As the domestic season is nearing its end the preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is well underway. This morning the draw was made for the group stages with the fixture details also being confirmed.
Hege Riise’s GB Football squad join hosts Japan, Canada and Chile in Group E, playing their first two group games in Sapporo. Although the fact that there is a group E is slightly confusing as the men have four groups (A to D) and the women’s three groups appear to be following on.
Great Britain will face Chile on 21 July in the Sapporo Dome, followed by hosts Japan on 24 July, before travelling to Kashima to take on Canada on 27 July. The top three nations from each group will then progress to the quarter-finals at the end of July, with the final to be played on Saturday 7 August in Yokahama’s International Stadium.
I have seen some describe this as a group of death although whichever group you are drawn into is going to be tough. To play the hosts is a great opportunity and will no doubt be a great atmosphere. Facing Canada will be the perfect opportunity to avenge the recent friendly defeat and elimination from the London 2012 games.
There are twelve nations in total competing in this year’s Olympic football tournament and it is only the second time in history that Great Britain will take a women’s football team to the Games; the first time was nine years ago at the London 2012 Olympics. Great Britain qualified for the Tokyo Games due to England’s performance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019.
Chile 4:30 pm local, July 21, Sapporo Dome
Japan 7:30 pm local, July 24, Sapporo Dome
Canada 8:00 pm local, July 27, Ibaraki Kashima Stadium” show_quote_icon=”yes” text_color=”#dd3333″]
Hege Riise, an Olympic gold medallist with Norway at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 said: “Now that we know what our tournament journey will look like and the opponents we face, we can really focus in on our preparations for the Olympics.
“There is no doubt we have been drawn in a very exciting group. The host nation Japan are an extremely talented team and have been a strong force in women’s football for many years.
“Canada are another very good physical team, as we saw earlier this month when England and Wales both faced them at home in the April FIFA window. Chile are not a team I know quite as well, but they put in a very impressive performance against Cameroon to secure their place in this summer’s Games for the first time in their history.
“The players on our shortlist for Great Britain know what is expected of them if they are to make our 18-player squad. Physical and mental resilience, together with versatility, will be very important to our chances of success at the Games. These are the qualities we need in order to cope with the demands of Olympic tournament football, with a high frequency of games over a short period of time.
“We will name our GB squad towards the end of May and with our first training camp now only eight weeks away we can’t wait to get started.”