Tokyo Olympics: Why FIFA Wants to Move Age Limit to 24

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The raging coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19, is about to make some people lose the opportunity of featuring in some age-grade competitions if it is not over soonest. One of such competitions is the football aspect of the Tokyo Olympics but FIFA won’t allow that to happen.

The world football governing body has recommended that the age limit for male football teams at the tournament should be moved from 23 to 24 in order to accommodate those who would have turned 24 before the end of the rescheduled Games.

Recall that the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics was scheduled to commence on 24 July 2020 and end on 9 August 2020, but the Olympic Games had to be rescheduled for 23 July to 8 August 2021.

The Local Organising Committee had to postpone the once in four years tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic which has hit almost every part of the world, infecting over 1 million people and killing thousands of others.

The Summer Olympics still remains Tokyo 2020

The Summer Olympics still remains Tokyo 2020

Despite the fact that the tournament has been postponed to 2021, it would still be referred to as Tokyo 2020 for commercial purpose.

To make up for the lost time, FIFA proposes that players born on or after 1 January 1997 should be allowed to play in the Summer Olympics. The proposal is subject to approval by the FIFA Bureau, the decision-making council of the football governing body.

However, the recommendation to increase the ages of the male football team at the Olympics from 23 to 24 by FIFA, did not affect the existing law which allows each country to add three over-aged players to their male football teams.

Also, the recommendation has nothing to do with female football teams since there is no age limit for women football at the Olympics.

This is the first time in the history of the Olympics that the Games were postponed rather than being cancelled.

Tokyo was selected as the host city during the 125th International Organising Committee (IOC) Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 7 September 2013. This will be the second time that Japan—and specifically Tokyo—has hosted the Summer Olympic Games, the first being in 1964, making it the first city in Asia to host the Summer Games twice.