Road To The Olympic Games

Summer Sports

CONCACAF reschedules men's Olympic soccer qualifying

Men's Olympic soccer qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean was rescheduled Thursday for March 18-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico, where the tournament originally was set to be played last spring.

Tournament initially set for last spring scheduled for March 18-30

Many top young players are expected to miss the tournament due to clubs not being required to release players to teams for qualifying and FIFA maintaining its eligibility rules. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press)

Men's Olympic soccer qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean was rescheduled Thursday for March 18-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico, where the tournament originally was set to be played last spring.

Canada is in Group B of the CONCACAF tournament, with Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti. 

Group A consists of the U.S., Mexico, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.

Each nation will play the other three teams in its group, with the exact schedule still to be announced. The top two teams in each group advance to the semifinals, and the semifinal winners qualify for the Tokyo Games. 

Canada had been scheduled to play El Salvador March 21, Haiti three days later, and Honduras March 27, but the CONCACAF tournament was postponed on March 13 because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The men's Olympic soccer tournament was postponed a year — to July 21 through Aug. 7, 2021.

FIFA has kept the same eligibility rules that were first established, saying players must be born after Jan. 1, 1997. Clubs are not required to release players to teams for qualifying, so many top young players are expected to miss the tournament.

Women's Olympic qualifying in CONCACAF took place before the pandemic. The defending champion U.S. and Canada qualified.

With files from CBC Sports

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