PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 21: A general view of the FIFA Women's World Cup Trophy in front of the Eiffel Tower during the FIFA Women's World Cup Trophy Tour on May 21, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Catherine Steenkeste - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

2023 FIFA Women's World Cup 70-Day Countdown: Day 36 - News Update

More than halfway through our 70-Day Edge of the Crowd countdown to the much-anticipated FIFA Women’s World Cup, we’re taking a look at the biggest headlines making the news currently. With just over a month remaining on the clock until that electrifying first whistle, we aim to quench your thirst for knowledge by sharing the most significant news headlines surrounding this eminent global tournament.

FIFA agrees to European broadcast deal

FIFA has avoided a controversial blackout of some of the world's largest football nations, agreeing to a deal with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to broadcast the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup into Europe, and especially the 'Big Five' - France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

While there wasn't any official announcement regarding the financial details of the deal, it's a win for fans of the sport in Europe who now won't miss out on watching the showcase event this July and August, with the deal also involving the tournament being shown on free-to-air networks, as opposed to subscription channels.

Japan is the last major country where broadcasting rights remain unclear, with broadcasters having failed to strike a deal with FIFA just yet. As things stand, fans of the 2011 World Cup Champions Nadeshiko will be able to watch the tournament via the FIFA app, and without Japanese commentary.

Spanish players return from exile

Three players who formed part of Spain's Las 15 - a group who made themselves unavailable for selection due to the environment surrounding the national team and coach Jorge Vilda - have returned from a self-imposed exile that dates back to September last year.

Barcelona teammates Aitana Bonmati and Mariona Caldentey, as well as Manchester United's Ona Batlle have been included among Spain's 30-player preliminary squad ahead of its pre-tournament training camp, while reports state the remaining 12 are still protesting, believing not enough has been done in response to those concerns that were raised. Spain's final 23-player roster is set to be announced on June 30.

Edge of the Crowd partners with Her Game Too for the Women's World Cup, uniting our passion for diversity and inclusivity in sports. Together, we aim to dismantle barriers, tackle sexism, and amplify women's voices in the sporting realm. Join us in celebrating the spirit of the beautiful game, free of gender constraints. The love for the game knows no gender; let's make every game, Her Game Too. Head to @HerGameToo on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to learn more.

Volunteers to provide special commentary

A new form of sports commentary will be introduced at the FIFA Women's World Cup with a team of volunteers to make their audio commentary debuts that will enable blind and partially-sighted fans the chance to enjoy the tournament in a move that hopes to make the world game more accessible to all.

An intense training program has been given to the fledgeling commentators whose job it will be to provide the audio descriptive commentary to people with impairments the opportunity to see the game through their ears. The commentary differs to what would normally be heard on TV, instead giving quick details as opposed to player names where showing effort and creating an exciting atmosphere for those listening is the most important factor.

FIFA Secretary General to depart role

After seven years in the role, FIFA's Secretary General, Fatma Samoura, is set to depart the sporting body at the end of the year. The highest-profile woman working in world soccer, Samoura was the first woman, first Black person, first Muslim, and first non-European to be FIFA's top administrator.

Since taking on the role in 2016, Samoura's feats include overseeing the restructuring of FIFA, which included the appointments of two Deputy Secretary Generals and a new women's football division, helping oversee Men's World Cups in Russia and Qatar, and awarding the 2026 edition to the USA, Canada, and Mexico.

Stay tuned for what we have in store for you in the next 34 days of Edge of the Crowd's 70-Day FIFA Women's World Cup Countdown including a deep dive into the importance of women’s soccer on a global scale, a look at how teams qualified, a breakdown of the draw and much, much more.

To get the full experience of Edge of the Crowd's 70-Day Countdown to the FIFA Women's World Cup this July, don't forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Also don't forget to listen to the Australian World Cup Podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. New episodes out now!