Saturday, February 13, 2016

Qualified men football teams for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics

People always ask if men football is part of the Summer Olympics. It is part of Summer Olympics and has been since the 1900 Paris Summer Olympics and has only missed the 1932 Summer Olympics since 1900. Men football and the women football will feature in the August Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. There will be 28 teams participating teams of which 16 will be men teams drawn from all the six FIFA confederations. Women football at the Summer Olympics will be will be represented by 12 teams, still from 6 FIFA confederations. The men football will be hosted by seven Summer Olympics host cities and venue some outside Rio.

See the schedule for the men football sport at Rio 2016

These six FIFA confederations are:

1. Asia Football Confederation, AFC; this is the confederation representing Asia

2. Confederation of African Football, CAF; this is the confederation representing Africa

3. South American Football Confederation, COMEBOL; this is the confederation representing South America

4. The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football CONCACAF; this is the confederation representing Central and North America. This is the federation with the current champion; Mexico.

5. Union of European Football Associations, UEFA; this is the confederation representing Europe where the most successful team in Summer Olympics men football; Team GB comes from.

6. Oceania Football Confederation, OFC; this is the confederation representing Oceania nations including Australia and New Zealand

To qualify in football in any of the Summer Olympics Games, the team must be affiliated to FIFA and IOC as a member of one of the above mentioned confederations. For men qualification, majority of the players must be under the age of 23, except for the three allowed players who are 23 years or above in age. This is not the same as women qualification, where women of any age can participate in the Summer Olympics football sport of course, they must be fit and skilled.

Brazil was the first nation to qualify because it is the host team, though it had to meet some criteria.

The other qualified team to represent South America is Argentina, who qualified during the 2015 South America Youth Championship held in Uruguay from the 14th of January to the 7th of February. We hope that Argentina and host Brazil meet and play in one of the scheduled games, I always like their rivalry, as it brings fun and excitement to any football match not only in the Summer Olympics.

For the other parts of America, i.e. Caribbean, Central and North America, an Olympics Qualifying Championship was organized in the USA 4 cities to determine who goes to Rio for the Summer Olympics. In these championship held between 1st and 13th of October, Honduras and Mexico won their trip to Rio 2016 Summer Olympics football sport.

There is one slot remaining to be filled by either a COMEBOL or CONCACAF team. This team will be determined by Colombia and USA matches to be played on the 25th of March 2016 in Barranquilla and another return match to be played in Texas USA on the 29th of March, 2016. The Winner of these two matches will get the only remaining slot in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics men football sport.

4 teams from Europe have already filled their slots in the Rio Games; these are Denmark, Sweden, Portugal and Germany. These teams qualified in the 20th edition of the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, which took place in Czech Republic’s three host cities. This Championship took place between 15th June and 30 June 2015. In this game, Sweden was the best team followed by Portugal. Denmark and Sweden qualified as they were the other two teams who reached the games quarter final.

The three qualifying Asian nations are Japan, South Korea and Iraq, who qualified in the 2nd edition of the AFC Under-23 Championship, held between 12th of January and 30th of January 2016 in Qatar. The host Qatar was fourth, hence missing the chance to participate in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics men football sport.

African qualifiers are Algeria, Nigeria and South Africa, who qualified in the second edition of the Unde-23 Africa Cup of Nations that was held in Senegal between 28th of November and12th of December 2015. In these competitions, Nigeria won, while Algeria was the runners-up and South Africa came third thus qualifying for the Rio Summer Olympics men football sport.

The Oceania nations had only one slot, which Fiji took to make their debut in the Summer Olympics men football sport. Fiji, did not win the championship but since the winner New Caledonia and Tahiti are not affiliated to International Olympics Council, Fiji qualified after beating Vanuatu in an Olympics qualifying finals.

Already 15 teams are qualified to take place in the coming Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, the 16th team will either be USA or Colombia; the winner of the COMEBOL and CAFCACAF playoff taking place on the 25th and 29th March 2016.

The Most Successful men football teams are Great Britain who have won gold medal thrice, first in the inaugural games of the 1900 Summer Olympics held in Paris and the year 1908, when London hosted their first ever Summer Olympics, the third gold for Team GB football sport was in the 1912 Stockholm’s first edition and the only edition of the Summer Olympics.

See the picture of the Great Britain national football team at the 1912 Summer Olympics where they won their third gold medal, they have not managed to win one yet but they will in future. Great Britain team did not qualify for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics Men Football sport.

This picture is courtesy of Wikipedia

Below is a table summarizing the details of the men football qualifiers who have a place in the coming Summer Olympics.

FIFA Confederation

Qualified Nation

Year They Qualified

Dates They Qualified

Qualifying Championship

Championship Venue

AFC

Iraq

2016

12th to 30th January

AFC Under-23 Championship

Qatar

AFC

Japan

 2016

12th to 30th January

AFC Under-23 Championship

Qatar

AFC

South Korea

 2016

12th to 30th January

AFC Under-23 Championship

Qatar

CAF

Algeria

2015

28th Nov to 12th Dec

Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations

Senegal

CAF

Nigeria

2015

28th Nov to 12th Dec

Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations

Senegal

CAF

South Africa

2015

28th Nov to 12th Dec

Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations

Senegal

COMEBOL

Argentina

2015

14th Jan to 7th Feb

South American Youth Championship

Uruguay

COMEBOL

Host Brazil

2015

14th Jan to 7th Feb

South American Youth Championship

Uruguay

CONCACAF

Honduras

2015

1st to 13th October

 Olympic Qualifying Championship

USA

CONCACAF

Mexico

2015

1st to 13th October

 Olympic Qualifying Championship

USA

UEFA

Denmark

2015

17th to 30th June

European Under-21 Championship

Czech Republic

UEFA

Germany

2015

17th to 30th June

European Under-21 Championship

Czech Republic

UEFA

Portugal

2015

17th to 30th June

European Under-21 Championship

Czech Republic

UEFA

Sweden

2015

17th to 30th June

European Under-21 Championship

Czech Republic

OFC

Fiji

2015

3rd to 17th July

Pacific Games

Papua New Guinea