So I managed (not too surprisingly) to get a Wembley ticket for a session of the Olympics’ Men’s Football. I’m intrigued to know what countries I may be watching but there’s still some way to go before all 16 places are filled.
- England, sorry, Great Britain get in as hosts.
- Brazil and Uruguay qualified back in February through the 2011 South American Youth Championship for the South American allocation
- Yesterday, Spain and Switzerland qualified for the first two European places at the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship and on Saturday Belarus and the Czech Republic battle it out for the third slot.
- In December, eight countries compete in the 2012 OFC Men’s Olympic Football Tournament for the single Oceania place; I’m assuming New Zealand will get through but Vanuatu may mess things up for them again. No, I’d never heard of Vanuatu before either (used to be the New Hebrides until 1980)
- Additionally that month, a further eight will compete for three African places through the 2012 CAF Men’s Pre-Olympic Tournament. Some strong teams here and I’ll pick Egypt, Algeria and South Africa to qualify.
- Thirty-five Asian teams have been reduced to a dozen chasing three places at the 2012 AFC Men’s Pre-Olympic Tournament. Further rounds are due in the remaining months. Strong representation from the Middle East. Strangely, Australia is in this group and not the Oceaniac one with New Zealand.
- Two countries from the Caribbean and three from Central America will join Canada, Mexico and the United States at the 2012 CONCACAF Men’s Pre-Olympic Tournament. Only two will get through to the Olympics and I expect the hosts, USA, will be one of them.
- The 16th place will be played for by two countries that failed to qualify directly (one from Asia and the other from Africa.
I get to see two matches with the one ticket so I’ll need a change of supporter’s tops. Hopefully two of the countries playing will have similar colours so I can get away with just the one…