The 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand promises to be the most-watched edition yet of the premier event in women’s football.
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It will also be the first event to be staged in multiple nations and the first to feature 32 teams, which means more games than previous World Cups and a more competitive event. Staged over the course of a month from 20 July to 20 August, the 2023 World Cup will be enjoyed by millions of viewers around the world, including supporters of the England team, which won the European Championship last season. So, if you’re planning on watching the tournament in England, check out our quick guide.
Group stage action
The tournament begins with the group stage action, featuring eight groups with four teams in each, from which 16 teams progress to the knockout round. This is the stage of the tournament in which viewers get to see all of the teams in action, and the smaller nations will have the chance to take on the better-established teams. There are usually plenty of upsets along the way to the next round.
The first knockout round is where the real drama begins. Getting under way on 5 August, this stage of the tournament features 16 teams in a straightforward knockout contest, leading to the final, held at Stadium Australia in Sydney on 20 August. Knockout football means there is no room for mistakes, and matches that are not decided in normal time go to a penalty shootout, which provides even more nail-biting tension for fans gathered in bars and pubs.
Boxpark Croydon, Shoreditch and Wembley
There’s always something on in the capital and London’s Boxpark venues, particularly the Croydon location, have become famous for hosting sports screenings in the city, thanks partially to the viral videos of celebrating fans that have graced social media in recent years. For this year’s World Cup, tickets are already on sale at all three venues for the England games and are likely to sell out well in advance.
Big Penny Social, Walthamstow
The well-known social venue Big Penny Social is a popular spot for big events, thanks to its huge area, and this year, it will be showing every England game on the big screen. It will also be showing the knockout round game between the winner of Group D and the runner-up of Group B. Admission is free, although it is usually a good idea to book a table in advance.
TOCA Social, North Greenwich
TOCA Social is an interactive football venue inside the well-known O2 Arena and will be showing all of the England games throughout the World Cup, opening earlier to accommodate fans, while all of the other World Cup games staged during its normal opening hours will also be shown.
If you want to try out the TOCA Social experience, there are multiple seating packages you can consider, including tables for up to eight people, private boxes or executive areas, with refreshments all part of the package. They will also be offering Work and Watch deals, giving you a seat, coffee and tea, and either lunch or breakfast for a price of £20 per person.
Four Thieves, Battersea
The Four Thieves in Battersea is showing all of the England group games and the first of these, which is on 22 July, will feature a bottomless brunch! It is also likely that the venue will show subsequent England games, although you may want to check with them directly.
The Regent, Balham
As with the Four Thieves, the Regent is hosting a screening brunch on 22 July for the opening game of England’s campaign, against Haiti, and you can be sure that if England pull off the expected win, there will be a party going on well past lunchtime!
Many of the Livelyhood pubs in the south of London will be showing World Cup games that are staged within the regular opening hours of the venue. These include The Old Frizzle, Wimbledon, The Rosy Hue, Elephant and Castle, and the Perky Nel in Clapham.
Watching at home
Of course, you can also follow the World Cup action at home. The good news for England fans is that the BBC and ITV are covering half of the games each for free, though you will have to confirm that you have a TV licence if you want to watch on the BBC iPlayer. If you are travelling and still want to watch through the BBC or ITV, there are many VPN services that enable you to follow the action.
Other Women’s Sports Events in 2023
The World Cup is not the only women’s sports event to take place in the second half of 2023, and there is plenty of action to follow across multiple sports.
Netball World Cup
Netball is a rare sport in that it is mostly played by women, and the netball World Cup has established itself as one of the most interesting events in the sports calendar.
This year’s edition will be the 16th World Cup, and will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, between July 28 and August 6, which will be the first time that an African city has hosted this tournament. South Africa came fourth in the World Cup of 2019, and will be hoping for a strong showing in front of a home audience, but England and Jamaica will have hopes of challenging Australia and New Zealand, who have fought out the last six World Cup finals.
