The four home nations agreed in October to allow a GB women’s team to try to reach Tokyo, but qualification depended on England’s progress in France. England manager Phil Neville says the “plan” is for him to manage the team. Olympic Football fans from all over the world can buy Olympic Football Tickets online.
“It will be England led by me and my coaching staff and we have a fantastic pool of players to pick from,” he said.
“Not just the ones I manage here, but Wales, Scotland and [Northern] Ireland.”
England beat Norway to reach the last four, while the USA beat France 2-1on Friday to ensure there are only three European teams in the semis. There will be 12 teams at Tokyo 2020. There was no agreement for a British men’s team in Japan – although they would have failed to qualify anyway.
At London 2012, a women’s team made their debut, with the men returning after 40 years away – with the home nations agreeing to that as a one-off for the home Olympics. Both sides went out in the quarter-finals.
No combined British team featured in Rio 2016, with the associations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales opposed to the idea. Last June, Neville said fielding a Team GB team in Japan was “absolutely fundamental” for the growth of the women’s game.
The Scottish FA said they will not actively support or promote the side but will not prevent players from being involved, while their Welsh counterparts said they will not align themselves politically with the team. Unlike the men’s event – which is an under-23 tournament – the Olympics is one of women’s football’s biggest events, with no age restrictions.
The teams guaranteed a place are Great Britain, fellow semi-finalists the Netherlands and Sweden, hosts Japan, Copa America winners Brazil and Oceania champions New Zealand. The other spots will be filled by two qualifiers from each of Asia and the North, Central American and Caribbean group, as well as one from Africa and the winner of a play-off between Chile and an African team.
Defending champions Germany won’t be at the Olympics after they lost their World Cup quarter-final to Sweden. The four semi-finalists from the men’s European Under-21 Championship – Germany, Romania, Spain, and France – have qualified for Tokyo 2020.
Britain would not have been eligible even if England – who went out in the group stages – had reached that round.
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