Football Federation Australia (FFA) today reaffirmed its commitment to work with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) to send teams to Tokyo next year following confirmation that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and host nation Japan will endeavour to reschedule the Games of the XXXII Olympiad.
IOC President Thomas Bach together with Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo, made the announcement earlier this week, and noted that there is an intention to reschedule the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – which will maintain the same name – by no later than the northern summer of 2021.
FFA Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson, said: “Our football community are rightly proud of the efforts and achievements of the Matildas and the Under 23 men’s national football team to qualify for Tokyo.
“We must however ensure the health and wellbeing of the athletes, officials, volunteers, and fans is prioritised. We are glad that the IOC, AOC and all parties involved have reached this decision.
“When the dates of the potentially rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are known, FFA will work with its national teams unit and the AOC to plan the best possible preparations for both sides.”
FFA also encourages the men’s football tournament organisers to consider ensuring that all the footballers from each nation that helped their countries qualify, have equal opportunity to earn selection for Tokyo for the competition next year.
“Men’s football at the Olympics is an U23 tournament but 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,” Johnson said.
“This would ensure the players who helped their nation qualify for the Games this year but might otherwise be ineligible for the tournament next year because of age restrictions, have an opportunity to fulfil their dreams of representing their country and becoming Olympians.”