Beijing 2008 and men’s football: the four European teams that have qualified
The Netherlands, Serbia, Belgium and Italy have scooped their Olympic tickets for the men’s football tournament of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in 2008 in Beijing, after their performances at the Under 21s European Championships, which have just ended in the Netherlands.
Feat by the young Dutch team
By holding on to the title won last year in Portugal, the Dutch team also became the first host country to win the continental competition. At the final in Groningen, the young Dutch players beat Serbia, with a score of 4-1. Belgium and Italy will also be heading off on an Olympic journey.
China, Brazil and Argentina already qualified
These four newly qualified teams join China, the Games host country and therefore qualified by default, Brazil and Argentina, which came first and second respectively in the Under 21s South American Championships last January in Paraguay.
The three other teams qualified for the Asian continent from the 12 teams still in the running will be announced during the final round of the qualifiers, which will be held from 22 August to 21 November 2007. As for the six teams which will represent Africa (3), Oceania (1) and North and Central America (2), we will have to wait until April 2008 to find out their names.
The men’s Olympic football tournament will begin on 7 August, and the final will be held on 23 August in Beijing. The 32 matches of this tournament will be staged in six locations: the National Stadium in Beijing, the Workers’ Stadium in Beijing, Qinhuangdao, Shanghai, Shenyang and Tianjin.