Tokyo Olympic Football Guide: How teams qualify, standings rules in 2024 format

Football is one of the major team sports of the Tokyo Olympics. Men’s Football has been a part of every Olympics except 1896 and 1932. Women’s football has been present at the games since 1996. Football will feature at the Olympics once again. Here are we have explained how the Tokyo Olympic 2024 football works.

2020 Tokyo Olympic Football Rules

Qualified Teams at Tokyo Olympic Football

The men’s soccer tournament will feature 16 teams, while the women’s tournament will feature 12 teams at the Tokyo Olympics. Japan will feature in both men’s and women’s tournaments as the tournament host.

Men’s football teams at Tokyo Olympics

New Zealand
 Ivory Coast
 South Africa
 Saudi Arabia
 South Korea

READ: Olympic Men’s Football 2024 Standings, Points Table, Schedule & Updates

 Women’s Soccer Teams at Tokyo Olympics

New Zealand
Great Britain
 United States
 China PR
  • The qualified teams will be divided into groups of four teams. Men’s soccer teams will be divided into 4 groups while Women’s soccer teams will be divided into 3 groups.
  • Each team will have a squad of 22 players.

READ: Olympic Women’s Football 2024 Standings, Points Table, Schedule & First-round Update

How were soccer teams selected for featuring at Tokyo Olympic?

Every region is allotted a specific number of spots. Best teams from that region qualify by either qualification process or by position.

RegionMen’s Olympic BerthsWomen’s Olympic Berths
Africa3 (Egypt, Ivory Coast, South Africa)1.5 (Zambia)
Asia3 (Australia, Saudi Arabia, S. Korea)2 (Australia, China)
Europe4 (France, Germany, Romania, Spain)3 (Great Britain, Netherlands, Sweden)
Oceania1 (New Zealand)1 (New Zealand)
South America2 (Brazil, Argentina)1.5 (Brazil)
North America2 (Honduras, Mexico)2 (USA, Canada)

Half-berth refers to a playoff that’s played between both regions.

Difference between Olympic Football and FIFA World Cup

While men’s and women’s FIFA World Cups sees the participation of the 32 best-qualified teams of all regions, the Olympics has a limited number of teams in its tournament. Another major difference between the Olympics and FIFA world cup is the age rule for Men’s Olympic football.

FIFA and the International Olympic Committee have restricted tournament participation to 23 years of age and younger players, with only three senior players permitted on each roster. The age bar was pushed to 24 years for Tokyo Olympics because of the delay caused by the pandemic.

Olympic Football Format and Rules

Both Men’s and women’s football tournaments of the Tokyo Olympics will be held in two phases. The first phase is the Group Stage which the knockout stages will follow. The tournament follows a round-robin format wherein teams will face all other 3 teams present in their group in the first phase.

The top two teams will qualify and progress to the knockout stage. For women’s football, the best-placed third team will also qualify for the knockout stage. In case of a tie between two teams, the following rules are taken into consideration to determine which team will progress further:

  1. Superior goal difference in all group matches
  2. Most goals scored in all group matches;
  3. Most points obtained in group matches between the teams in question;
  4. Superior goal difference in group matches between the teams in question;
  5. Most goals scored in group matches between the teams in question;
  6. Best conduct score relating to yellow and red cards received in all group matches:
  7. Drawing of lots

Eight teams will advance from the group stages to the knockout stage. The knockout stage will include a quarter-final and semi-final, after which the remaining teams will play gold/silver-medal matches and the bronze-medal match.

The knockout stage will be single-leg matches, and the losing team at each stage will get eliminated from the tournament. If the scoreline is tied after 90 minutes, knockout matches will advance to 30 more minutes of extra time followed by penalties if the extra time is insufficient.

Who is the current defending champion of the Olympic football?

Germany is the women’s defending champion, whereas Brazil is the men’s football defending champion at the 2024 Tokyo Olympics football games.