Men’s Olympic football roster drops from 18 to 22

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Kim Hak-bum, head coach of the South Korean Olympic men’s soccer team, announced his 18-player roster for the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday at a press conference in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The men’s football roster at this year’s Tokyo Olympics will drop from 18 to 22 players, the national sports governing body said on Thursday.

The Korean Football Association (KFA) said it received a notification from FIFA on Wednesday evening announcing the squad’s enlargement for the period from July 23 to August. 8 Olympic Games.

Teams were originally limited to 18 players, with up to four substitutes allowed in the event of injury. Depending on the change, the four substitutes will be part of the full squad, but teams can only make 18 players available for matches.

In the event of injury or illness, teams may change their roster within 24 hours of their first match and must select players from their provisional roster of 50 players.

The list of 18 South Korean players was unveiled on Wednesday as head coach Kim Hak-bum failed to name his replacements.

KFA said the deadline for submitting a new 22-player roster is Friday (local time) in Switzerland, where FIFA is based. The four additional players will be revealed to the media before 9 a.m. Friday in Seoul, KFA added.

Earlier today, The Associated Press reported that the expansion had been considered due to challenges faced by participating countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus outbreak forced a one-year postponement of the competition from last July.

South Korea will face New Zealand, Honduras and Romania in Group B at the Olympics. South Korea’s best Olympic performance to date is the bronze medal won at the London Games in 2012.

Kim’s side will face France in their final tune-up match on July 16 at Seoul World Cup Stadium. Another match is scheduled for July 13 against a team to be determined later. (Yonhap)


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