Olympic soccer guidelines, defined: How males’s and ladies’s soccer tournaments work in Tokyo



The boys’s and ladies’s Olympic soccer tournaments are among the many marquee occasions on the world soccer scene.

Each competitions function equally. Right here’s how they work.

  • Qualifying: Collaborating nations have to qualify for the Olympic soccer match from their respective area. Every regional physique determines for itself how qualifying occurs.
  • Olympic group draw: The groups that qualify for the Olympics are cut up into totally different teams based mostly on a random seeded draw. The competitors schedule is predetermined upfront of the draw.
  • Olympic roster choice: Every nationwide group head coach picks 22 soccer gamers to compete on the Olympics based mostly on Olympic roster guidelines (extra under).

As soon as the groups get to the Olympics, the match is cut up into two phases:

  • Group stage: Every group begins by enjoying three matches within the round-robin group stage. Solely eight groups advance from the group stage to the knockout rounds.
  • Knockout stage: The tournaments wrap up with single-elimination quarterfinals, semifinals and the 2 medal matches. semifinal losers meet within the br The semifinal winners play a gold/silver medal match and theonze medal match.

That’s all easy sufficient. However there are slight variations that make these Olympic tournaments totally different.

MORE: Full girls’s Olympic soccer schedule & TV listings

What number of groups qualify to the Olympics?

As of 2021, the boys’s and ladies’s soccer tournaments begin with a special variety of taking part groups:

  • Males’s Olympic soccer: 16 groups
  • Ladies’s Olympic soccer: 12 groups

Males’s soccer has been performed at each summer time Olympics, whereas girls’s soccer was launched for the primary time in 1996.

The girls’s competitors began out with eight groups in 1996, elevated to 10 contributors in 2000 and expanded to 12 groups for the 2008 Video games in Beijing. With the expansion in girls’s soccer occurring around the globe, enlargement to 16 groups appears inevitable.

What’s the distinction between the Olympics and the World Cup?

Each males’s and ladies’s FIFA World Cups see the participation of the very best groups with their greatest gamers after qualifying competitions that contain each nationwide group on the planet. That’s not the case with the Olympics, and this ensures that, whereas nonetheless prestigious, the Olympics by no means compete with the World Cup.

The FIFA World Cups for women and men function an expanded area of groups which makes each the head of accomplishment within the sport: 32 contributors for each the women and men World Cups. The lowered area on the Olympics offers it much less of a world championship really feel.

Moreover, within the case of males’s Olympic soccer solely, FIFA and the Worldwide Olympic Committee restrict match participation to gamers who’re 23 years of age and youthful, with solely three over-23 choices permitted on every roster. It’s additionally not obligatory that membership groups launch male gamers to their nationwide groups for the boys’s Olympic match. That is why you don’t see Lionel Messi enjoying for Argentina or Neymar enjoying for Brazil in Tokyo 2021, though each might have most likely twisted a couple of arms in the event that they actually wished to be there.

In the meantime, the ladies’s Olympic soccer match options full senior nationwide groups.

MORE: U.S. girls’s nationwide group has an opportunity to be the G.O.A.T.

How does every nation qualify for Olympic soccer?

Every area has its personal guidelines for figuring out how its qualifying slots are crammed. The bulk have Olympic qualifying tournaments, with a few of these branded as Below-23 championships within the case of the boys.

They don’t complicate issues in Europe: They repurpose their recurrently scheduled males’s Below-21 European Championship to find out the 4 European qualifying berths to the Olympics. Additionally they take the highest European finishers on the FIFA Ladies’s World Cup to fill the three berths to the ladies’s Olympic match (England’s end gave Nice Britain a spot). That’s why the final girls’s Olympic gold medal winner, Germany, is not on the 2021 Olympics.

Right here’s the breakdown of berths across the globe for Tokyo 2021:

Area Males’s Olympic Berths Ladies’s Olympic Berths
Africa 3 (Egypt, Ivory Coast, South Africa) 1.5 (Zambia)
Asia 3 (Australia, Saudi Arabia, S. Korea) 2 (Australia, China)
Europe 4 (France, Germany, Romania, Spain) 3 (Nice Britain, Netherlands, Sweden)
Oceania 1 (New Zealand) 1 (New Zealand)
South America 2 (Brazil, Argentina) 1.5 (Brazil)
North America 2 (Honduras, Mexico) 2 (USA, Canada)

The explanation that Africa and South America are listed as having 1.5 berths every? That half-berth refers to a playoff that’s performed between each areas. Chile beat Cameroon over two matches to make the 2021 Olympics.

Lastly, the host nation mechanically qualifies for the boys’s and ladies’s soccer tournaments. Japan has each a males’s and ladies’s soccer group competing on the 2021 Tokyo Video games.

MORE: Full males’s Olympic soccer schedule & TV listings

Are the foundations totally different in Olympic soccer?

World soccer governing physique FIFA really runs each males’s and ladies’s competitions on the Olympics and so the Legal guidelines of the Recreation and match codecs line up fairly equally with the World Cup and different worldwide competitions.

Within the group stage, groups earn three factors for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. There are tiebreakers for groups which are even on factors in the course of the three-match, round-robin group part they usually’re used on this order:

  1. Superior aim distinction in all group matches (distinction between objectives scored and conceded);
  2. Most objectives scored in all group matches;
  3. Most factors obtained in group matches between the groups in query;
  4. Superior aim distinction in group matches between the groups in query;
  5. Most objectives scored in group matches between the groups in query;
  6. Greatest conduct rating regarding yellow and purple playing cards obtained in all group matches:
  7. Drawing of heaps

Eight groups advance from the group levels to the single-elimination knockout levels which decide the groups enjoying within the gold/silver-medal match and the bronze-medal match.

In the event you actually need to delve into all of the nitty gritty of the foundations, all 78 pages of them are revealed.

What occurs if Olympic soccer video games finish in ties?

Through the group stage, attracts after 90 minutes lead to some extent for every group of their respective group standings.

Through the single-elimination knockout rounds, all matches in each the boys’s and ladies’s tournaments which are tied after 90 minutes of regulation will head to half-hour of additional time (two intervals of quarter-hour every). If the draw persists, a penalty-kick shootout might be used to find out a winner.





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