The draw for the 2023 FIPFA World Cup took place yesterday for the upcoming tournament to be held in Sydney, Australia. Taking place from 15-21 October at the Quaycentre, Homebush, this will be the fourth World Cup for powerchair football and will be the second major football event held in Australia following the FIFA Women’s World Cup in July/August.
Ten nations will feature in the World Cup, with teams playing each other in a round-robin format and the top four qualifying for the semi-finals. The draw took place on Sunday at the Quaycentre during the Australian Powerchair Football Association’s Club Championships and was conducted by LOC Chair Dr Andy Harper, Socceroo Andrew Redmayne, David Henderson, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand for Biogen (one of the tournament’s sponsors), and Karen Jones, CEO of the NSW Office of Sport.
Australia’s national team, the Poweroos, will look to improve on their fourth place showing in the previous edition and will take on powerchair powerhouse, the USA, in the tournament’s opening game. The other first round matches will see Japan play defending champions France, England take on Argentina, Denmark locking horns with Ireland and Northern Ireland tackling Uruguay.
As well as assisting with the draw, Socceroo Andrew Redmayne helped launch the World Cup ball alongside Poweroo Tristram Peters. The tournament ball, named the Barrumatta, was designed by proud Worimi women, sisters Casey and Tia Manton. With distinctive First Nations designs, the Barrumata represents the coming together of people, specifically the 10 competing nations, to meet and play football as well as celebrating diversity and the increased participation and recognition of indigenous Australians in football.
FIPFA President, Ricky Stevenson, was officiating at the draw and believes the tournament organisation will guarantee an excellent event. “I have been in Australia for the past week inspecting the venue and operations and I know this will be the best World Cup we’ve had in powerchair football,” said Stevenson.
LOC Chair, Dr Harper was equally upbeat with what lay ahead. “After two Covid 19 postponements, October 2023 is now coming firmly into view. The power chair community is too often a hidden one. This tournament is going to be a fantastic celebration of these people and this sport,” said Harper. “We look forward to a great tournament, one that receives the support it deserves from every sector of our society and allows these magnificent players a chance to change people’s lives and perspectives.”
Poweroos representative Tristram Peters said that the national team is setting itself high targets for the tournament. “We finished in the top four in the last edition and have been working really hard so we can impress in front of our home crowd,” said Peters. “Defending champions France will be difficult as well perennial powerhouse the USA, but we have improved a lot and have home advantage, so that combination can propel us to the top. We hope to have as many people supporting us at our matches as possible.”
The tournament kicks-off on Sunday 15 October with free entry for all spectators.
2023 FIPFA World Cup
15-21 October 2023
A. Australia (World #4)
B. Japan (World #5)
C. England (World #3)
D. Northern Ireland (no world ranking)
E. Denmark (World #9)
F. Ireland (World #6)
G. Uruguay (World #8)
H. Argentina (World #7)
I. France (World #1)
J. USA (World #2)
Day One Matches
• Australia v USA
• England v Argentina
• Denmark v Republic of Ireland
• Uruguay v Northern Ireland
• France v Japan
Semi-finals and Final, Friday October 20
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