An important declaration by FIFA's president about the Men's football tournament: "The men's game,
which is primarily for under-23 players with a few added, is not a
good solution. The tournament is neither fish nor bird in this form.
Also, the football calendar is too tight".
I think this is the first step towards
the abolition of football at the Olympic Games.
Very unfortunate if it heads that way, the Olympic tournament has much more history than a lot of people realise (try asking a Uruguayan their opinion on the situation), surely some kind of flying fish can be found? It's especially unfair for the women's tournament, as they're often playing in front of crowd sizes and stadiums they don't even get at a World Cup, let alone for their clubs, and if one gender's tournament is not allowed it's sexist to allow the other to carry on, unless football wants to be put in the same bracket as rhythmic gymnastics and synchronised swimming...
As for Infantino's comments on the calendar, I know where he's coming from in terms of how more rest enables more elite-level performance, but at the same time I always find it laughable whenever it's suggested by big clubs, they only ever say it when it relates to a competition that doesn't make them as much money and there are so many examples of minor international tournaments or semi-professional leagues where they play several games a week (in the latter combined with day jobs). If those big clubs were invited to play in a competition that added 30 games to their season but paid as much money as the Premier League, guaranteed they'd find a way to do it.
In the Olympic Tournament this year, I really enjoyed the whole 'competitive but enjoy the experience' vibe of the matches, the attendance figures put it at least on the level of the Africa Cup of Nations or Asian Cup and if the earlier rounds were in smaller stadiums it would have looked a lot more presentable as a major tournament.
I'll actually throw in a rare point in favour of the U23 factor as well (besides being intrigued by the quirkiness of it all)
, the traditional closing ceremony speech of the Olympics literally calls on "the youth of the world" to gather at the next host city in 4 year's time. Obviously FIFA didn't create the U23 rule out of some idealistic following of Pierre de Coubertin's vision, and Nick Skelton would certainly disagree
, but as the only event to put on (semi) age restrictions it is an interesting thing to consider...