Explained: Wednesday's Men's Olympic Football Tournament draw

With just a day remaining until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Football Tournament draws take place, here is the lowdown on exactly who the Australia U-23's can face in the group stages. 

With the Olyroos qualifying for their first Men's Olympic Games since 2008, excitement continues to build as Graham Arnold prepares his side for a tilt at the nation's first Olympic football medal.

The tournament, kicking off on the 21st July, will feature 16 nations and see matches played throughout Tokyo, Sapporo, Miyagi, Kashima, Saitama and Yokohama.

READ: Graham Arnold's 'great headache' as Olympic preparations ramp up

WATCH: The Olyroos Quiz featuring Glover, Baccus, Genreau and Najjarine


The official pot allocation, confirmed last week, saw the 16 participants seeded based on a rankings system that incorporated previous Olympic and Olympic qualification results.

The four pots for the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament draw are as follows:

Pot 1: Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Korea Republic
Pot 2: Mexico, Germany, Honduras, Spain
Pot 3: Egypt, New Zealand, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa
Pot 4: Australia, Saudi Arabia, France, Romania

However due to the restriction that no group has more than one team from the same confederation drawn into it, the Olyroos' opponents will be picked out of a total of eight possible opponents. 

Being seeded in Pot 4, Australia will not be placed in a group alongside Saudi Arabia, France and Romania. 

Hosts Japan will also have a red ball and be preassigned to position A1, meaning that Australia will be drawn in either Groups B, C or D.  

The Olyroos' group will include a combination of the following opponents:

Pot 1: Brazil or Argentina
Pot 2: Germany or Spain
Pot 3: Egypt, New Zealand, Côte d’Ivoire or South Africa

In their seven Men's Olympic Football tournament appearances to date, Australia has previously been drawn alongside Brazil (1988), Spain (1996), Côte d’Ivoire (2008) and Argentina (2004, 2008).

John Aloisi in action against Argentina at the 2004 Olympics
John Aloisi in action against Argentina at the 2004 Olympics

Wednesday night's draw, which you can watch live via YouTube from 6pm AEST, will be conducted as follows: 

  • The four pots representing the teams are labelled 1 to 4, while the four pots representing the venues are labelled Groups A to D. 
  • In each pot, there will be four balls which contain the position numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 of each respective group. 
  • The draw starts with Pot 1 and ends with Pot 4. Each pot is completely emptied before moving on to the next pot. 
  • A ball from a team pot will be drawn, followed by a ball from one of the groups, thus determining the position in which the respective team will play.

Stay tuned to the Socceroos social channels for the latest updates on Tokyo 2020 as they emerge - you will be able to catch the draw in the player below.