The start of the Tokyo Olympics is almost upon us, and one of the most sought-after gold medals will come in the football tournament. The men Olympic football competition will get underway on Thursday, with each of the nations separating into four groups of four. You can find out more about the Tokyo football Olympics schedule below.
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Tokyo Olympics Football Schedule
The Tokyo Olympics 2021 football competition will get underway on Thursday, July 22nd and will conclude with the gold medal match in August 2021. Each team has been drawn into a group, where they will play every nation once.
The top two teams from each of the groups will progress through to the knockout stage. Then, the teams compete in one-off fixtures to decide the two teams that will square off in the final match at the football in Tokyo Olympics this summer.
Men’s Olympic Football Tokyo 2020 Teams
The Tokyo Olympics football teams that will be competing this summer has already been decided. Sixteen teams were in the draw, with the nations drawn into four different groups. Matches between the nations in the football at Tokyo Olympics competition will be played at various stadiums across the host nation of Japan. The top two teams from each group will reach the knockout stage.
Group A in the Tokyo Olympics football tournament is made up of France, Mexico, South Africa and hosts Japan. The hosts will be boosted for the Tokyo 2020 competition with the experience of former Southampton defender Maya Yoshida.
Meanwhile, France have veteran striker Andre-Pierre Gignac among their squad. Mexico have named Guillermo Ochoa in their squad. The goalkeeper has already played in the World Cup on four occasions.
Group B looks to be the most wide-open of the groups in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics football competition. Honduras and Romania are in this group. Meanwhile, New Zealand will be led by Premier League duo Winston Reid and Chris Wood. South Korea round off the group. However, they will be without Tottenham star Son Heung-min for the Olympic Games.
Argentina will come into the Tokyo Olympics 2020 football schedule in good confidence, after recently winning the Copa America. The Argentinean side last won the gold medal at the Beijing Games, with Lionel Messi among the stars. Australia face an uphill battle to make it out of the group, but it will give an experience to Daniel Arzani, who was the youngest player to play for the nation at a World Cup.
Egypt will be without Mohamed Salah. The Egypt head coach was hoping to get permission from Liverpool for the winger to be one of their overage players. Spain are many people’s pick to win the Olympic gold. They have named several players that represented the nation at the EUROs in their squad.
Reigning Olympic champions Brazil are in Group D for the men Olympic football competition. Dani Alves is among the stars included in their final squad, as is Everton’sRicharlison. Germany will be led in Group D by Max Kruse and Maximillian Arnold. Manchester United duo Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo are included in the Ivory Coast squad. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia look to face a challenge to reach the next round in this challenging Olympic football tournament group.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Soccer Stadiums
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics soccer tournament will be staged across Japan. There are seven venues set to be used for the event. The host city of Tokyo will welcome teams for the gold medal match, as the final takes place at the Olympic Stadium. Fixtures in the quarterfinals will take place in:
Kashima (Ibaraki Kashima Stadium),
Rifu (Miyagi Stadium),
Yokohoma (International Stadium Yokohama)
Saitama (Saitama Stadium).
Group games will also see fixtures played at the Sapporo Dome and Tokyo Stadium.
Stadiums that will host football fixtures at 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
About Tokyo Olympics 2021 Football
Unlike other major footballing tournaments, there are specific rules that comes with the Tokyo Olympics. Below, we will run through how the teams reached the competition and the unique rules that nations must follow for Olympic football.
How Did the Teams Qualify For the Olympics
All nations, except Japan, needed to qualify for the Olympic Games this summer through continental confederations championships. Japan were awarded a place due to being hosts for the games. France, Germany, Spain and Romania earned their spot in Tokyo due to their performances in the European Under 21 Championship. Meanwhile, New Zealand booked their spot through the Olympic Qualification Tournament.
