The inaugural Youth Olympic Football Tournaments which runs from 12-25 August, is set to showcase to the world a small glimpse of tomorrow’s stars. With the new tournament just around the corner, the focus is turning on host country Singapore where six boys’ teams and six girls’ teams will battle for gold in their respective competitions. Join FIFA.com as we take a look at some intriguing facts about the first-ever event.
1. Kicking off firstAmong all the 26 sports of the Youth Olympic Games, the football competitions are the first to commence, with the girls' tournament kicking-off on 12 August, two days ahead of the Opening Ceremony. Turkey and Iran will have the honour of competing at the first event of the initial Youth Olympic Games.
2. Youngest age groupThe Youth Olympic Football Tournaments features 216 male and female teenager footballers born between 1 January and 31 December 1995, making the U-15 tournaments the youngest among the FIFA age group competitions which includes U-17, U-20 and the Men's Olympic Football Tournament.
3. Two goalkeepersTwo designated goalkeepers must be included in the final squad for each competing nation.
4. Number oneAmong the 18-strong line-up, only numbers from 1 to 18 may be allocated to the players with the number one jersey exclusively reserved for one of the two goalkeepers.
5. 40-minute halvesThe Laws of the Games allows modifications to the duration of play for matches featuring players U-16. Thus in the Youth Olympic Football Tournaments each match shall last 80 minutes, consisting of two periods of 40 minutes, with an interval of 15 minutes.
6. No extra timeWhen the competitions reach the knockout stage, any match that finishes on level terms after the regulation 80 minutes will go directly to a penalty shoot-out to determine the winners.
7. Medals, diplomas and awardsThe top nations in each tournament will receive medals of gold, silver and bronze as well as relevant diplomas, while the remainder of the teams will receive diplomas for their involvement in the competition. A FIFA Fair Play Trophy will also be awarded in each tournament.
8. A rare chance for hostsSingapore feature in the boy’s tournament in what is the hosts first appearance in a FIFA Competition. A regional power who have won the ASEAN Football Confederation Championship (previously known as the Tiger Cup) on three occasions, Singapore are still looking to make their first real mark. The Youth Olympic Football Tournament offers the home team with a golden opportunity to showcase their progress in front of a global audience.
9. Football’s restorative qualitiesIt will be a moving scene when Haiti takes to the field at the Jalan Besar Stadium on 16 August in their opening game against Bolivia in the boys’ competition - their first international tournament since the devastating earthquake in January.
10. The biggest and largestTurkey are the most populous nation among the 12 participants with a population of 78 million, while Iran are the biggest nation in terms of surface area.