One year to go: Women's Olympic Football Tournament

  • Women's Olympic Football Tournament kick-off scheduled for 21 July 2021

  • Postponed due to the pandemic, Olympic Games will take place in a year’s time

  • We review the qualified teams, key facts and stats

It is time to once again start the countdown to Tokyo 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced the postponement of the Olympic Games until 2021, but enthusiasm for the iconic event and a yearning to enjoy it remain intact. Preparations are also continuing apace.

To mark the one-year-to-go milestone until the Olympic flame is lit and the action begins in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament, we are bringing you a rundown of the teams already qualified, those one step away and some interesting facts and figures about the event.

Tokyo 2020 medals / Courtesy of Tokyo 2020

Women's Olympic Football Tournament

  • When is it planned: 21 July to 6 August 2021

  • Who will take part: 12 teams from six confederations will compete for podium places

Qualified teams:

Asia: Japan (host), Australia

Europe: Netherlands, Sweden and Great Britain

North/Central America and Caribbean: USA and Canada

Africa: Zambia

South America: Brazil

Oceania: New Zealand

NICE, FRANCE - JULY 06: Sweden celebrates after winning the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France 3rd Place Match match between England and Sweden at Stade de Nice on July 06, 2019 in Nice, France. (Photo by Maddie Meyer - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Teams still with a chance of qualifying:


China PR and Korea Republic will go head to head for the region’s last berth. The two-legged showdown is scheduled to be played in early 2021.

Intercontinental play-off:

The last ticket to Tokyo will go to either Cameroon, runners-up in the African qualifiers, or Chile, runners-up at the Copa America. The two-legged fixture will be played on dates yet to be decided.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09:  The United States women's soccer team celebrates with their gold medals after defeating Japan by a score of 2-1 to win  the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Joern Pollex - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Did you know?

  • Centuries-old sport, relatively young tournament: Although football was the first team sport to be part of the Olympics, a women's tournament was not incorporated until Atlanta 1996. Tokyo will be the seventh edition.

  • Familiar faces: This tournament would not be the same without USA, Brazil and Sweden, who have contested all the previous editions and will, unsurprisingly, take part in this one too.

  • Cristiane's challenge: With 14 goals, the Brazilian veteran is the tournament's all-time leading scorer. In Tokyo she will be aiming to add to that tally and widen the gap on her nearest rivals – Christine Sinclair, who has 11, and Marta with ten.

  • USA on a mission: Only once have the Stars and Stripes, by far the tournament’s most successful side with four golds, not finished on the podium. That anomaly occurred last time out at Rio 2016, meaning they will be extra motivated to make amends in Tokyo.