Following the postponement of the Olympic summer games to 2021, FIFA have confirmed that the cutoff date to determine eligibility to play in the Olympic football tournament will remain unchanged. As a result, players who were born on or after 1st January 1997 will continue to be eligible to participate in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Each team is also permitted to select three players to their squad who are born before the cutoff date.
“It makes sense that the International Olympic Committee has accepted the recommendation made by FIFA and the DFB, and that players born in 1997 will retain their eligibility,” said DFB head coach Stefan Kuntz, who will take charge of Germany’s squad at the upcoming Olympic Games. “I’m happy for the lads, because those who helped us finish second at the U21 EUROs in 2019 played a role in us qualifying for the Olympics.”
Joti Chatzialexiou, the DFB’s sporting director (national teams): “I’m pleased that our players and us as an organisation have a clear understanding of how to proceed now. I personally supported this decision and advocated for it. In this manner, players will not miss out on the opportunity to take part in this tournament, and the coaching staff will continue to have the freedom to choose from a wide pool of eligible players.”
In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had previously announced on 24th March that the Olympics would be pushed back a year, and would take place from 23rd July to 8th August 2021. The Games were originally scheduled to take place in Tokyo from 24th July to 9th August 2020.