Qualification for Football at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics run from July 22nd to August 8th 2020 in Japan. The qualification rounds for the football tournament take place later this year and early 2020. When the qualification round takes place depends on the association’s seasons.

16 men’s teams from 6 confederations will be taking part in the final tournament at the games. Prior to the games kicking off on the 22nd July, each FIFA confederation needs to determine which national teams will qualify for the major competition.

Each confederation gets a set number of places, called berths, the number of places allocated to each continent in 2016 was Europe – 4, Asia – 3, Africa – 3, South America – 2.5, North America – 2.5 and Oceania – 1. We assume this will be the same for the 2020 edition.

What football teams are going to the 2020 Olympics?

The Japanese team is the only squad that has been confirmed as attending the 2020 games, as the host nation they automatically qualified for a place in the tournament. The teams that will be joining them will be determined during these qualification tournaments.

When Will Qualification Matches Take Place?

This depends on each the confederation. Take a look below and see when each confederation is holding it’s qualification tournament.

European qualification matches take place at the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, held in San Marino from 16 to 30th June 2019. As players have to under 23, with only a maximum of 3 over age to compete in the games that is why countries qualify using the under 21 squads.

Oceania will determine their competing teams during the 2019 OFC U-23 Championship between September 21st and October 5th 2019 in FIJI. The tournament will provide just 1 team for the 2020 Olympics.

The North, Central American and Caribbean region qualifying tournament will be the 2019 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship. This will take place in October 2019, the details are yet to be decide..There are 8 berths at this tournament. Each region has to have regional qualification tournaments to determine the five teams that will join Canada, Mexico, and the United States, who automatically qualify. The tournament will provide 2 teams for the Olympics.

The African nations will determine which 3 national teams will head to Japan during the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations, which is taking place in Egypt from the 8th to the 22nd November 2019.

16 Asian teams will compete at the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship for three places in the Olympics. It takes place between the 8th and the 26th January 2020 in Thailand.

The 2 berths available for the South American Football Confederation will be determined at the 2020 CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament between 15th January and 2nd February 2020 which will take place in Colombia.

How does Olympic qualifying work?

Each continent uses specific Olympic qualifying tournaments to allocate their spots (as indicated above). For details of each confederations qualifying match take a look as the links included in the text above.

Do People Bet on the Olympic Qualification Matches?

Whilst Olympic football is nowhere near as popular as the World Cup or the European Championships, if there is a football match going on somewhere in the world, fans will watch it and have a bet on it. For this reason bookmakers have a range markets available so you can place pre-match and even in-play bets on these qualification matches. The number of people placing bets will be quite small, so we wouldn’t expect a huge range of betting offers to be made specially available but you can still take advantage of the regular new customer offers and get yourself a couple of free bets or there equivalent if you join a new bookie. You can also make use of the betting offers which are permanently available at a number of bookmakers.

Best Bookie to Bet on these Olympic Qualifying Matches With?

If you don’t know which bookmaker to register with, have you thought about using bet365 or Betfair? They are about the best bookmakers around to place your bets on any football matches with. Both have new account offers available to new customers, a range of betting offers available all year round as well as some of the best betting tools and features available via their betting apps.