FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022™
2022 at a glance

FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2022™

At the end of a thrilling 18-day competition, Spain laid the ghosts of 2018 to rest by beating Japan in a repeat final of the previous edition.

In October, the best young female players from 16 nations representing all six confederations competed for the title of FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup™ champions. Played in two host cities – Alajuela and San José, over 18 days – the final took on a familiar line-up, as Spain and Japan went head-to-head for the second edition in a row.

In 2018, Japan were victorious, but four years later Spain laid the ghosts to rest by the same 3-1 scoreline. A goal from Inma Gabarro and two from Salma Paralluelo gave Pedro López’s side what turned out to be an unassailable 3-0 head start, with Suzu Amano’s goal two minutes into the second half proving to be nothing more than a consolation.

I’m in shock. I can’t believe what we achieved. We are an incredible team. I have no words to describe what we did.
Inma Gabarro

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It was Spain’s first title at U-20 level, meanwhile it was also a hugely successful tournament for the Netherlands and Brazil, who both reached the semi-final stage: Netherlands, for the first time in their history, and Brazil for the first time since 2006. However, in 2022, they both narrowly lost out 2-1, to Spain and Japan respectively.

Although the results may not have been what they had wished for, host side Costa Rica certainly touched the hearts of the nation, drawing combined crowds in excess of 56,000 for their three group-stage games.


Away from the pitch

The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022™ was not only about the best young talent on the pitch, it was also an opportunity for FIFA to continue its work to make football truly global. During the 18-day tournament, a wide range of activities and initiatives also took place.

Gianni Infantino inaugurates FIFA Forward project

On Sunday, 28 August, FIFA President Gianni Infantino visited the sports complex of the Costa Rican Football Association (FCRF) in Alajuela, where he held a series of meetings and cut the ribbon on a football pitch funded by FIFA’s Forward Programme.

The pitch inauguration was also attended by Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves Robles, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, and FCRF President Rodolfo Villalobos, as well as other dignitaries, leaders and prominent figures from the world of football.

The delegation then took a tour of the complex’s facilities, which included the new natural-grass pitch. The work was initiated in March 2022 and concluded three months later. The pitch represents part of the legacy of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022™ and will be exclusively used by women’s teams. In fact, during the tournament, it was used as an official training pitch, and a commemorative plaque to mark the moment was unveiled.

It’s not just that we’re all here today, but that we’re all here today with a smile, with happiness, with a heart filled with joy.
Gianni Infantino
FIFA President

FIFA Coach Mentorship Programme taken to the next level

In May 2022, FIFA launched the second edition of its Coach Mentorship Programme, in which 20 women from across the world were mentored by 20 of the game’s most accomplished coaches. The accomplished mentor list included two FIFA Women’s World Cup™ winning coaches and the current women’s Olympic football gold-medallist coach. 

As one of the eight programmes available under the FIFA Women’s Development Programme banner, the FIFA Coach Mentorship Programme aims to develop and empower a new generation of female coaches who are individually mentored by a top coach from the women’s game over an 18-month period. 

In a key milestone of the programme, the coaches came together for a three-day workshop at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022, which provided an invaluable forum for knowledge-sharing between the coaches and saw some of the mentees and mentors meet in person for the first time.

Football for Schools launches in Costa Rica

The host nation of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2022™ seized the moment to launch Football for Schools, the FIFA programme that uses football as a social development tool within the school curriculum of the countries that implement it.

The official ceremony took place at the Estadio Municipal in Tibás on Friday, 12 August. In attendance were, among others, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, Football for Schools Director Fatimata Sidibé and Costa Rican football legends Shirley Cruz and Paulo Wanchope.

The festival of football brought together 100 local schoolchildren, and brought the curtain down on a two-day workshop run by FIFA instructors, during which they
provided training to the 29 educators who will be responsible for passing on the methodology to all of Costa Rica’s regions.

FIFA safeguarding programme breaks new ground

The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022 saw the introduction and successful implementation of the first-ever comprehensive event-safeguarding programme at a FIFA youth tournament.

Concrete and expert-supported measures were put in place to ensure the protection and well-being of players and adults, both participating in and attending the event. In line with FIFA’s commitment to embed safeguarding measures across the game, processes were designed to minimise risks of abuse, exploitation and harassment towards children and adults.

The measures included the guarantee of one FIFA safeguarding official on duty for each of the 32 matches, as well as a representative from Costa Rica’s National Children’s Institute.

The programme also included, amongst other initiatives, a presentation on safeguarding at each Team Arrival Meeting, visits to the teams’ training sites and hotels during the tournament and the development and distribution of materials at venues to raise awareness and provide guidance on the scope of the reporting mechanism available for incidents.