ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 21: Tokyo 2020 Olympic football draws at the at the Home of FIFA on April 21, 2021 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham - FIFA)

Team GB learn of Tokyo 2020 opponents – Report and reaction

The draw for the group stage of this summer’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Women’s Football Tournament was made at FIFA headquarters in Zurich this morning.

Team GB have been handed a challenging group of opponents with Hege Riise’s side drawn to face tournament hosts Japan, Canada and Chile.

Canada are Team GB’s top opponents with Bev Priestman’s side currently ranked in eighth in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings while Japan are rated as the 11th best side in the world. Team GB’s third opponents Chile are a side that they will be expected to beat with the South Americans rated in 37th.

Team GB will begin their Olympic Games with a fixture against Chile at the Sapparo Dome on 21 July while they will play Japan at the same venue three days later. Riise’s side will complete their group campaign against Canada at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium on 27 July.

Speaking via The Football Association after the draw was made, Team GB head coach Riise said “Now that we know what our tournament journey will look like and the opponents we face, we can really focus in on our preparations for the Olympics.

“There is no doubt we have been drawn in a very exciting group. The host nation Japan are an extremely talented team and have been a strong force in women’s football for many years.

“Canada are another very good physical team, as we saw earlier this month when England and Wales both faced them at home in the April FIFA window. Chile are not a team I know quite as well, but they put in a very impressive performance against Cameroon to secure their place in this summer’s Games for the first time in their history.

“The players on our shortlist for Great Britain know what is expected of them if they are to make our 18-player squad. Physical and mental resilience, together with versatility, will be very important to our chances of success at the Games. These are the qualities we need in order to cope with the demands of Olympic tournament football, with a high frequency of games over a short period of time.

“We will name our GB squad towards the end of May and with our first training camp now only eight weeks away we can’t wait to get started.”

Riise’s final squad announcement at the end of next month with see a team assembled which will be made up of just 18 players. There are currently 35 players on the initial shortlist for potential selection.

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