THE Olympic soccer competition at the 2024 Paris Games will conclude with the women’s final—instead of the men’s—for the first time.
FIFA announced the Olympic soccer competition schedule on Wednesday. The governing body also said there will be no double-headers in France, making each match a standalone event.
The women’s final will take place on August 10 at the Parc des Princes in Paris. The men’s gold-medal match will be played at the same stadium the day before.
The combined tournament will start on July 24 and go to seven cities in France: Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice and Saint-Etienne.
As host, France’s men’s team will play in the tournament opener in Marseille, while the women’s team will play on July 25 in Lyon, site of 2019 Women’s World Cup final.
“That this should take place in France is particularly exciting,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a prepared statement. “A country with a distinguished history of developing and excelling in both men’s and women’s football, which has hosted some of the most iconic FIFA tournaments in history, including the last FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019, and where FIFA has recently re-opened an office to better serve its 211 member associations.”
The US women secured a spot in the Olympics by winning the Concacaf W Championship, while Brazil and Colombia qualified at the Copa America.
On the men’s side, the US team and the Dominican Republic earned spots at the Concacaf U-20 Championship.
Three-quarters of the 32 teams at the World Cup in Qatar, meanwhile, will stay within a 10-kilometer (6.2 mile) radius in and around the capital city, FIFA said.
Qatar will be the smallest country ever to host the World Cup, barely a quarter of the size of the next-smallest, 1954 host Switzerland.
Of the 32 teams, 24 will have their bases within the capital city of Doha and its suburbs.
England, Germany and Belgium are among eight teams who will be based further out.
The layout is the opposite to that used in Russia four years ago, when teams were spread out across the European part of the country with some bases more than 1,300 miles (2,100 kilometers) apart and a heavy reliance on air travel to get to games. AP
Image credits: AP