Skip to content

Next Stop: World Cup!

The Haitian women’s soccer team has qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time in history.

A team of women in uniforms and some men pose on a soccer field with a banner that says qualified.

Luis Veniegra/SOPA Images—LightRocket/Getty Images

Haiti’s national women’s soccer team poses for a photo after qualifying for the Women’s World Cup.

When the world’s best women’s soccer players face off this summer at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Haiti will be there. The Haitian women’s soccer team defeated Chile in the qualifying rounds in February, securing its spot in the world’s biggest women’s soccer event.  

Nineteen-year-old Melchie “Corventina” Dumornay scored twice in the 2–1 victory against Chile, proving to the world that Haiti, which ranks 53rd out of 188 countries in women’s soccer, is a force to be reckoned with. The players say their biggest strength is teamwork.

“We trust in ourselves,” team captain Nérilia Mondésir told Reuters. “We do everything together. Even when we lose, we fight for every blade of grass.” 

Athletes in Haiti face challenges that go beyond the soccer field. While many other teams have sponsors—companies or government agencies that help pay for their training and travel—the Haitian team does not. Poverty is widespread in Haiti, and it has been made worse by natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Because of an increase in crime, the nation’s professional soccer players play home games in neighboring country the Dominican Republic. 

But it would take a lot to dim Haiti’s enthusiasm for soccer. When the Haitian women’s team qualified for the World Cup, fans were elated. The fact that the women’s team had never qualified for the World Cup made it even more special. (The men’s team last qualified in 1974.) Though the event will take place in Australia and New Zealand, Haitian fans will be following all the action.

“Maybe they’ll reach the quarterfinals,” 13-year-old fan Noah Yann Hilarie told the Associated Press. “That would be huge, amazing. I hope that happens.”

In Haiti’s first game, on July 22, the team will face off against England, which is ranked fourth in the world. It’ll be a tough match-up, but the players will give it their all, knowing they’ve already made history.

“We’re battlers. That’s probably our best quality,” said Mondésir. “We battle to the end, even when our opponents are stronger than us on paper.”

Did You Know?

Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Haiti was once a French colony, but it gained its independence after a group of formerly enslaved people rose up against the French settlers. Haiti was declared independent in 1804. It was also the first nation to fully ban slavery.

The Women’s World Cup

Four images show soccer players during games and celebrating after games.

© Paparazzofamily/Dreamstime.com, © feelphoto/Shutterstock.com, Philippe Bouchard/AP Images

The World Cup brings together the best soccer players from around the world.

The FIFA World Cup is the biggest soccer (or football) event on the planet. It’s so massive, in fact, that it takes place only once every four years. The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will take place in Australia and New Zealand. You can catch it on TV or online between July 20 and August 20. Here’s what you can expect.

Who is playing in the 2023 World Cup? 

The 2023 event will bring together the best women’s national soccer teams in the world. (The Men’s World Cup also takes place every four years, but not in the same year as the women’s event. The men’s event last took place in 2022.)

Thirty-two teams will compete in the Women’s World Cup this year. That’s eight more than the 24 teams that took part in the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Who is favored to win? 

The United States, which won the 2019 Women’s World Cup, continues to have the number one ranked women’s soccer team in the world and is favored to win. However, many of the team’s players are injured and won’t be able to participate. Other favorites include England, Spain, and Germany.

How does it work? 

Teams are divided into groups A through H, with four teams in each group. 

At the start of the event, each group’s teams play against each other until a group winner is determined. 

After that, group winners and runners-up will play against each other. For example, the winner of Group A will play against the runner-up of Group C. 

The winners of these games will play against each other in the quarterfinals.

Then those winners will play against each other in the semifinals.

The winners of the semifinals will play in the final for the championship.

Soccer’s Biggest Match-Up

A group of uniformed soccer players gathered and reaching up to touch a trophy as confetti falls.

© Jose Breton- Pics Action/Shutterstock.com

Members of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team celebrate after winning the World Cup in 2019.

The World Cup dates back to 1930, but the event was limited to men’s teams until 1991. That year, the United States won the first Women’s World Cup.

You can learn more about World Cup soccer at Britannica School.

WORD OF THE DAY

pluck

PART OF SPEECH:

noun

Definition:

: a quality that makes you continue trying to do or achieve something that is difficult : courage and determination

Definitions provided by
Merriam-Webster Logo

Word Search

All of the countries listed (and more) will take part in the Women’s World Cup. See if you can find them here.

O
O
O
O
O
O

In Case You Missed It

The Hoover Dam made the Southwestern United States a lot more livable, but is our planet paying the price? Author Simon Boughton shares his thoughts.
April 18, 2024
Archaeologists have unearthed the ruins of a medieval castle and some of its contents.
April 15, 2024
In a recent survey, teens and parents were asked for their views on phone use.
April 10, 2024
Engineers built a test track for the hyperloop, which could allow for land travel that’s as fast as an airplane.
April 8, 2024