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How does the Buenos Aires 2018 qualification system work?

Futsal courses in Guatemala and Salvador, January 2011
  • ​The Youth Olympic Games were created to allow youngsters from as many countries as possible to compete against each other
  • With the exception of 2018 hosts Argentina, each nation can field only one team in certain team sports including futsal
  • The teams officially confirmed are: Argentina, Brazil, IR Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Costa Rica, Panamá, Solomon Islands, Russia and Italy

One of the core concepts of the Youth Olympic Games is that young athletes from as many different parts of the world as possible come and take part in them. This explains one of the key rules that underpins the Youth Olympic Futsal Tournaments Buenos Aires 2018: no country can be represented by more than one team in futsal, beach handball, hockey 5s and rugby sevens.

In other words and by way of example, if Italy manages to qualify for the futsal and handball tournaments, the Italian Olympic Committee must decide which of the two teams it will send to Buenos Aires 2018.

As a result of this rule, the qualification system for the Youth Olympic Games Futsal Tournament is a little more complex than for other FIFA competitions. Just because a team qualified for Buenos Aires 2018, it did not mean to say that it was going end up playing at the Youth Olympic Futsal Tournaments.

The National Olympic Committees (NOCs) had until 6 August to provide confirmation of which teams they were going to send, that is why the teams playing the futsal tournament were “eligible” rather than “qualified”. Until now, that we know the 10 participating teams.

A special case
Argentina, in their capacity as hosts, can field more than one team in team sports, though they may only enter one in futsal, either a boys or girls team, but not both.

Argentina have confirmed their participation in the men's event. This decision means that the women's futsal competition will have ten qualifiers, and the men's will have nine plus Argentina, leaving one less place for teams from the CONMEBOL Zone in that competition.

In cases where nations qualified through an over-18s tournament or via the FIFA-Coca Cola World Ranking, they will be represented at the Buenos Aires 2018 Futsal Tournament by their U-18 teams.

The criteria for each confederation:

  • ​AFC (2): Iran and Iraq are eligible for Buenos Aires 2018 after finishing first and second at the AFC U-20 Futsal Championship that was held in Thailand in May 2017. Both confirmed and will attend. 
  • CAF (1): Egypt will represent Africa at Buenos Aires 2018 after defeating Angola in the continental final.
  • CONCACAF (2): The FIFA Futsal World Cup Colombia 2016 was used to help select the region’s two eligible sides – Costa Rica and Panama.
  • CONMEBOL (2): South America staged its qualifying tournament in March 2018 to decide its sole representative at the Youth Olympics Men’s Futsal Tournament Buenos Aires 2018. Brazil won the tournament, while Argentina, who qualified as hosts, finished runners-up. 
  • OFC (1): Solomon Islands qualified for the Buenos Aires 2018 Futsal Tournament by winning the OFC Youth Futsal Tournament that was played between 4 and 7 October 2017.
  • UEFA (2): The qualifying tournament was played between 1 and 4 November 2017 and featured 16 teams split into four groups. After finishing the zonal qualifiers, Russia confirmed, but Italy selected the beach handball team instead of futsal. The next eligible team was Slovakia, who accepted.