Two Years to Women’s World Cup

Thursday marks two years to go until the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Canada 2015 kicks off in two years’ time. (FIFA)
“We all saw last week how momentum continues to grow as we march towards what will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our country,” said Canada 2015 CEO Peter Montopoli, referencing Sunday’s record crowd of 22,453 who turned out to watch Canada versus USA in Toronto.
“It is incredible to think that we are now just two short years away from welcoming the world for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015.”
Also on Sunday, organizers unveiled the official emblem for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and revealed Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Moncton as the host cities.
Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton are the six cities staging matches during the 2015 showpiece, scheduled for June 6 to July 5.

AFC President Congratulates Japan

Asian Football Confederation President Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa is among the first to congratulate Japan on its qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
President Sheikh Salman (AFC)
The berth to Brazil was booked late Tuesday in Saitama when Keisuke Honda netted a last-minute penalty against Australia. The score drew the Samurai Blue even with the Socceroos at 1-1, enough for Japan to clinch a trip to the 2014 finals.
“I was delighted to learn that Asian champions Japan are the first side to qualify for the festival of world football,” Sheikh Salman wrote Wednesday to Japan Football Association President Kuniya Daini.
“I wish the team the very best as they seek to fly high the Asian flag on the world stage.”
With three automatic berths from Asia still remaining, the AFC president added: “With just two more rounds left, the race to represent Asia is going to be very exciting. I wish all the teams luck.”

Strong Ticket Sales In Israel

Play is underway at the 2013 European Under-21 Football Championship in Israel.
Netanya Stadium (UEFA)
According to UEFA, more than 100,000 tickets were sold ahead of Wednesday’s kickoff in Netanya between Norway and the hosts, meaning most matches will be played in full stadiums.
Israel’s other two group games are also proving popular with more than 18,500 tickets sold for June 11 against England at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem.
There are 300,000 total tickets for the tournament, including 70,000 invitation tickets for UEFA, sponsors and such.

Beach Soccer World Cup Draw Takes Shape

Tahiti will open the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup on Sept. 19 against United Arab Emirates, the official draw determined Thursday.
Thursday’s official draw (FIFA)
The 16-team tournament will be played in Papeete, the capital of the French Polynesian island of Tahiti, with matches running through Sept. 28.
Here’s the breakdown of the draw:

Group A:
Tahiti, United Arab Emirates, Spain, USA 

Group B:
Netherlands, OFC qualifier, Argentina, El Salvador 

Group C:
Brazil, Iran, Senegal, Ukraine
Group D: Russia, Japan, Paraguay, Côte d’Ivoire
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson

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