Olympic dream still alive for Daggers and co


The current Olyroos squad, including Glory forward Nick D’Agostino, may still be given the opportunity to represent Australia at the Tokyo Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo announced earlier this week that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Games will be rescheduled for no later than the northern summer of 2021.

The delay would mean that a number of the current Australia squad would be too old to compete in what is designated as an Under-23 tournament, but Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO James Johnson is optimistic that the exceptional circumstances may prompt a one-off change to these conditions which would allow all of the current squad to participate.

The same dispensation would apply to the Matildas who also successfully qualified for the Games.

“We would like to open up discussion with FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to consider adjusting the men’s football tournament so that it becomes an U-24 tournament for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” said Johnson.

“This would ensure the players who helped their nation qualify for the Games this year, but might otherwise be ineligible for the tournament next year because of age restrictions, have an opportunity to fulfil their dreams of representing their country and becoming Olympians.”

Johnson went on to express FFA’s full support for the decision to push the Games back to next year.

“Our football community are rightly proud of the efforts and achievements of the Matildas and the Under-23 men’s national football team to qualify for Tokyo,” he said.

“We must, however, ensure the health and well-being of the athletes, officials, volunteers and fans is prioritised. We are glad that the IOC, AOC and all parties involved have reached this decision.

“When the dates of the potentially rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are known, FFA will work with its national teams unit and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) to plan the best possible preparations for both sides.”