Formula for Competition
The men's tournament is contested by 16 teams, and the women's by eight. While professionals are allowed in the men's tournament, rules restrict teams to players under 23 years old with the exception of three overage players.
Australia qualifies automatically as host nation, the remaining 15 teams determined through regional competitions: AFC (3), CAF/OFC (4*), CONCACAF (2), CONMEBOL (2), UEFA (4).
*The team coming fourth in CAF's tournament will compete in a play-off against the winner of OFC's tournament.
The teams are divided into four pools for a round-robin preliminary tournament, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the quarterfinals. From there it is an elimination format that leads ultimately to the gold medal final, to be played at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday, 30 September 2000.
For the women's tournament, open to players at least 16 years of age, the 3rd FIFA Women's World Cup USA 1999 served as qualifying event.