Tuesday 28 January 2020, 06:42

The road to Tokyo

  • Tokyo 2020 will host the 25th edition of the Men's Olympic Football Tournament

  • 16 teams, including hosts Japan, will compete to win the gold medal

  • We reveal the qualification dates and details for each confederation

Only 16 teams will have the privilege of vying for the gold medal at the Men's Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020, the best of the best, which is why booking a place at the competition is an achievement in and of itself.

As the host nation, Japan automatically qualify to compete in the tournament. They have been joined by Europe's four qualifiers Spain, Germany, Romania and France, Africa's three qualifiers Egypt, Côte d'Ivoire and South Africa, the lone qualifier from Oceania, New Zealand and Asia's three qualifiers Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

The question now is, who will fill the four remaining places in Tokyo next year?

AFC (Asia)3
CAF (Africa)3
Concacaf (North, Central America & the Caribbean)2
CONMEBOL (South America)2
OFC (Oceania)1
UEFA (Europa)4
Host Country (Japan)1

Let's take a look at the regional qualification tournaments that took place in 2019 and then we'll look ahead to what's to come for the rest of 2020.

Europe The UEFA European U-21 Championship took place in Italy and San Marino from 16 June to 30 June, where the top four teams at the end of the tournament qualified for Tokyo 2020. Spain finished as champions, defeating Germany 2-1 in the final. Of the four European nations that participated at the previous Men's Olympic Football Tournament at Rio 2016, only Germany will return to Tokyo 2020.

Qualified teams for Tokyo 2020: Spain, Germany, Romania and France

Gold medallists Mexico celebrate

Oceania The OFC Men's Olympic Qualifier 2019 was held in Fiji from 21 September to 5 October, where eight teams competed for one coveted spot at Tokyo 2020. New Zealand won the ticket to Tokyo 2020 with a thumping 5-0 win over Solomon Islands in the continental decider.

Qualified team for Tokyo 2020: New Zealand

Africa The CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations took place in Egypt from 8 to 22 November, where eight nations vied for three qualification tickets to Tokyo 2020. Egypt lifted the trophy, while Côte d'Ivoire finished runners-up and South Africa won the match for third place.

Qualified teams for Tokyo 2020: Egypt, Côte d'Ivoire and South Africa

Argentinian forwards Lionel Messi (L) and Sergio Aguero gold medal

Asia Three spots at Tokyo 2020 were up for grabs at the AFC U-23 Championship Thailand 2020, which was held from 8 to 26 January. Sixteen nations took part in the region's final qualification tournament with Korea Republic finishing as champions, Saudi Arabia runners-up and Australia ended up in third place, with all three sides sealing their places at the Men's Olympic Football Tournament. Japan, Korea Republic and Iraq were the three Asian nations who competed at the last Olympic tournament at Rio 2016.

Qualified teams for Tokyo 2020: Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia and Australia

Here's what's still to come in 2020:

South America Colombia is hosting the South America's Olympic qualifying tournament from 18 January to 9 February 2020. The top two teams from the competition will book tickets to Tokyo 2020. Argentina and Colombia qualified last time out, while Brazil, who qualified for Rio 2016 as hosts, went on to win gold.

Preolímpico Colombia 2020 groups: Group A: Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina Group B: Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, Peru

North, Central America and Caribbean The Concacaf's Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament is scheduled to take place from 20 March to 1 April in Guadalajara, Mexico. The tournament will see eight teams from the region compete for two spots at Tokyo 2020. Honduras and Mexico represented the region last time out at Rio 2016.

2020 Concacaf Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship groups: Group A: Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic Group B: Honduras, Canada, El Salvador, Haiti

Updated on 28 January 2020