FIFA could raise the age limit for the men’s football tournament at the Tokyo Olympics from 23 to 24 when the event is held in 2021.
The Olympic Games were originally scheduled for summer 2020 and the men’s football tournament is open to players 23 years old or younger, with three overage players permitted, the 2016 edition won by a Neymar-inspired Brazil.
The Olympics, along with the men’s European Championships, were postponed in March due to the outbreak of coronavirus while the women’s Euro 2021 was also pushed back a year to avoid congestion of the sporting calendar.
As reported by the BBC, football’s governing body have recommended that the age limit be moved so that players eligible for this year’s competition will still be able to enter the rescheduled event. However, t
If the amendment does take place, players born on or after 1 January 1997 will be allowed to play along with three overage participants in the men’s competition.
There is no age restriction for the women’s football tournament, which was won by Germany at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The likes of France, Germany, Spain, Argentina and Brazil have already qualified for the men’s tournament in Tokyo, with Japan automatically assured of a place as hosts.
PSG forward Kylian Mbappé had planned to go to both Euro 2020 and the Olympics this summer before the competitions were postponed and as a 21-year-old, the World Cup winner would still qualify as an underage player even if the rules are not altered.
Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos had also voiced a desire to represent his nation in Tokyo this summer but by the time the rearranged event rolls around the controversial Spain international will be 35 years of age.