Draw Procedures Set for 2008 Olympic Tournaments
CHICAGO (April 19, 2008) – FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, has set the procedures for the Final Draws for the 2008 Men’s and Women’s Olympic Tournaments.
The official draws will take place at 7 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET) in Beijing on Sunday, April 20, exactly 110 days before this year's Olympic Games get underway. At the draw, 16 men's and 12 women's teams will find out who they will face in the first-round matches, which will be staged in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Qinhuangdao and Shenyang from August 6-23. FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke will conduct the draw at the Regent Beijing Hotel.
There will be quotes regarding the draws from representatives of both the U.S. Women’s National Team and the U.S. Men’s U-23 National Team on ussoccer.com on Sunday morning.
Host China, defending Women’s World Cup champion Germany and defending Olympic champion USA have been seeded atop the three groups. China will head Group E and play its first two first-round games in Tianjin, Germany will head Group F and play its first two games in Shenyang while the USA will head Group G and play its first two matches in Qinhuangdao, before playing its third first-round match in either Shenyang or Shanghai, depending on what position the Americans are drawn within the group.
Qinhuangdao is a port city on the Yellow Sea in the Heibei province, about 200 miles northeast of Beijing city.
In the men’s tournament, host China, Cameroon, the Netherlands and Argentina have been seeded into the four groups, with the USA being placed in a pot with Argentina, Brazil and CONCACAF foe Honduras, meaning head coach Peter Nowak’s squad will not face any of those three teams in the first round.
In the 12-team women’s tournament, the top two teams in each of the three groups plus the two best third-place teams after the completion of first-round play will advance to the quarterfinals. In the 16-team men’s tournament, the top two teams in each of the four groups after first-round play will advance to the quarterfinals.
None of the first-round groups for the women’s tournament may feature more than one team from any geographic region. For the women’s tournament, the initial pots are divided as follows according to geographic region and FIFA Women’s World Ranking:
This breakdown means the USA will get either Japan or North Korea, either Norway or Sweden and either New Zealand, Nigeria or Argentina in its group.
In the men’s tournament, the four pots are broken down as follows by geographic region:
Brazil was the final country to earn a berth to the Olympics when they defeated Ghana, 5-1, on April 19th at Workers Stadium in Beijing.
This will be the fourth Olympic soccer competition for women. The USA has won two gold medals and one silver medal in previous Olympic tournaments. This will be the 21st Olympic men’s soccer competition and the 13th for the USA, with a best finish of fourth in Sydney in 2000.
2008 Olympic Venues and Stadiums
Beijing Workers’ Stadium & National Stadium
Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium
Qinhuangdao Olympic Center Stadium
Shanghai Shanghai Stadium
Shenyang Olympic Center Stadium