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Sport

Hosts France favourites after kind men’s Olympic football draw

todayMarch 21, 2024 1

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Thierry Henry’s France side are firm favourites to progress following a kind group draw for men’s football at the 2024 Olympic Games on Wednesday, as the hosts wait to see if Kylian Mbappe will be made available.

“Nothing is easy,” said Henry after the draw, but his side, already amongst the favourites for the gold medal on home turf, avoided potential pitfalls in not drawing Morocco and Egypt.

Les Bleus are in Group A of the 16-team tournament with New Zealand, USA and the winners of the AFC-CAF play-off.

With talents like Eduardo Camavinga, Bradley Barcola and Warren Zaire-Emery potentially at his disposal, Henry will want to top the group.

Such an outcome could well be key in order to avoid Argentina, who were drawn in Group B alongside Morocco, Ukraine and the third qualifier from Asia.

It is understood that Paris Saint-Germain superstar Mbappe is also very keen to represent his country at the Olympics, but he would likely have little time to rest after Euro 2024.

Football’s world governing body FIFA does not oblige clubs to release players for the Olympics, which could complicate Mbappe’s situation even more.

Spain, the silver medallists in Tokyo, will feature in Group C against Egypt, Dominican Republic and the second qualifier from the AFC.

Group D will include Paraguay, Israel, Mali and the first qualifier from the AFC.

Men’s football at the 2024 Olympics is primarily restricted to players born after January 1, 2001, but each side is allowed to select three players over the age of 23 for their squad.

The men’s tournament will begin on July 24, two days before the Games opening ceremony, and conclude with the final in Paris on August 9.

The top two teams in each group will qualify for the quarter-finals.

Full draw for the men’s football tournament at the 2024 Olympic Games:

Group A: France, New Zealand, USA, ICP AFC-CAF

Group B: Argentina, Morocco, AFC 3, Ukraine

Group C: AFC 2, Spain, Egypt, Dominican Republic

Group D: AFC 1, Paraguay, Mali, Israel

The AFC U-23 Asian Cup will take place in Qatar from April 15 to May 3, the two finalists and the third-placed team will automatically qualify for the Olympics.

The AFC-CAF play-off will decide the final participant at the Games. It will be contested between African side Guinea and the fourth-placed team from the AFC U-23 Asian Cup.

nf/mw/jc

AFP

(NAMPA / AFP)

Written by: Staff Writer

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