Vera Pauw: ‘It’s Time To Bring A Two-Tier Qualification System In Again’

Following Ireland’s 11-0 trouncing of Georgia in the their most recent World Cup Qualifier, Ireland manager Vera Pauw insists “the top-level countries are drifting away from the rest” in women’s football.

Vera Pauw: ‘It’s Time To Bring A Two-Tier Qualification System In Again’
Alanna Cunnane
Alanna Cunnane

29 of the women’s World Cup Qualifiers that took place in Europe between September and November of this year exceeded a 7-0 or more amplitude between teams, one of which included that of Republic of Ireland’s 11-0 triumph over Georgia last Tuesday.

With UEFA under heavy criticism as a result and calls for a new system to be implemented pervasive, their head of women’s football Nadine Kessler has confirmed the format is to change from 2023, noting to The Guardian on Friday that “it’s not good for the development of women’s football, not for smaller or big associations.”


Ireland boss Vera Pauw had anticipated such conversations would be ignited in the wake of the window that also saw England victor 20-0 over Latvia and Belgium inflict a 19-0 defeat on Armenia, stating that it was ample time to bring in a two-tier qualification system again.

“I warned UEFA before that there is a lot of opportunities for the top-level teams, the top-level countries and they are drifting away from the rest” she told HerSport after last week’s win.

“It’s great that the game develops at that level, but UEFA has to create for the second tier and the tier under to gain more experience and more opportunities to train with each other so that we can close the gap. In this way we cannot close the gap.”

“Incredibly proud” of her Tallaght Tigers “ruthless” in their conduct through a more attacking formation and 3-4-3 style, the Girls in Green broke a record with their 11-0 tally as the most goals any Republic of Ireland team men’s or women’s have ever scored in a competitive fixture.


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“I’m sorry for Georgia but we need to think of our goal difference and that is why we didn’t make a party of it, we kept going” added the Netherlands native.

“It shows the way that we work and the way Tom [Elmes] is working with players who are not in the starting line up so they get coached constantly.”

“The changes that we made actually made it fresher again and better again, because we needed some more energy. They were not subs to give players a game but rather subs that would make sure we could score and score again, because they can be very important at the end of the campaign.”

No doubt of the team’s prolific nature now, there were seven different member’s (alongside an own goal) to notch onto the history making scoresheet on the day. Ranging from Kyra Carusa, Lucy Quinn, Denise O’Sullivan (3), Katie McCabe (2), Saoirse Noonan, Amber Barrett and Megan Connolly, the group made light of recent PFA IrelandInternational Women’s POTY Heather Payne’s absence who missed out due to college commitments overseas.

In the current way the structure stands for now though Pauw is “hope[ful]” the result will give her outfit “an improvement” heading into 2022, confident that they will “concentrate and keep going, going, going for more, more and more.”

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