potential in women's football, with this World Cup the perfect way to get involved.


Better Teams

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With women's football inexplicably banned in England for half a century until the 1970s and worldwide international games not really taking off until the 1980s and later, the sport remains in its infancy compared to its male equivalent which has been developing unbroken for 160 years. But today's female players are faster, fitter and technically better than ever before.

That means that each major international tournament continues to showcase improving teams and players, while even the chasm of quality within those tournaments - Germany beat Ivory Coast 10-0 and Switzerland beat Ecuador 10-1 at the last World Cup - is quickly shrinking.

"I would say that this will be the hardest World Cup to win because the number of quality teams, teams that are growing the game, the personalities of the players - our game is growing and growing," USA coach Jill Ellis told FIFA.com earlier this year. "I think people feel that and I think it's going to be an amazingly competitive World Cup with a lot of memorable moments."


More Contenders Than Ever Before

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That improved quality also points to a group of contenders that is bigger than ever before.

In the past it has been hard to look beyond the United States and Germany, with the two heavyweights winning five out of seven Women's World Cups between them since 1991. And while they obviously remain among the pre-tournament favourites in 2019, the group of countries capable of going all the way and lifting the trophy is bigger than ever before.

France are fancied on home soil, England are ranked third in the world by FIFA, Australia have a very potent team, Canada are defensively strong, Netherlands are reigning European champions, Sweden won silver at the 2016 Olympics and Japan have an excellent squad.

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