A send-off match for the British women’s football team has been organised, giving fans a chance to see the players in action before they head off to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The game is being hosted by the National Lottery, the official partner of Team GB women’s football. It is also providing for training camps and the squad’s travel and logistics needs.
GiveMeSport Women runs through all you need to know about the send-off fixture.
When and where will the match be?
The match has been scheduled for July 1st at 7:15pm. It will be held at the bet365 Stadium, home to Stoke City Football Club. The Lionesses played two friendly games at the same venue in April.
Who will the match be against?
Team GB will come up against Zambia. The nation are making their debut in the Olympic women’s football competition this summer, having got past Cameroon in the final of the African qualifying tournament. They are the only African team to book a place at Tokyo 2020.
Zambia, who have never competed at a World Cup either, have been drawn in Group F alongside China, Brazil and the Netherlands. Their opening match is against the Dutch on July 21st.
Who will be playing?
The game is likely to be the only occasion head coach Hege Riise can watch Team GB play together before they embark on their Olympic journey. Drawn in Group E, the side will play Chile in the opening game on July 21st, Japan on July 24th and Canada on July 27th.
Riise named her squad last month. In total, 18 players were selected to represent Britain. Manchester City players make up 11 of the 18 names chosen. This includes goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck, who has been joined in the squad by former teammate Karen Bardsley.
In defence, Manchester City’s Steph Houghton and Demi Stokes, Chelsea’s Millie Bright, Arsenal’s Leah Williamson, and Houston Dash’s Rachel Daly have all been picked. Three Manchester City midfielders have been chosen – Jill Scott, Keira Walsh and Caroline Weir. They will battle for places with Chelsea’s Sophie Ingle and Arsenal’s Kim Little.
Heading up the Team GB attack will be Manchester City’s Lauren Hemp, Ellen White and Georgia Stanway, Olympique Lyonnais’s Nikita Parris, and Chelsea’s Fran Kirby.
Four names have also been selected as reserve players – Everton goalkeeper Sandy MacIver, Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben-Moy, Chelsea midfielder Niamh Charles, and Manchester United forward Ella Toone. It is unlikely they will participate in the friendly against Zambia.
How can I watch the match?
The match will be broadcast in the UK on BBC Four. Fans will also have the opportunity to watch the game in person. Riise described the chance to attend the fixture as a “rare occasion indeed”.
Tickets can be purchased for the Stoke City website from June 11th at 11:00am. They will cost £15 for adults, £2.50 for adults and £5 for concessions.