Football at the Paris Olympics: Who Is Playing, and What Are the Group Draws?

2024 is proving to be an exciting year for every football fan out there. The Champions will close in just a few weeks, but fans won’t be able to catch a break, with the Copa América and UEFA Euro starting shortly afterward.

If that weren’t enough, the Olympic Games are finally back this year in France, reuniting many of the best football teams worldwide to clash with each other in hopes of striking gold.

But how many teams will compete this year? What are the group draws, and most importantly, which are the favorites? The answers can be found in this article. So, let’s see what’s in store below.

Teams Playing in the 2024 Olympics

Soccer in Olympic Games this year will have 16 teams for the men’s division, divided into four groups. Meanwhile, the women’s will have only 12 teams, divided between three groups of four.

Except for France, who’s the host, all the teams qualify by winning or reaching second or third place in the respective tournament of their region. This is a current list for both divisions:

Men’s Division

  • Group A: France, USA, New Zealand, and the Winner of the Intercontinental Play-Off (Indonesia vs. Guinea) on May 9th.
  • Group B: Argentina, Morocco, Iran, Ukraine.
  • Group C: Uzbekistan, Spain, Egypt, Dominican Republic.
  • Group D: Japan, Paraguay, Mali, Israel.

It’s worth noting that England won the UEFA European Under-21. However, the team couldn’t settle an agreement with Scotland and Wales to represent the United Kingdom so that Israel would compete in its place instead.

Women’s Division

  • Group A: France, Colombia, Canada, New Zealand.
  • Group B: USA, Zambia, Germany, Australia.
  • Group C: Spain, Japan, Nigeria, Brazil.

When Will the Matches Take Place?

The Men’s Olympic Football Tournament will begin on July 24th, while the Women’s Tournament will begin the next day.

For the first time in Olympic history, the Women’s tournament will be the one to close the football competitions, with its gold match taking place on August 10th, while the Men’s tournament will finish the day earlier.

So far, these are confirmed venues for both tournaments:

  • Stade de Marseille, Marseille
  • Stade de Nice, Nice
  • Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux
  • Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne
  • Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes
  • Stade de Lyon, Lyon
  • Parc des Princes, Paris

Which Are the Favourite Teams of Each Division?

The Argentina men’s team has always been a constant name throughout football (soccer), winning various awards and inspiring kids to play football worldwide.

After winning the last FIFA World Cup, the famous Sky Blue or Albiceleste is definitely a fan favorite in the upcoming Olympic Games.

With that said Argentina might not compete at full strength since Lionel Messi, one of their best players, hasn’t confirmed his participation in the Olympics yet due to participating in the upcoming Copa América, which will finish just a week before the tournament.

The lack of Messi could give the Blue Samurais of Japan the chance they need to strike gold in the Olympics, just right after becoming the first two-time victor of the Asian Federation Cup.

While blue teams dominate the Men’s Division, the women’s is dominated by a red one, specifically by La Roja. Having won the Women’s FIFA World Cup six months ago, the women’s Spain team seems ready to strike gold at the Olympics.

However, that victory might not come as easy as they might be thinking. Japan, one of the few teams that utterly defeated Spain in the last World Cup, is also in the Olympic tournament accompanied by the USA team, which won the Concacaf W Gold Cup back in March.




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