Women’s Open Golf
The second half of 2023 brings us a pair of top-quality competitions in the world of women’s golf, starting with the Women’s Open. This is the 47th year of the tournament and it will be staged at Walton Heath in Surrey for the first time, between August 10 and August 13. Ashleigh Buhai will be defending her title in Surrey, having won the 2022 tournament in a playoff at Muirfield, where she beat Chun In-Gee of South Korea. There are qualification days on July 17 and August 7 with a practice day on August 8 so there will be plenty of opportunity to catch some top-class golf.
While men’s golf continues to be divided, the women’s game is flourishing on both sides of the Atlantic and this year is the first of back-to-back Solheim Cups, the compelling team event that pits the United States against Europe. The 2023 edition sees one of the heroes of the European win in 2019, Suzann Pettersen, capturing the Europe team, while Stacy Lewis has the task of regaining the trophy for the US. Lewis will be helped, however, by the fact that she can call on an array of top players, including Lilia Vu, who has risen rapidly up the LPGA rankings, Nelly Korda, the world number two and Lexi Thompson, who is returning to her best form.
US Open Tennis
The final Grand Slam event of the season takes place at Flushing Meadow, New York and promises to be a fascinating clash of the very best on the WTA Tour. Unlike the previous two Grand Slam events on the calendar, the US Open does not offer a significant advantage to specialists, and the result is often a wide-open event that can be hard to predict, but which provides plenty of entertainment. This year the tournament runs from August 29 to September 10 and although Iga Swiatek will be favourite to defend her title, she will face strong challenges from the likes of Aryna Sabalenka, Ons Jabeur and Elena Rybakina.
Top London Sports Events in 2023
Stepping outside the world of women’s sport, there is a lot happening in the sports world in London in the remainder of 2023. Here are some of the main events to look forward to.
Challenge Cup Final
London is not a big Rugby League city, but Wembley is the most famous stadium in the country and in August, it is where fans of the two Challenge Cup finalists will converge for the latest edition of this long-standing and prestigious tournament that was first played in 1896.
This year, the final takes place on August 12, and will be between Leigh Leopards, playing in its first ever Challenge Cup final and Hull KR, which is competing in the final for the seventh time, although has won the tournament just once, back in 1980.
NFL Games in London
The annual visit of the NFL to London has become a highlight of the capital’s sports year, and this year there will be three games played in London all during October.
On October 1, the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that has been a regular in London over the years, will be playing its tenth game at Wembley Stadium, taking on the Atlanta Falcons. A week later, the Jaguars are in action again, this time against the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The final game of the three takes place on October 15 between the Tennessee Titans and the Baltimore Ravens, also at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Tickets for these events sell out well in advance, but all three games will be covered by sports channels and there is a unique quality to the spectacle of NFL games taking place in London, which makes for highly entertaining viewing, whether you are able to get to the game or watch it elsewhere.
Tottenham v Arsenal
Arsenal surprised everyone when they made a powerful challenge for the Premier League title during the 2022/23 season and this year, Mikel Arteta’s team will be going all out to improve and finally get their hands on the trophy. Standing in their way, however, will be several Premier League big guns, including local rivals Tottenham Hotspur, now under the management of Ange Postcoglou.
Last season, Spurs came off second best in the duel between the two north London rivals, finishing eighth in the Premier League and losing both of their matches against Arsenal in the league. So there will be plenty riding on the first north London derby of the season, which takes place on September 23 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Other Premier League London Derbies
This season there will be seven London clubs competing in the Premier League and that means a significant chunk of the fixtures will be London derbies.
Among the other significant derbies that London sports fans will be able to enjoy in the second half of 2023 is the clash between West Ham and Chelsea on August 19, a fixture that is always keenly fought, and the west London derby between Fulham and Chelsea on September 30. The games between Chelsea and Tottenham and Chelsea and Arsenal, on November 4 and October 21 respectively will also be highlights and could have an impact on the direction of the Premier League.