FIFA announced Friday that it is broadening the age limits for the postponed Olympic men's soccer tournaments that such a requirement applies to. The international governing body of soccer was able to technically accomplish this through inaction.
In the rules for the under-23 tournament, for example, FIFA made an amendment that "players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997" will be able to participate in the 2021 Tokyo Games. This was the language that was used for the rules for the 2020 games, which would truly cap players' ages at 23. This, however, allows some 24-year-olds who want to represent their country at that level to do so.
There is a limit to this rule, as the 16 teams at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics are only allowed to bring in three over-age players per team. The pool for the tournament includes Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany and Spain.
According to the Associated Press, the world soccer governing body said of its decision "health must always be the first priority and the main criteria in any decision-making process, especially in these challenging times."
The Olympic men's soccer tournament is scheduled to be held just before the opening ceremony for the games on July 23, 2021.