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Feb 4 09 4:09 AM

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UEFA president Michel Platini has backed FIFA counterpart Sepp Blatter's call for the football competition at the 2012 London Olympics to be contested by under-20 squads.
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Blatter believes the age limit should be lowered from the current under-23 level, which caused ugly club-versus-country rows in the run-up to last year's games in Beijing.

A number of players went against the wishes of their clubs to compete for medals in China, the most high-profile case being that of Barcelona's Lionel Messi, which went all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport before the Catalan outfit allowed the Argentina forward to participate.

Blatter revealed he will discuss the issue of lowering the age limit from the current 23 to 20 at a meeting of the FIFA executive committee on March 19-20.

Platini today said: ''I salute the excellent initiative of President Blatter, which finds complete agreement among the European football family.''

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#3 [url]

Mar 23 09 3:18 PM

Tanaka wrote:
from some Asian sources,

top 15 nations in U-20 World Cup 2011 will qualify for Olympics 2012 directly
15 from 16? The team left is the host of the Olympics. so, there will not be any kind of qualifying, and with that rule, we can have 2 or 3 continentes without representative teams in the Olympics

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#4 [url]

Mar 23 09 10:55 PM

I think Europe is the only continent that still has U-21 teams, most others have gone for U-17 and U-20 as well as U-23. Europe also has U-17 and U-19, but not U-23. I think it's time Europe fell in line with the rest of the world and had U-17, U-20 and U-23. And I think that ultimately, removing U-23 altogether would be a good thing. Nowadays most players break into the first team at their clubs when they are 18 or 19, so by the time they are 20 or 21, they are already playing full internationals anyway, so U-23 seems to be unnecessary.

I would like to see this, and also tougher penalties for age cheats (banning the country from ALL competitions for 2 years, and taking away all FIFA grants for this period, for example, would make countries think twice about cheating).

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#5 [url]

Jun 4 09 1:49 AM

the FIFA Executive Committee withdrew its proposal to discuss the eligibility criteria for the Men's Olympic Football tournaments

still keeping U-23 ....?

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#6 [url]

Jun 4 09 4:30 PM

I thought it had changed to under 20's only?

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