SYDNEY (AP) – The Australian Football Federation wants FIFA and the IOC to raise the age limit for the men’s Olympic tournament following the postponement of the Tokyo Games to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The organizers of the IOC and Tokyo have agreed this week to postpone the Olympic Games, which were scheduled to open on July 24, to the northern summer of next year. No date has been set and no revised qualification criteria have been formalized.
Australian Olympic Committee general manager Matt Carroll and FFA general manager James Johnson plan to open discussions with world football governing body and the Asian Football Confederation on raising the limit 23 to 24 years old for the Tokyo tournament.
“This would ensure that players who have helped their nation qualify for the games this year, but may otherwise be ineligible for next year due to age restrictions, will have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of representing their country. and become Olympians, “said Johnson.
Players under the age of 23 at the start of 2020 were eligible to participate in the qualifications. At the Olympics, three players over the age of 23 can be selected from the teams, although they tend to be confirmed internationals at the highest level.
Carroll said it was a problem that the IOC and FIFA “will have to solve”.
“It is, we hope, a unique event in history, a postponement of the matches,” he said. “I think that with good working relationships, together, we can overcome all these technical details and make sure that the qualified people stay that way.”
Graham Arnold’s Australian team secured a spot at the Asian Under-23 Championship in January, joining other continental teams from South Korea, Saudi Arabia and welcoming Japan to the Olympic tournament.
Six players who participated in Australia’s successful qualification campaign would not be in the running for the Olympics if the age limit for the tournament was not raised.