Commentary: Olympic football matters further than most family think – at least for Asian teams
Although the UEFA World Cup and the European Championships are additional prestigious competitions in the football sporting calendar, the Olympics is special to Asian teams, explains John Duerden.
SINGAPORE: Of all the sports that bequeath clutch court subservient the Tokyo Olympics, football sticks out like a excoriation thumb.
This isn’t licit because of rules restricting men’s football to players Under-23 (U-23) since 1992, so as not to overshadow the World Cup which FIFA, the international football presiding body, has every intention of maintaining as the top extensive chase for the sport.
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Clubs, with their eye on other honours and having valid completed a ring UEFA Euro 2020, are furthermore not compelled to unchain their best players.
This combined with the U-23 decree makes the dynamics less predictable compared to the additional established football leagues.
But for those same reasons, savage cards and fresh football ability may proceed in the Olympics. In fact, these summer games also present Asia’s male and countess football players with their peak chance ever of winning gold.
Japan’s women won the 2011 World Cup and it consign come as little dismay if the team, finalists at the London games in 2012, took centre-spot on the podium on home soil.
It is the men that could really make a difference however. No Asian duo has won gold in that event. In Mexico City in 1968, Japan surprised the world by claiming bronze while South Korea did the alike in 2012.
Those two nations are the blessing hopes this point around. Saudi Arabia and Australia bequeath further represent Asia but are in arduous groups with football royalty Spain, Brazil and Germany so their chances make not look as strong as the two Asian powers.