Next Friday, the first edition of the Women’s Nations League begins. Sweden faces the toughest opponent imaginable directly in world champion Spain.
But the Nations League also serves as Olympic qualifiers for the games to be held in Paris next summer. A total of three teams from Europe arrived there.
France, as the host country, qualifies for the direct qualifiers. After that, there are only two places left for Europe to compete for.
Sweden rejoices in the new form that eliminates both.
-If we had followed the old way, Sweden would have disappeared, and Great Britain and Spain would have played the Olympics (they went the furthest in the World Cup). In the past, we had difficulty obtaining a separate Olympic qualification, says national team director Marika Domanski-Lefors, who continues:
– These matches will be of great importance. Then it is difficult considering that we have three World Cup countries in our group (Spain, Switzerland and Italy).
Criticism: “Just drive”
What does not please the Swedish team is the silence surrounding the number of teams qualifying for the Olympics.
– In this case, nothing has happened for four years. I don’t even know if you have discussions. I don’t know what is the reason for not making changes. “I think it’s strange these times,” says Peter Gerhardsson.
The Swedish national team captain is frustrated that there are not a large number of teams on the women’s and men’s sides. 16 national under-21 teams have made it to the Olympics, and 12 national teams on the women’s side.
– I think that’s the biggest mistake of all in the whole thing. If there was a wise person at the IOC or at FIFA who cooperated with the soccer tournament, maybe he would change things. At least they should be equal. I know we brought this up before the Olympics in Japan as well, he says and continues.
-You just keep going. The danger is that you lose interest in women’s football, with these increased matches in the Champions League and hopefully the Europa League in the long run, so perhaps the Olympics have done their part. You have the option to include more teams, but I think it is poorly managed.
“Now one disappears”
National team director Marika Domanjski Lefors has been procrastinating on this issue for several years, apparently without results.
-We want to get more places in Europe and we also want to work with more teams. It’s a weird format. But the Olympic movement has a different view on the matter. They want to bring the whole world. They try to keep active people down because they want to include other sports as well. It’s almost always the case that when a sport comes in, it’s a sport to get out of.
She believes what they want to reduce is the number of active players, but she believes Europe should get more places given how European teams are placed in the World Cup.
– It seems a bit stingy and strange when there are only three places and now one place is disappearing with France.
Sweden will meet Spain on September 22nd in the first match of the European Nations League.
The Spanish players arrive here – after the boycott
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