The Netball World Cup 2023 draw took place at the East London Convention Centre, confirming the four pools for the first stage of the tournament.
The draw was attended by provincial and national government officials, the board of directors of NWC2023, representatives of World Netball, Netball South Africa, sponsors, partners and the general public.
World Netball President Liz Nicholl CBE said: “My congratulations to all the teams that vied for success in the five regional qualifiers.
“42 of our Member countries participated – involving over 500 athletes, more than 45 international umpires, over 200 coaches, managers and primary carers and thousands of administrators and wonderful volunteers who have all played their part in the road to next year’s World Cup.
“It was a joy to see the matches broadcast widely around the world reaching new audiences and giving our amazing sport the visibility, it deserves…but now it’s Africa’s time to shine.”
Ahead of the draw, the 16 qualified teams, were seeded according to their World Netball world ranking on 3 November 2022.
The top 8 seeds were then placed into pools A to D. The two remaining teams in each of the four pools were drawn at random in two stages.
The groups for the preliminary stages of the NWC2023 are confirmed as follows:
Pool APool BPool CPool DAustraliaEnglandJamaicaNew ZealandTongaMalawiSouth AfricaUgandaZimbabweScotlandWalesTrinidad & TobagoFijiBarbadosSri LankaSingapore
The first stage of the tournament will commence on 28 July 2023 with the teams competing in a round robin format in the pools as outlined above.
Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, spoke about the importance of this milestone on the road to Cape Town 2023: “Today’s draw marks an important milestone on our roadmap towards the biggest sports event, to be hosted by South Africa, since the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“We are grateful that World Netball trusted us enough to award the hosting of their most significant asset to South Africa and the African continent.
“What makes the event particularly important in today’s South Africa, is that it is the first and biggest event for women’s sports.”
Netball South Africa President, Cecilia Molokwane, added: “The much-anticipated team draw signals that we are indeed well on our way to the tournament, which is now only 239 days away.
“With the draw now having taken place, we are looking ahead to the event ticket sales which will commence from Monday, 5 December 2022.
“We therefore encourage all South Africans to purchase their tickets well in advance to make sure that they don’t miss out on the action.”