Malta will face Denmark, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Azerbaijan and Montenegro in Group E of the 2023 Women’s World Cup qualifiers.
Malta, ranked 94, had moved up one pot following the successful UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 qualifying campaign and was in fifth among the six pots that were announced by UEFA.
In Pot 5, Malta were joined by Turkey, Georgia, Kosovo, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Cyprus, Faroe Islands and Latvia.
Malta will face Denmark for the second straight qualifying campaign after meeting in the 2022 Women’s Euro qualifiers. They also met in the 2015 World Cup qualifications.
During the previous European qualifying campaign, Malta faced Bosnia-Herzegovina as well with Dorianne Theuma collecting her 100th cap in the second-round tie, back in March 2020. Bosnia were Malta’s opponents in the 2007 World Cup qualifiers as well.
Russia – who qualified for the upcoming 2022 Women’s Euro, Azerbaijan and Montenegro will meet Malta for the first time at competitive level.
In the previous World Cup qualifiers – for France 2019 – the old format was still applied with Malta being among the teams that had to play a pre-qualifier group that included Albania, Greece and Kosovo.
Malta did not advance to the main qualifying round after finishing third in the qualifiers with four points having drawn with Albania 0-0 and defeated Kosovo 3-1.
In this edition, Cyprus are making their Women’s World Cup debut while Luxembourg take part in a full qualifying group stage for the first time.
The 2023 World Cup qualifiers are set to start in the international week between September 13 and 21 of this year.
The winners of the nine qualifying groups will progress directly to the finals with the runners-up taking part in the UEFA play-offs in October 2022.
The next Women’s World Cup is set to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Matchdays 1-2: 13–21 September 2021
Matchdays 3-4: 18–26 October 2021
Matchdays 5-6: 22–30 November 2021
Matchdays 7-8: 4–12 April 2022
Matchdays 9-10: 29 August–6 September 2022
Group A: Sweden, Finland, Ireland, Slovakia, Georgia.
Group B: Spain, Scotland, Ukraine, Hungary, Faroe Islands.
Group C: Netherlands, Iceland, Czech Republic, Belarus, Cyprus.
Group D: England, Austria, Northern Ireland, North Macedonia, Latvia, Luxembourg.
Group E: Denmark, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Malta, Montenegro.
Group F: Norway, Belgium, Poland, Albania, Kosovo, Armenia.
Group G: Italy, Switzerland, Romania, Croatia, Moldova, Lithuania.
Group H: Germany, Portugal, Serbia, Israel, Turkey, Bulgaria.
Group I: France, Wales, Slovenia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Estonia.