Monday 06 May 2019, 09:32

The road to Tokyo

  • Tokyo 2020 will host the seventh Women’s Olympic Football Tournament

  • Three of the 12 teams who will go for gold have already booked their places

  • We reveal how the race for the remaining slots is shaping up

Only 12 teams will have the privilege of vying for the gold medal at the Women’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.

Three nations who will be gracing the tournament are Japan, as the host nation, Brazil, who made sure of their place by winning last year’s Copa America Feminina, and New Zealand, who did likewise after winning the OFC Women’s Nations Cup in 2018.

The question is, what does your national team need to do to fill one of the nine remaining places and join them in Tokyo next year?

AFC (Asia)Japan + 2
CAF (Africa)1.5*
Concacaf (North, Central America & the Caribbean)2
CONMEBOL (South America)Brazil + Chile*
OFC (Oceania)New Zealand
UEFA (Europe)Netherlands, Sweden + Great Britain

Asia With the Nadeshiko through automatically, seven other teams are still in the hunt for the two remaining places from Asia. Chinese Taipei, Myanmar and Vietnam have negotiated two qualifying rounds to reach the third and final phase, to be held in early 2020 and in which they will be joined by continental heavyweights Australia, China PR, Korea Republic and Thailand.

Africa The African qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 are also under way, with the first of five knockout rounds – in which teams face off over two legs – having been completed. Sixteen teams remain in contention for Tokyo 2020, each vying to reach the final two-team round in January 2020. While the winners will qualify automatically for the Games, the runners-up will take on Chile in an intercontinental play-off for the final place.

The United States women's soccer team celebrates with their gold medals - London 2012

Concacaf Divided into two phases, the qualifying competition kicks off in October and will see two teams from the zone advance to Tokyo. Four-time Olympic champions USA will start as clear favourites to book one of the tickets on offer, as will Canada, bronze medallists in 2012 and 2016.

South America Silver medallists in 2004 and 2008, Brazil made sure of their place after a superb showing in the Copa America Feminina. It remains to be seen if runners-up Chile can join them at what would be their maiden Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. Las Chicas de Rojo will have to wait until the start of next year to find out which African team they will be facing.

Brazil celebrates after winning the Copa America Femenina in Chile 2018-04-26 12:32:33

Oceania The OFC was the first zone to complete its road to Tokyo 2020, in December 2018. There were no surprises, as New Zealand secured their sixth continental title in emphatic fashion, scoring 43 goals in total and conceding none.

Europe The FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ decided which European teams qualified for Tokyo 2020. The Netherlands, Sweden and Great Britain finished in the top three places at France 2019 and will represent the continent at Tokyo 2020.