One of the most exciting women’s football events of the summer is finally over, as the Copa America Femenina reached its gripping conclusion over the weekend. The competition once again brought together the biggest stars in South America, but there was a very familiar nation standing at the top of the podium. What did we learn from the 2022 competition, and could it have a direct impact on the World Cup next year?
Commercial Partners Support Women’s Game
It’s been a big summer for women’s football around the world, which only adds to the excitement for the World Cup next summer. This year’s Copa America was held concurrently with the European Championships. In the United Kingdom, the EUROs attracted a record number of viewers. It makes sense given that England won their first major title against Germany.
This year’s Copa America was supported by the leading betting company Betsson, which served as the tournament’s primary sponsor. Betsson’s made it clear that their goal was to increase the interest and growth of women’s sports in Latin America (more on this on https://www.drjuego.com), and Copa America received increased global exposure as a result of their brand reputation. Betsson has a huge reputation and following in Europe as one of the world’s leading betting operators, and their primary focus is now on Latin America. Supporting the women’s game is likely to have long-term effects on the sport, which can only be good for future editions of the competition in the years to come.
Brazil Crowned Champions
As we mentioned previously, there was a very recognizable feel to the final again this year. Brazil once again showed its dominance in South America with a fourth straight Copa America success. It was also the eighth time in the previous nine editions of the competition that Brazil won the competition. That only highlights how dominant they have been in the tournament in recent memory.
They came up against hosts Colombia in the final. Colombia certainly brought their A-game to the final, as a star-studded Brazilian side needed a penalty to ensure that their run in the Copa America was maintained. The winning goal was scored by Debinha, who plays her club football for Arsenal, England.
However, there was more history made with this success, as head coach Pia Sundhage became the first female manager to win the trophy with Brazil. The Brazilian dominance throughout the competition was unquestionable, as the side scored 20 goals in the six games that they played, and didn’t concede a single goal.
Huge Prize Money & Qualification Places
Due to the sponsorship of the tournament, there was a record-breaking competition purse up for grabs this year. That was evident by the fact that Brazil picked up $1.5 million after winning the competition. Colombia won $500,000 in prize money after finishing as the runners-up.
The argument centered around the prize money on offer in the women’s game is expected to continue for years to come, especially with the World Cup being staged next year, but few would argue against the right for the female players to take home more money after dominant performances in major tournaments, especially given the backing that the men’s game has enjoyed throughout its history.
The money wasn’t the only prize picked up for solid performances at the Copa America, as the tournament also acted as a qualification for the Women’s World Cup next year. The three teams that qualified for the competition next summer were Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia. For the hosts of Copa America, it will be the third successive World Cup that they have qualified for.
Meanwhile, both Colombia and Brazil also qualified for the Summer Olympics in 2024 after reaching the final of the competition. Furthermore, places in the Pan American Games were also up for grabs, with Venezuela, Argentina, and Paraguay joining hosts Chile in the competition next year.
Can A South American Now Challenge For The World Cup?
Next year’s World Cup will be a historical affair, as it will be the first time that it is hosted in the Southern Hemisphere. Argentina and New Zealand will jointly host the competition, and many fans that watched Copa America will be hoping that the success this summer can now build to a big challenge for the biggest prize of all.
That appears to be a big ask, as the USA has dominated the previous two competitions, and the best result a South American nation has enjoyed came in 2007, as Brazil was beaten in the final. At the World Cup three years ago, only one South American nation managed to reach the round of 16, but Brazil was beaten by France.
However, Brazil is certainly building toward the World Cup next year, and their chances have improved after victory this summer. Next year, they will be hoping to go one better than they did in 2007.