April 6 – As a consequence of the global health crisis, FIFA has taken a number of sweeping decisions that will reshape various age group tournaments.
The world federation has raised the age limit to 24 for the Olympic men’s football tournament in 2021 and postponed both the U-20 and U-17 Women’s World Cups later this year.
The postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games raised the prospect that some players would miss out on the men’s football tournament in 2021 due to the age limit. The tournament allows only three players above the age of 23, but FIFA has addressed the postponement by retaining the original stipulation regarding teams being based around players born on or after 1 January 1997.
The amended rule will pave the way for players, who helped their nation qualify for the Olympic tournament, to also participate in Tokyo. The 16 participants will still be allowed to select three over-age players in their squad. Defending champions Brazil and 2016 finalists Germany are among the teams that qualified for Tokyo.
On Thursday, the IOC had already indicated in a conference call that the age limit would be adjusted given the circumstances. “We are in discussions with FIFA,” said IOC Sports director Kit McConnell. “No decisions yet, but there is logic on having the same teams and athletes that achieved the qualification to be the ones taking part next year.”
FIFA and its dedicated Covid-19 working group also moved to postpone both the U-17 Women’s World Cup in India in November and the U-20 Women’s World Cup co-hosted by Panama and Costa in August and September. In a statement FIFA wrote that “new dates will be identified”.
The recommendations by the Covid-19 working group require the ratification by FIFA’s Bureau.
The world federation omitted any decision about the Club World Cup in Qatar in December from its statement, but a FIFA spokesperson said that the Zurich-based body is “currently monitoring the situation with regard to the qualification tournaments for the FIFA Club World Cup 2020.”
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1596854538labto1596854538ofdlr1596854538owedi1596854538sni@o1596854538fni1596854538