Samantha Johnson will present the live-streamed event on 21 April. FIFA Legends Lindsay Tarpley and Ryan Nelsen will be the draw assistants.
The 28 teams that have qualified for the Olympic football tournaments will discover their first opponents in the draw, to be held on 21 April at 10:00 CET, at the Home of FIFA in Zurich.
Hosts Japan will take the lead spot in Group A (men’s) and Group E (women’s), with the men's teams allocated into four pots based on a ranking built according to performances at the past five Olympic football tournaments. The ranking is weighted so that recent performances play a more prominent role, and a bonus is given to those nations who finished their qualifying competition as continental champions.
The 16 sides will be drawn into four groups of four (Groups A to D), and the pot allocation for the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament is as follows:
The women’s sides will also be split into four pots, but their allocation to the pots will be based on the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking released on 16 April 2021. The 12 sides will be drawn into three groups of four (Groups E to G), and the pot allocation for the Women's Olympic Football Tournament is as follows:
The general principle for each tournament’s draw is to ensure that no group has more than one team from the same confederation. A more detailed breakdown of the draw mechanics, constraints and seeding can be found in the Men’s Draw Procedures and Women’s Draw Procedures.
Tokyo Stadium will be the stage for the first match of the Japanese men’s team, while the women’s finalists will battle it out for the gold medal at the city’s iconic new Olympic Stadium, which will also be the setting for the Games’ opening and closing ceremonies. Sapporo, Miyagi, Kashima, Saitama and Yokohama will contribute to the Olympic passion by hosting exciting games from 21 July until 7 August 2021. More details can be found in the match schedule.
Fans around the world and the team delegations will have the opportunity to follow the draws from their homes on the FIFA YouTube channel, Twitter (@FIFA.com), Facebook, Weibo and WeChat (FIFAOfficial). The live-streamed show will be hosted by the British TV presenter and journalist, Samantha Johnson, current sports anchor and correspondent for TRT World, based in Istanbul. She will be joined by Jaime Yarza, FIFA Director of Tournaments, and Sarai Bareman, FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer, who will conduct the men’s and women’s draws respectively.
Jaime Yarza and Sarai Bareman will be assisted by two FIFA Legends: Lindsay Tarpley, member of the USA women’s national team and two-time Olympic gold medallist (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008), and Ryan Nelsen, captain of the New Zealand Olympic squad in 2008 and London 2012.
Speaking ahead of the draws, Lindsay Tarpley said:
“It was always a dream for me to be an Olympian and I am honoured to be part of the draws for the Olympic football tournaments. I am looking forward to seeing my fellow footballers and athletes competing in Tokyo. They will show the world the Olympic values of being a positive example and respecting one another, especially given the current situation.”
Ryan Nelsen added:
“Playing an Olympic competition is an unforgettable experience. I’m very excited to feel the Olympic atmosphere again and assist with the draws for Tokyo 2020. I wish luck to all 28 teams and invite fans around the world to follow the event that will unveil the first matches of their countries."