The 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup was the 6th edition of the tournament. The tournament was played in Japan from 19 August to 8 September, with sixteen national football soccer teams and mark the first hosting of a FIFA women's football tournament in the country.
The host nation were to be decided on 19 March 2010 but was postponed by FIFA to give bidders more time to prepare their bids.
On 3 March 2011 FIFA initially awarded the World Cup to Uzbekistan. However, on 18 December 2011 FIFA had the tournament stripped from this country for problems with the bid and named Japan as a possible host. Japan was officially announced as host on 8 February 2012.
Vietnam had originally won the right the host the tournament. However, Vietnam had to withdraw its bid because it couldn't guarantee government backing and found the FIFA bid process "taxing".
New Zealand had initially been asked to be ready as a backup venue, but were eventually awarded the 2015 FIFA U-20 Men's World Cup and FIFA then awarded the right to host the games to Uzbekistan. However, in its meeting in Tokyo in December 2011, FIFA's Executive Committee decided to cancel Uzbekistan's hosting of the tournament due to "a number of logistical and technical issues", and announced Japan had been proposed as its new organizer.
The Uzbekistan Football Federation had recommended six cities to host games. They are Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Qarshi, Mubarek and Guzar. The competition would have taken place in Tashkent's Pakhtakor and Bunyodkor Stadiums, Samarkand's Olympic Stadium, Bukhara's Markaziy Stadium, Qarshi's Stadium, Mubarek's Bahrom Vafoev Stadium and Guzar's Stadium.
On 31 March 2012, FIFA announced five stadiums for the tournament.
* South Korea qualifies, because Japan was renamed the host nation.
Each team submitted a squad of 21 players, including three goalkeepers. The squads were announced on 10 August 2012.
A total of 14 referees and 28 assistant referees were appointed by FIFA for the tournament.
The final draw was held on 4 June 2012 in Tokyo.
The ranking of each team in each group will be determined as follows:
- greatest number of points obtained in all group matches
- goal difference in all group matches
- greatest number of goals scored in all group matches
If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings will be determined as follows:
- greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned
- goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned
- greatest number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned
- drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee
The two teams finishing first and second in each group qualify for the quarter-finals.
All times are Japanese Standard Time (UTC+9).
North Korea's 9–0 win over Argentina set a new competition record as highest win.
In the knockout stages, if a match is level at the end of normal playing time, extra time shall be played (two periods of 15 minutes each) and followed, if necessary, by kicks from the penalty mark to determine the winner, except for the play-off for third place where no extra time shall be played as the match is played directly before the final.
The following awards were given for the tournament:7 goals