Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico – Guadalajara will host the CONCACAF men’s qualifying tournament for the Tokyo Olympics March 18-30, soccer’s governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean said last Thursday.
The tournament was originally scheduled for March of 2020, but called off because of the coronavirus pandemic that eventually saw the 2020 Tokyo Games pushed back to 2021.
Eight participating Under-23 teams had already been drawn into groups of four, with Mexico and Honduras the two seeded teams.
Mexico heads Group A, which also includes the United States, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Group B includes Honduras, Canada, El Salvador and Haiti.
After round-robin play, the first and second place finishers in each group will qualify for the semi-finals.
Both finalists will earn a spot in the Tokyo Olympics.
The Jalisco and Akron Stadiums in Guadalajara will be used, with CONCACAF saying in a statement it had worked with world governing body FIFA, the Mexican Football Federation and other stakeholders to develop health protocols to ensure this competition takes place in a safe environment for all participants.
“I want to place on record our thanks to the Mexican Football Federation and the Governor of Jalisco for their ongoing commitment to this rescheduled Men’s Olympic Qualification tournament,” said Concacaf General Secretary, Philippe Moggio. “This competition is an important part of elite player development for our Member Associations and provides fans with the opportunity to see the best young talents from across the region competing for the honor of representing their country at the Summer Olympic Games”, added Moggio.
“The Mexican Football Federation welcomes the decision made by Concacaf to hold the Men’s Olympic Qualifying in Guadalajara, to capitalize on the efforts made previously by all the involved parties. We appreciate the work done and the enthusiastic participation of Jalisco’s Government, Atlas and Guadalajara,” said Yon de Luisa, President of the Mexican Football Federation.
Fans will be able to follow all the matches on Concacaf’s partner networks, including Fox Sports (USA), TUDN (Mexico and USA), One Soccer (Canada), Flow Sports (Caribbean), Teletica and Repretel (Costa Rica), TCS (El Salvador), Televicentro (Honduras) and other local partners.
The Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifiers took place in Houston, Edinburg and Los Angeles, in January 2020 and saw Champions USA and runners-up Canada qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.