South Korea, Australia want age limit raised for the Tokyo Games | The Daily Star
02:00 AM, March 27, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:04 AM, March 27, 2020

South Korea, Australia want age limit raised for the Tokyo Games

Australia and South Korea called Thursday for men's football at the postponed Tokyo Olympics to raise the age limit for the Tokyo Games.

"We would like to open up discussion with FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to consider adjusting the men's football tournament so that it becomes an U24 tournament for the Tokyo Olympic Games," Football Federation of Australia CEO James Johnson said.

The decision to move the Tokyo Games from this July to July 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic has raised concerns across the sporting world that some Olympic hopefuls might not be able to participate due to age restrictions, or simply because they lose form or fitness.

Shifting football to an U24 format "would ensure the players who helped their nation qualify for the Games this year... have an opportunity to fulfil their dreams of representing their country and becoming Olympians", Johnson said in a statement.

Australia, like many countries, have been building up to the Olympics for years, with national team coach Graham Arnold also put in charge of the U23s when he was appointed in 2018.

Earlier, South Korea's football association also called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to raise the age limit for the Tokyo Games.

South Korea won the AFC under-23 championship in January to secure Olympic qualification, with his team relying heavily on players born in 1997.

That includes the tournament's best player Won Du-jae and Song Bum-keun, who was named the top goalkeeper.

The KFA has also asked for squads to be expanded in line with other major tournaments hosted by the AFC and FIFA.

"Including Olympic qualifying matches, all FIFA and continental competitions are contested with 23 players per side, and only the Olympic tournament is limited to 18 players," the KFA said.

 

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