FIFA has extended its age limit for the men’s soccer tournament at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics due to the Novel Coronavirus pandemic in the world.
The Olympic rule on Friday retains the “players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997” standard for the Tokyo Games which were postponed for an year by the International Olympic Committee and Japanese authorities.
This means that players who are eligible for the intended under-23 tournament this year can still play in Japan at age 24 next year. Although, Men’s soccer kicks off ahead of the July 23, 2021 opening ceremony in Tokyo.
FIFA also postponed two women’s age-group World Cups due this year in Central America and India, and confirmed no international games for men and women will be played in the early June dates protected for national team call-ups.
“Health must always be the first priority and the main criteria in any decision-making process, especially in these challenging times.” Soccer’s world body said in the context of this change.
The under 16 men’s teams at next year’s Tokyo Olympics can also select three over-aged players in their squads.
Although, No new dates were announced about the two women’s World Cup tournaments ‘The Under-20s’ hosted by Panama and Costa Rica in August and September, and ‘The Under-17s’ in India in November — are postponed.
Interestingly, World Cup qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will now face uncertainty while scheduling in a congested calendar in Europe, South America and Asia.
Relating to the changes FIFA said, “organize bilateral discussions” with continental governing bodies “to finalize a revised match schedule pending health and safety developments.”
FIFA has planned to donate hundreds of millions of dollars from its cash reserves to support a global emergency fund for the fight against this deadly Virus.