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FIFA's final tiebreaker for Women's World Cup will be the drawing of lots

Women’s World Cup trophy Women’s World Cup trophy - The Canadian Press

SYDNEY (AP) — What happens if teams finishing even on points cannot be separated by all of FIFA’s tournament tiebreakers following the completion of the group stage at the Women’s World Cup?

Soccer’s world governing body has confirmed it’s the drawing of lots, So, luck of the draw really could determine which team advances to the Round of 16 and which team goes home.

FIFA issued a statement explaining the drawing of lots “will only occur should all steps, as outlined in Article 13 of the Competition Regulations, prove unable to determine the ranking.”

The tournament's tiebreaker criteria starts with which of the tied teams in the group has superior goal difference in its group matches and the greatest number of goals scored.

If that's not enough to determine a final rankings, then the head-to-head results between the teams concerned is the tiebreaker. If that doesn't work, it goes down to a tabulation of how many yellow and red cards each team has accrued through the tournament.

In the highly unlikely scenario that the teams are still unable to be separated after all that, FIFA will draw lots to determine the group rankings. If required, those draws will take place in Sydney, will be open to accredited media and will be streamed.

Drawing of lots involves slips of paper placed inside plastic balls which are put into a bowl and drawn randomly. It's similar to how the groupings for World Cup tournaments are conducted.

Lots have only been drawn once in World Cup tournament history. At the 1990 World Cup in Italy, lots were used to separate the Ireland and Netherlands for second and third place in a group. Both teams were already assured of qualification for the next round, so no teams have so far been eliminated at a World Cup based upon drawn lots.


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