There are many indications that Norway is already ready for the World Cup when the qualification ends with a home game against Albania on 6 September. Norway is part of a Nordic application to host the European Championships in 2025, therefore the qualification for the World Cup in 2027 may be the next the Norwegian team participates in.
While Norway’s men’s national team has not been in a final game in 22 years, the women have qualified for 12 European Championship finals and eight World Cup finals in a row and are well on their way to being World Cup ready for the ninth time out of as many possible. Norway will play the European Championships in England this summer and most likely the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year.
In three years, there may be European Championship finals in part at home. The award will take place in December.
– It will be very positive if we get the opportunity to do so, although I am a little disappointed that there will be no matches in Bergen. The European Championships in Norway will contribute to greater commitment and greater interest. It will be important for grassroots football and those who come after us, who get to see where the top level is, says Vilde Bøe Risa.
It has been decided that there will be matches in Oslo and Trondheim if the Nordic application succeeds. Then there will also be matches in cities in Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
– I think it’s really cool. Women’s football is gaining momentum now, but in the public interest we are a little behind Sweden and southern parts of Europe. An EC can help, says Guro Bergsvand.
Norway has hosted the European Championships twice before. In 1987, Norway became European champions in a playoff with four teams. In 1997, it ended with a shipwreck in the group stage in a playoff with eight teams shared with Sweden. Since 2017, there have been 16 teams in the playoffs.
It is also not certain that all four countries will get a free place if the Nordic countries get the European Championships in 2025.
Under national team manager Martin Sjögren, Norway has 19 victories, a draw and one loss in qualifying matches for the World Cup and European Championships. One of the two points losses was 0-0 in Poland last autumn, and it will be revenge on Ullevaal.
Norway’s women’s national team has never given points in a World Cup qualifier at home that has meant anything to the outcome of the qualification. 34 home caps so far have given 33 wins and one loss. One defeat was against the Netherlands in 2014, when Norway was already the group winner and World Cup-ready.
The match against Poland is probably the last chance in several years to see those statistics put to the test.
Poland is also one of the rivals in the battle to become European Championship organizer in three years. France, Ukraine and Switzerland / Liechtenstein are also candidates. The final application deadline is October, and the decision will, as mentioned, fall in December.