Canada draw France, Colombia, New Zealand in Paris 2024 Olympics group

The Canadian women’s national team found out its opponents for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games group stage on Wednesday, at a draw event at the Olympic organizing committee’s headquarters in Saint-Denis, France.

Canada has been drawn into Group A along with the hosts France, Colombia and New Zealand. Canada has played the host nation at each of their previous four Olympic appearances and has never lost to any of them. They will get another opportunity to do so when they play France in their second match of the group stage.

The tournament kicks off on July 25, and will end with the gold medal match on August 10. The bronze medal match will take place a day earlier on Aug. 9. Group stage matches will take place on July 25, July 28 and July 31, with the quarter-finals and semifinals to take place on Aug. 3 and Aug. 6, respectively.

Les Rouges will play New Zealand in Saint-Étienne on July 25, France in Saint-Étienne on July 28, and Colombia in Nice on July 31.

Ninth-ranked Canada enter the tournament as the reigning Olympic champions, three years after taking gold at the pandemic-postponed Tokyo 2020 games. After finishing second in the group stage, Canada went on to beat Brazil, the United States, and Sweden in the knockout rounds, reaching the podium for the third Olympics in a row, but this time on the top step after bronze medals in London and Rio de Janeiro.

Twelve teams will be competing in total, across three groups of four. Group B features the United States, the winner of the second African play-off game, Germany, and Australia, while Group C consists of Spain, Japan, the winner of the first African playoff game, and Brazil.

Sweden, who Canada beat in the gold medal match at Tokyo 2020, didn’t qualify for Paris 2024, eliminated in the group stage of the UEFA Women’s Nations League. Other notable teams to miss out include the Netherlands, Great Britain, South Korea, and China.

Les Rouges last played France on April 11, 2023 in a pre-World Cup international friendly in Le Mans, losing 2-1. They have played France 16 times in all competitions, including at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, where they beat France both times en route to bronze medals. Canada has played New Zealand 15 times over the years, winning ten, drawing four, and losing once. They most recently met for a two-game series in Ottawa and Montreal to kick off the coast-to-coast celebration tour after Canada won gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, with Canada winning both of those matches on home soil.

Canada has played Colombia twice, beating them both times — most recently a 1-0 in a friendly match on July 9, 2012, in the leadup to the 2012 Olympic Games.

Up next on the calendar for Canada, however, is the SheBelieves Cup. Canada will play Brazil in Atlanta on April 6, with the winner moving on to play the winner of the United States vs Japan game. The two losers will also meet each other to play for third place, with both of those matches being played on April 9 in Columbus.