The Ivory Coast, Egypt and South Africa booked their passage through the U23 Cup of Nations. Meanwhile, South Korea, Australia and Saudi Arabia won qualification through the AFC U23 Championship. Argentina and Brazil earned their spot in the Pre-Olympic Tournament, while Mexico and Honduras also won a CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship.
Tournament Rules & Structure
The men’s and women’s rules are entirely different for Olympic football. Men’s football nations participating in the Games must have a squad predominantly make up of players under the age of 23. That means only players born on or after January 1 1997 can take part in Tokyo. Squads were assembled in April 2021.
However, squads can include three over age players in their squad. The structure of the tournament is made up of four European and Asian nations, three African teams, two South American sides and two nations from North America. The line-up is rounded off with a nation from Oceania.
African Teams in Olympics Football
The teams that will be representing Africa in the Summer Olympics were decided at the U23 Cup of Nations in 2019. The top three ranked sides from the competition earned their place in the Olympics, which were due to take place the following year.
Egypt were crowned champions of the U23 Cup of Nations for the first time in their history in November 2019, as they beat Ivory Coast in the final. South Africa booked their passage to Tokyo after a nervy penalty shootout win against Ghana in the third-place match.
Viewer Attendance and Olympics Football Tickets
The Olympic football competition looks set to be an excellent showcase for a broad range of new talent around the world. Fans will be able to watch the action from the comfort of their homes. United Kingdom residents can watch all Olympic Games on the BBC red button.
Meanwhile, US viewers can watch games on the USA Network and NBCSN. All games will also be broadcast on the Olympic Channel. These broadcasters will be the only way to watch the action, as it was revealed that all events during the Tokyo Games would be taking place behind closed doors.
Tokyo Olympics 2020 Women’s Football
The women’s football competition is a slightly condensed version of the men’s. There are just three groups in total, with four teams in each. Team GB will be in Group E alongside Japan, Canada and Chile. Brazil will come up against the Netherlands, China and Zambia. Meanwhile, the clear favourites to win the gold medal, the USA will be playing against Sweden, New Zealand and Australia in Group G.
As well as the top two from each group, the best-placed third side will also make it through. Matches will then be played in the quarterfinals, and semi-finals to narrow the competition to two. The gold medal match will take place at the Olympic Stadium in early August.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Football Betting Odds
Betting markets are available to punters so that they can bet on the winner of the gold medal in the men’s and women’s tournaments. Below, you will find the latest odds for Tokyo 2021 Olympics soccer winner in the respective competitions:
Spain to win the tournament – 2.72
Brazil to win – 3.8
France to win – 6
Germany to win – 7.5
Argentina – 7.5
Check out the rest of the Who Will Win odds here. Find odds for all the upcoming fixtures here
Tokyo Olympics Football Predictions & Betting Tips
Olympic football is a very difficult competition to predict, as many of the players on show have never been seen on the global stage previously. Ivory Coast could be among the outside selections, as they have solid depth in the key areas. Eric Bailly could also be a pivotal player at the heart of the defence.
However, Spain certainly look like the nation to beat. Luis de la Fuente has an excellent mix of talented youth and experience in key areas. Mikel Oyarzabal, Pedri, and Pau Torres are among the six EURO 2020 squad members included. Meanwhile, in Rafa Mir, they have a striker more than capable of finding the net in the Olympic Games.
Two meetings to look at on Sunday, with my attention at Marburg and Cranbourne.
The best bets for the respective programs are down below.
Best bet: Race Two Number 1 Mustang Dude
The best on the card, and quite comfortably too. His recent runs have come at Redcliffe, placing three back after getting the box seat sit. The last couple have been plain but he hasn’t been helped by barriers. He gets the inside gate this time around and has enough early speed to hold up and prove hard to get past.
Next-best: Race One Number 1 The Last Starfire
He gets a perfect set-up here to bounce back into the winners’ list. He hasn’t won in a tick under 12 months, but the set-up here looks ideal with the lead his for the taking with a positive steer. He led and felt the pinch at Redcliffe last time but he does get such an ideal scenario here. A soft lead on a track where if you lead, there’s a good chance you’ll win.
