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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
  • National Olympic Committees have until 6 August to decide which team sport they will compete in

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 basketball 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 qualifies for Buenos Aires 2018, it does not mean to say that it will end up playing at the Youth Olympic Futsal Tournaments.

Until the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) provide confirmation of which teams they will be sending, sides qualifying for the futsal tournament will be deemed “eligible” rather than “qualified”. NOCs have until 6 August, at the latest, to make their decision.

If any of the eligible national teams do not take part in the tournament, the next best ranked team from the confederation's qualification competition or relevant ranking system will have the opportunity to participate.

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 qualify 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.
  • 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. Colombia and Venezuela finished third and fourth respectively.
  • 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 and Italy are eligible for the Buenos Aires 2018 Futsal Tournament.