Football at Tokyo 2020: When are the gold medal matches at the Olympics? What teams and Premier League players will be in action?

We’ve already had Euro 2020 and the Copa America this summer but now, footballers around the globe will be gunning for Olympic glory too.

Brazil’s men claimed gold at Rio 2016 while it was Germany who won in the women’s competition.

Pedri is set to star for Spain at the Tokyo Olympics
Getty

Now, 28 countries from 6 confederations will compete across the men’s and women’s tournament at the Tokyo Games this summer.

Great Britain will be looking for gold in the women’s tournament but have decided against entering a team to the men’s.

The rearranged 2020 Tokyo Olympics gets underway soon and here’s everything you need to know about the football.

Football at Tokyo 2020: Dates

The football will begin two days before the Opening Ceremony to make sure all the games are fitted in.

Team GB’s women’s side will play the first match of the tournament, kicking off the group stage matches by facing Chile on Wednesday, July 21.

The men’s competition starts a day later with Egypt v Spain being the first fixture.

Each country will play three group games and all three rounds will be played on the same days but with different kick-off times.

All the women’s quarter-finals will then be held on Friday, July 30 with the semi-finals on Monday, August 2. The bronze medal match will be held on Thursday, August 5 with the gold medal match a day later.

For the men, the quarter-finals will be held on Saturday, July 31 while the semi-finals will be on Tuesday, August 3. The bronze medal match will be on Friday, August 6 with the gold medals won the day after.

The Tokyo Olympics get underway this month
AFP

Football at Tokyo 2020: How it works

The men’s competition will see 16 teams compete in four groups.

Each team will play three group games with the bottom two from each group eliminated. 

The rest will progress through the knockout stages before the medals are won.

Football at Tokyo 2020: Men’s competition

Group A

Japan, South Africa, Mexico, France

Group B

New Zealand, South Korea, Honduras, Romania 

Group C

Egypt, Spain Argentina, Australia

Group D

Brazil, Germany, Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia

For the women, it’s slightly different as only 12 teams are competing.

Those 12 have been split into three groups. They will also all play three group games with the top two in each group progressing.

Then the two best third-placed side will also make it into the knockout stage where that will progress as normal until the medals are won.

Football at Tokyo 2020: Women’s competition

Group E

Japan, Canada, Great Britain, Chile

Group F

China PR, Brazil, Zambia, Netherlands 

Group G

Sweden, United States, Australia, New Zealand

Football at Tokyo 2020: Notable players

In the men’s competition, there will be a host of well known players competing.

Hosts Japan have Maya Yoshida as their captain while France have Andre-Pierre Gignac and Florian Thauvin in their squad. 

Winston Reid and Chris Wood are in New Zealand’s ranks, Max Gradel, Eric Bailly and Franck Kessie have been picked by Ivory Coast and Dani Alves, Richarlison and Gabriel Martinelli will be in action for Brazil.

Spain have selected a number of players who featured at Euro 2020 including Dani Olmo, Pedri, Unai Simon, Pau Torres, Eric Garcia and Mikel Oyarzabal. Marco Asensio, Mikel Merino and Dani Ceballos are also in the Spanish ranks.

In the women’s competition, Team GB have a stellar squad which includes Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Jill Scott and Ellen White.

Brazil are always strong and have legends Formiga, Marta and Erika in their ranks.

The USA will also be gunning for gold and will be able to call up the likes of Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.