The Youth Olympic Football Tournaments which runs from 14-27 August, is set to showcase to the world a small glimpse of tomorrow’s stars. With the tournament just around the corner, the focus is turning on host country China PR 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 event.
*1. Kicking off first *Among all the 28 sports of the Youth Olympic Games, the football competitions are the first to commence, with the girls' tournament kicking-off on 14 August, two days ahead of the Opening Ceremony. Papua New Guinea and Venezuela will have the honour of competing in the opening match.
*2. Youngest age group *
The Youth Olympic Football Tournaments features 216 male and female teenager footballers born between 1 January and 31 December 1999, 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 goalkeepers *
Two designated goalkeepers must be included in the final squad for each competing nation.
*4. Number one *
Among 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 halves *The 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 time *
When 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 awards *The top nations in each tournament will receive medals of gold, silver and bronze as well as relevant diplomas. A FIFA Fair Play Trophy will also be awarded in each tournament.
*8. A rare chance for four teams *
Cape Verde Islands and Iceland feature in the boy’s tournament in what is their first appearance in a FIFA Competition. Namibia and Slovakia are taking part in a FIFA women’s competition for the first time. The Youth Olympic Football Tournament offers these four teams with a golden opportunity to showcase their progress in front of a global audience.
*9. Return to China *
It’s the second time that China PR has hosted Olympic Football Tournaments. At the 2008 Olympics Games football was held in Beijing and several other cities. In 1991 and 2007 the Asian country also successfully hosted the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ and showed the world its great capability of staging big sporting events.
*10. The biggest and smallest *China PR are the most populous nation among the 12 participants with a population of 1.36 billion, while Cape Verde Islands are the smallest nation in terms of surface area (4,000 square kilometres).