CHICAGO (April 13, 2016) – The Final Draw for the 2016 Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament will take place on April 14 at 9 a.m. ET at the famed Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The women’s tournament will feature 12 nations drawn into three groups – E, F and G – that consist of four teams each. As host country, Brazil has been seeded, along with the top two teams in the current FIFA Women’s World Rankings – the United States and Germany.
As host, Brazil has been seeded into Group E at E1 and will play its first two games in Rio de Janeiro and its final group game in Manaus, which means the USA will be play its first two games in São Paulo (if it is drawn into Group F) and a third in either Salvador or Brasilia, or will play its first two games in Belo Horizonte (if it is drawn into Group G) with a third in either Manaus or Salvador.
FIFA’s general principle is to ensure that no group has more than one team from the same confederation drawn into it and therefore with the way the preliminary pots are set up, the USA can draw only seven teams: France and Sweden from Pot 2 (as Germany cannot play a European team in its group and thus must draw Australia), China PR or New Zealand from Pot 3 (as the USA cannot draw Canada), and any of the teams in Pot 4: Colombia, South Africa or Zimbabwe.
Should the USA draw an African team, it would mark the first meeting with either South Africa or Zimbabwe in team history. This will be the second world championship for South Africa, which participated in the 2012 Olympics, and the first world championship for Zimbabwe.
2016 Olympic Women’s Soccer Tournament Pot Allocation:
Pot 1: Brazil, USA, Germany
Pot 2: France, Australia, Sweden
Pot 3: Canada, China PR, New Zealand
Pot 4: Colombia, South Africa, Zimbabwe
The draw will start with Pot 1 and ends with Pot 4. Each pot is completely emptied before moving on to the next pot.
After a team is placed in a group, a ball will be drawn to place that team in its order in the group, e.g., F1, F2, F3 or F4.
At the Olympics, the top two finishers in each group, along with the two best third-place teams, will advance to the quarterfinal round.