Value: Race Three Number 6 Okanes Devil
I’m happy to have a small speck each way on this mare. She hasn’t exactly set the world on fire in recent times, but she did run a game fourth here three-back when attempting to lead throughout. She draws inside the second row and follows out a fast beginner, so should she land leaders back, she’ll be dangerous.
Best bet: Race Four Number 2 Ultimate Me
He went 2/2 at Cranbourne and I’m confident he makes 3/3 with Chris Alford to steer. He spanked them two-back at Melton before going to Maryborough and was game in defeat when second in a fast mile rate. I suspect he finds the front and will take a power of beating from there.
Next-best: Race Seven Number 7 Here Comes Kyvalley
He’ll need luck in the run from outside the front row, but he’s a smart trotter that will take beating on current form. He snagged back last start at Kilmore and worked to the line well when second in a race dominated on speed. If he gets the right run in transit, he’ll take beating.
Value: Race Three Number 1 Mister Macedon
A lightly-raced four-year-old that has done little wrong in his career to date, placing in 11 of 14 career outings. His latest run came last Friday night at Tabcorp Park Melton when wide with cover late and working to the line strongly. He can hold a forward spot from the pole and each-way at double figures appeals.
David Blough and the Detroit Lions threw a watch party to see his wife Melissa Gonzalez qualify for the women’s 400m hurdle semifinals on Friday.
While Melissa Gonzalez competes in the 2020 Tokyo Games for Colombia, her husband David Blough and his Detroit Lions teammates are rooting her on back in the United States during their training camp.
Gonzalez and Blough are high school sweethearts from Creekview High School in Carrollton, Texas. Blough went on to play quarterback for the Purdue Boilermakers in the Big Ten, while Gonzalez stayed in-state to run track for the Texas Longhorns in the Big 12. Though Blough had to stay behind for Lions training camp, here are he and his Detroit teammates cheering her on Friday.
Gonzalez qualified for the 400m hurdle semifinals while the guys were watching back in Michigan.
Melissa Gonzalez — wife of Lions QB David Blough qualified for the women’s 400m hurdle semifinals Friday night.
Blough watched and celebrated alongside teammates and other Lions staff as Gonzalez qualified. Today is also Blough’s birthday.
David Blough and Detroit Lions teammates cheer on his wife Melissa Gonzalez
This is the type of viral social media content we are here for. Obviously, the whole global pandemic has made things especially difficult for the Olympics to happen in the first place. They were postponed by a year. Even though we have a vaccine for COVID-19, many of the same health restrictions are in place, as the virus mutates and impact the livelihoods of everyone involved.
Though Blough is not excepted to play much in his third season out of Purdue, it is not like he can travel across the world in the latter part of July. He has a football season to prepare for. While he would have loved nothing more than to have been in Tokyo in-person, it is great to see he and his teammates root on Gonzalez, as she tries to fulfill her lifelong dream of winning Olympic gold.
Here is to Gonzalez being one step closer to becoming an Olympic medalist for Colombia this year.
In a corresponding move, the Blue Jays optioned Trent Thornton to triple-A to make room for Manoah.
Manoah had been placed on the 10-day injured list with a bruised back on July 21 after he slipped and fell down rain-soaked dugout steps at Sahlen Field in Buffalo. He successfully completed a simulated game and is hopeful to start against the Royals in the Blue Jays’ first home game at the Rogers Centre since 2020.
The rookie hurler was also out at the end of June due to a a five-game suspension he received after an ejection against the Baltimore Orioles on June 19.
Manoah, Toronto’s first-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, has thrived in his first season, boasting a 2-1 record with a 2.90 ERA and 52 strikeouts across 40.1 innings.
Live coverage of Blue Jays vs. Royals begins at 3:07 p.m. ET on Sportsnet.