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SPECIAL Fuel Soccer Talk: Inside 50 days to FIFA Women’s World Cup

Let the countdown to Franc begin!

Ticket sales for FIFA Women’s World Cup “smashing records”

This past week marked 50 days until the eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in France, and FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) are proud to announce that ticket sales for the competition are smashing records, with over 720,000 sold so far.The opening match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 at Paris’ Parc de Princes is sold out, as are the two semi-finals and the final, which will all be held at the Stade de Lyon. Seats for each of these games were snapped up within 48 hours of individual match tickets going on sale. Tickets for three group-stage fixtures – the Netherlands v. Cameroon in Valenciennes on 15 June, Nigeria v. France in Rennes on 17 June and Sweden v. USA in Le Havre on 20 June – have also sold out in record time.

“Today is a symbolic date that takes us a step closer to the beginning of the competition, which kicks off on 7 June at the Parc des Princes in Paris. We are all eagerly looking forward to the start of this FIFA Women’s World Cup and ticket sales show that the French public and foreign fans feel the same way,”said LOC Director Erwan Le Prévost last week.

FIFA’s Chief Commercial Officer, Philippe Le Floc’h, said: “The eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup will see the greatest female footballers from around the globe travel to France this summer. Ticket sales figures show that people are excited about the competition and we are looking forward to seeing the stadiums across France packed with passionate fans.”

FOR TICKETS

Which early round matches would you like to see live?

Japan’s Rumi Utsugi talks upcoming World Cup

Rumi Utsugi, the 30-year-old defensive midfielder who has played in three World Cups for Japan, is a tangible and important reminder to every young player in head coach Asako Takakura’s side that the “impossible” is possible; they can become champions because Utsugi has already done it. Utsugi was on the podium in Frankfurt, Germany on July 17, 2011 when Homare Sawa lifted the World Cup trophy in the air as Japan stunned USA 3-1 on penalties to become the first Asian nation to win the World Cup.

Utsugi, who now plays for Seattle Reign in the NWSL – playing with and against many players that will feature at France 2019 – recently answered questions for FIFA.Com.

Among the topics was of course the upcoming World Cup in France: “We’ve got a lot more young players in the squad now and obviously the coach is different as well. So, everything feels new. I think, for upcoming tournaments, one of our strengths will be that we all have a shared perspective. That said, you can see individuality from different players, which is quite exciting and motivating. From a personal standpoint, I feel that I need to step up.”

For the full interview

What are the best parts of Rumi Utsugi’s game?

Fox’s flagship broadcast network will carry 22 World Cup games

Twenty-two of the 52 World Cup games will air on Fox’s flagship broadcast network, the most women’s World Cup games on over-the-air TV in American history. Twenty-seven will air on Fox Sports 1, and three will air on Fox Sports 2.

If the U.S. national team wins its group and makes the final, all of their games except one — the Round of 16 contest — are slated to be broadcast on Fox’s network. Other notable group-stage games on over-the-air Fox include England-Scotland on June 9, Germany-Spain and France-Norway on June 12, Australia-Brazil on June 13, and Netherlands-Canada on June 20. In the knockout rounds, Fox will air two round of 16 games, two quarterfinals, one semifinal, the third-place game and the final. Fox Sports 1 will carry the other contests.

Philadelphia Union play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera, the most decorated of all American soccer broadcasters, will be Fox’s lead voice of U.S. women’s national team games. He’ll be joined by former U.S. national team midfielder Aly Wagner, his broadcast partner for the past few years. This will be Dellacamera’s sixth women’s World Cup, and his 15th overall after nine men’s tournaments.

“This is so special, because for me it’s a milestone,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Fifteen is a number that if you had asked me years ago, I would never have guessed I would do that many.”

How does JP Dellacamera compare to say Doc Emrick or Al Michaels? 

LET’S TALK: OK, now you’ve read what’s on my mind…what are your thoughts on the above or any other “football” happenings?

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