COVENTRY: Great Britain will be seeded in both the men’s and women’s Olympic Games football tournaments for the draw today/Tuesday at Wembley writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The other men’s seeds are Brazil (best record, despite never winning gold), Spain (World Cup holders) and Mexico (best current coefficient). This means, of course, that they will be kept apart for the group stage of the competition. FIFA’s Olympic organising committee decided on the seedings, and the draw will also keep apart the European teams and the countries from Latin America.
Team GB will be in Group A and play their matches at Old Trafford, Manchester, on Thursday July 26, followed by Wembley on Sunday July 29 and Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Wednesday August 1. Spain will play in Glasgow (July 26), St James’ Park Newcastle (July 29) and Manchester (Aug 1).
Brazil will be in Group C playing in Cardiff (July 26), Manchester (July 29) and Newcastle (Aug 1). Mexico, the highest-ranked country outside of Europe and South America, and will be in Group B playing in Newcastle (July 26), Coventry (July 29) and Cardiff (Aug 1).
Surprising absentees are 2008 winners Argentina. Uruguay compete in the Olympic finals for the first time since they won gold back in 1928.
The women’s tournament involves 12 with Team GB seeded alongside Olympic champions United States and Women’s World Cup holders Japan. Britain begin the tournament on Wednesday July 25 – the first day of Olympic action – at the Millennium Stadium, followed by Saturday July 28 at the same venue. Their final group stage match will take place on Tuesday July 31 at Wembley.
Pot One: Great Britain (seeded), Belarus, Spain (seeded), Switzerland.
Pot Two: Brazil (seeded), Uruguay, Mexico (seeded), Honduras.
Pot Three: Japan, South Korea, UAE, Oman or New Zealand
Pot Four: Egypt, Gabon, Morocco, Senegal or New Zealand.
The draw will see four groups of four countries, with one team from each pot, but seeds cannot be in the same group.
The women’s draw will see three groups of four countries, headed by the three seeded teams. The draw will also see the African teams (Cameroon and South Africa), Asian teams (Japan and North Korea) and North American teams (USA and Canada) placed into different groups.
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