- 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
The only exception to this rule is Argentina, who, 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): The AFC Women’s Futsal Tournament, to be played in Thailand in May 2018, will serve as the qualifying tournament for the region. The U-18 sides of the two finalists will be given priority in terms of eligibility for Buenos Aires 2018.
- CAF (1): The 23 March 2018 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking decided the African team that will represent CAF. Nigeria are therefore eligible to represent their continent at Buenos Aires 2018.
- CONCACAF (2): The 23 March 2018 edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking will decide the two teams that will represent CONCACAF. USA and Canada will therefore represent their confederation in Buenos Aires.
- CONMEBOL (2): The Copa America Futsal Femenino 2017, which was held in Uruguay in November 2017, established the ranking priority to select South America’s two representatives. The two highest ranked teams, and therefore eligible for Buenos Aires 2018, were Brazil and Colombia.
- OFC (1): By winning the OFC Women’s Youth Futsal Tournament, which was played between 4 and 6 October 2017, New Zealand have priority in terms of eligibility to participate at Buenos Aires 2018.
- UEFA (2): UEFA’s qualifying tournament featured eight countries split into two mini-competitions of four teams apiece. Portugal and Spain won those respective competitions, thereby gaining priority in terms of eligibility to participate at Buenos Aires 2018, ahead of the teams that finished beneath them.