FIFA Announces Squad Lists for London Olympics Teams
(ATR) FIFA says 504 footballers - 288 men and 216 women – will compete in the London Olympics football tournaments that begin on July 25 and are the first action of the Games.
Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey poses in his Team GB kit. (Getty Images)
All their names were officially confirmed on Friday; the complete Olympic squad lists for the 16 men's and 12 women's teams are now available on FIFA.com (see links below).
The men’s tournament is for U-23 footballers, with each team allowed three over-age players. The oldest male player at London 2012 will be Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs, captain of Team GB. At 38 years and 9 months, he is more than double the age of the youngest squad member competing at the Games, Gabon’s Muller Dinda, who is just 16 years and 10 months.
At 39, New Zealand women’s goalkeeper Jenny Bindon would become the second-oldest player to take part in the Olympic football competition if she plays. To date, Brazilian keeper Meg is the oldest player ever to make an Olympics appearance; she was over 40 when she competed at Atlanta 1996.
No age restrictions are in place for the women's tournament, meaning that the 12 teams are full-strength senior sides including FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany champions Japan.
In the men’s tournament Marcelo, Thiago Silva and Alexandre Pato aim to help Brazil win their first Olympic gold; these players competed at Beijing 2008 and came away with bronze.
Nine other men who are veterans of the Beijing Games are also heading to London; Japan’s Maya Yoshida; New Zealand’s Ian Hogg and Ryan Nelsen; and Korea Republic’s Jung Sung-Ryong, Ki Sung-Yueng and Park Chu-Young.
Euro 2012 champions Spain will field three players from that competition in London: Jordi Alba, Juan Manuel Mata and Javi Martinez.
The six Olympic football venues spread across the UK are: St James’ Park, Newcastle; Old Trafford, Manchester; Hampden Park, Glasgow; the City of Coventry Stadium; the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff and London's Wembley Stadium.
Team GB's women kickstart the program of London Olympics competition when they play New Zealand at the Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on July 25 - two days before the opening ceremony.
Great Britain play Brazil in an Olympics warm-up on July 20 in Middlesbrough. Their first game at London 2012 is against Senegal at Old Trafford on July 26.
With two weeks to go, London 2012 organizers still have around 1 million tickets to sell for the men's and women's competitions.
Written by Mark Bisson
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