2023 is shaping up to be a huge year for women’s football with the obvious highlight being the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in July and August. It will be the biggest tournament yet with 32 teams competing. There’s plenty of club action to look out for first though with the conclusion of the 2022/23 Champions League and the domestic season in Spain with Barcelona targeting the treble. Here are some of the key dates for women’s football in 2023.
Women’s Football in 2023 – Key Dates
Knockout Stages of the Champions League
Quarter Finals: March 21st-30th 2023
Semi Finals: April 22nd-30th 2023
Final: June 3rd 2023
The growth of women’s football has been increasingly obvious in recent years, with last season’s Champions League drawing record crowds of more than 90,000 to Camp Nou for Barça Femení’s Quarter Final and Semi Final ties.
It’s important that such figures don’t prove to be one-offs and Barcelona will no doubt be hungry to pack Camp Nou once more when the knockout stages of the Champions League begin in March. They are the only Spanish team remaining in the competition with Real Sociedad and Real Madrid having already been knocked out. The Catalans will be joined by Chelsea, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg, Roma, PSG and last season’s champions Lyon in the Quarter Finals. The draw for the last eight and last four will take place on February 10th.
The Final this season will take place in Eindhoven at the Philips Stadion on the first weekend in June.
Liga F 2022/23 Ends
Final Matchday: May 21st 2023
We are now well into the first season of Liga F in Spain, the first professional edition of the Primera División Femenina. There have still been a few roadblocks along the way with a referee’s strike delaying the start but we’ve had plenty of great action since.
Barcelona were convincing winners at the Alfredo Di Stefano in the Women’s Clasico in November to further underline their status as the undisputed team to beat. They maintain a 100% record at the time of writing having also won every single league game last season. It will take something extraordinary to prevent Jonatan Giráldez’s side from winning the title but both Las Blancas and Levante have also impressed and will be hoping to seal Champions League qualification by the time the season ends on the weekend of May 21st.
At the bottom, two teams will be relegated to the second tier. Alhama, playing at this level for the first time ever, are currently propping up the table and in danger of being cut adrift. However it could be a real battle to avoid the second relegation slot with a tightly congested bottom half of the table as it stands.
Copa de la Reina Conclusion
Semi Finals: May 23rd/24th 2023
Final: May 28th 2023
In the week following the conclusion of Liga F, we’ll have the Copa de la Reina Semi-Finals and Final. Barcelona are bidding for the fourth straight triumph in this competition having defeated Huelva 6-1 in last season’s Final.
As well as the participants, it’ll also be interesting to see what venue is chosen to host the games. Last season, there was criticism that in a year when the highest football attendance in Spain was for a female rather than male match, Alcorcón’s tiny 5,100 capacity Estadio Santo Domingo was chosen for the conclusion of the Copa while the 2021 edition took place in nearby Leganés.
FIFA Women’s World Cup
Tournament: 20th July-20th August 2023
The women’s World Cup in 2023 will take place down under in Australia and New Zealand. The two host nations will be joined by 30 others from around the world with the qualified teams including all of the previous Women’s World Cup winners – USA, Japan, Norway and Germany.
Along with those sides, current European champions England are expected to mount a strong challenge while the likes of France, Sweden and the Netherlands ought to be competitive. Spain are also one of the elite female sides although their chances of lifting the trophy have been damaged by a squad split that has seen a large number of players turn against coach Jorge Vilda.
The RFEF has refused to bow to pressure to sack Vilda and the result may be that Spain head to New Zealand for their group games against Japan, Costa Rica and Zambia, without a host of star names with Barcelona’s current Ballon d’Or holder Alexia Putellas among those to voice opposition against the coach.
The month-long tournament will conclude at the iconic Stadium Australia in Sydney on Sunday 20th August 2023 with the US hoping to defend the title they won four years ago in France.