Due to the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until Summer 2021.
According to this report by the BBC, the games are now set to be held from the 23rd of July to the 8th of August 2021.
For the men’s tournament, hosts Japan will be joined by three more Asian sides – Australia, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea. Meanwhile, on the women’s side, Australia booked their place with a playoff victory over Vietnam, while China and South Korea will battle it out for the remaining spot.
However, the rescheduling of the tournament causes a unique concern, particularly on the men’s side of the tournament, due to the age restrictions. Typically reserved for players under the age of 23, the tournament and qualifiers were restricted to players born after the 1st of January 1997 – many of whom will be 24 by the time the Olympics roll around in 2021.
It remains to be seen whether the current age restrictions will be kept, allowing those who participated in qualifying to also appear in the final tournament, or if the tournament will revert to being a U23 competition.