Monday 26 March 2018, 04:01

How does the Buenos Aires 2018 qualification system work?

  • ​The Youth Olympic Games were created to allow youngsters from as many countries as possible to compete against each other

  • With the exception of 2018 hosts Argentina, each nation can field only one team in certain team sports including futsal

  • All ten teams are confirmed: Thailand, Japan, Trinidad & Tobago, Dominican Republic, Tonga, Portugal, Spain, Bolivia, Chile and Cameroon

One of the core concepts of the Youth Olympic Games is that young athletes from as many different parts of the world as possible come and take part in them. This explains one of the key rules that underpins the Youth Olympic Futsal Tournaments Buenos Aires 2018: no country can be represented by more than one team in futsal, beach handball, hockey 5s and rugby sevens.

In other words, and by way of example, if Italy manages to qualify for the futsal and handball tournaments, the Italian Olympic Committee must decide which of the two teams it will send to Buenos Aires 2018.

As a result of this rule, the qualification system for the Youth Olympic Games Futsal Tournament is a little more complex than for other FIFA competitions. Just because a team qualified for Buenos Aires 2018, it did not mean to say that it was going end up playing at the Youth Olympic Futsal Tournaments.

The National Olympic Committees (NOCs) had until 6 August to provide confirmation of which teams they were going to send, that is why the teams playing the futsal tournament were “eligible” rather than “qualified”. All ten participating teams have now been confirmed.

A special case The only exception to this rule is Argentina, who, in their capacity as hosts, can field more than one team in team sports, though they may only enter one in futsal, either a boys or girls team, but not both.

Argentina have confirmed their participation in the men's event. This decision means that the women's futsal competition will have ten qualifiers, and the men's will have nine plus Argentina, leaving one less place for teams from the CONMEBOL Zone in that competition.

In cases where nations qualified through an over-18s tournament or via the FIFA-Coca Cola World Ranking, they will be represented at the Buenos Aires 2018 Futsal Tournament by their U-18 teams.

The criteria for each confederation

  • AFC (2): Iran and Japan, the two finalists of the AFC Women’s Futsal Tournament, were given priority in terms of eligibility for Buenos Aires 2018, but with an U-18 team. Iran decided to play the Men’s Tournament, and Japan accepted. Thailand ended up third and were the next eligible team.

  • CAF (1): The 23 March 2018 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking decided the African team that will represent CAF. Cameroon will represent the confederation at Buenos Aires 2018.

  • CONCACAF (2): The 23 March 2018 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking will help determine the two teams that will represent CONCACAF. Trinidad and Tobago and Dominican Republic will represent their confederation in Buenos Aires.

  • CONMEBOL (2): The Copa America Futsal Femenino 2017, which was held in Uruguay in November 2017, established the ranking priority to select South America’s two representatives. Bolivia and Chile have confirmed their participation.

  • OFC (1): After their performance at the OFC Women’s Youth Futsal Tournament, which was played between 4 and 6 October 2017, Tonga will represent Oceania at Buenos Aires 2018.

  • UEFA (2): UEFA’s qualifying tournament featured eight countries split into two mini-competitions of four teams apiece. Portugal and Spain won those respective competitions, thereby gaining priority in terms of eligibility to participate at Buenos Aires 2018, ahead of the teams that finished beneath them.

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