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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The 2008 Olympic Women's Soccer competition will be in Beijing, August 6-21, 2008.

12 teams will compete (up from 10 last time).
Asia - 2 plus host China
Africa - 1.5 (playoff with CONMEBOL)
CONMEBOL - 1.5 - Argentina and Brazil (if the latter wins a playoff with Ghana on April 19, 2008)
CONCACAF - 2
UEFA - 3 (The 3 best UEFA teams in the 2007 World Cup)
Oceania - 1

What happened in the 2004 Olympics?

Official 2008 Olympic site

FIFA site
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
CAF Qualifying until March 16, 2008.

CAF is allotted 1.5 teams; the second team must play off against Brazil.

Preliminary Round - knockout system; 10 teams, 5 to advance.
October-November, 2006

First Round - knockout system; 5 preliminary winners plus 11 bye teams, 8 to advance
February - March, 2007

Second Round[/url] - knockout system; 8 teams, 4 to advance
June 1-3 and 15-17, 2007

Third (FINAL) Round - double round robin system; 4 teams, 6 matches each. Finalists are Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia.
July 27, 2007 to March 16, 2008
UPDATE: Ethiopia has dropped out, and South Africa is out of the running. The winner will be determined March 15 when Ghana plays Nigeria.

Update: Nigeria has qualified. Ghana failed to qualify when they lost the play-off against Brazil on April 19 in Beijing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Oceania Qualifying

The Olympic Qualifying tournament is the South Pacific Games tournament, held in Samoa, August 25 - September 7, 2007. The winner will play off against New Zealand at a later date for the one Olympic berth. Update: New Zealand beat Papua New Guinea 2-0 to qualify.


CONMEBOL Qualifying

Argentina has qualified, as 2006 South American Champs.
Brazil will play against Ghana for another spot on April 19, 2008 in Beijing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
AFC Qualifying - 2 teams to qualify (China also qualifies as host nation.)

Round 1 (Qualification Round) February 17-25, 2007
12 nations in 3 groups of 4; Top 2 in each Group will advance.

Group A: South Korea, Hong Kong, Jordan, India
Group B: Thailand, Maldives, Singapore, Vietnam
Group C: Chinese Taipei, Australia, Myanmar, Uzbekistan

Round 2 (Final Round)
Group A: Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam
Group B: DPR Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, Chinese Taipei

Update: Japan and Korea DPR have qualified.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
FIFA sez:

As hosts, the Chinese will not have to worry about the qualifying process for the 2008 games, but their neighbours throughout Asia are gearing up for a big fight set to start soon.

Three groups of four are set to tangle in a home/away aggregate format to determine which six teams will join Japan and Korea DPR in the final round of qualifying.

The first group (A) will pit 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup participants Korea Republic against Hong Kong, India and Jordan - who have already begun training in a residency camp in preparation for the competition.

Group B will see hosts Thailand - who also hosted the FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship in 2004 - up against Maldives, Singapore and Vietnam, while Group C will consist of former Oceania powers and Athens 2004 quarter-finalists Australia, hosts Chinese Taipei, Myanmar and Uzbekistan.

Groups B and C will adopt a standard round-robin format while Group A will employ a system of two home/away matches with the winners squaring off for top spot and the runner-up finishing second.

The eight-team final qualifying field will square off from April to August 2007 in a home-away league format. The winners of the two groups of four will book passage as the two Asian reps alongside China PR at Beijing 2008.

Africa and the rest
CAF - Africa's football confederation - could possibly send two teams for the first time in their history to a Women's Olympic Football tournament, granted 1.5 slots in the final field. Nigeria and Ghana (the two African representatives at next year's FIFA Women's World Cup) will be considered prohibitive favourites, with South Africa also fancying their chances.

With the preliminary rounds done and dusted, the remaining 16 African hopefuls move on to the first qualifying round proper, which will run from February to March 2007, at which point a draw will be held to determine the matches for the third and final round.

The four winners of the second round will battle it out in a round-robin format, with the winner qualifying automatically for Beijing. The runner-up then moves on to a play-off with South America's second-place finisher.

Oceania, minus Australia for the first time since the Matildas' move to the Asian Football Confederation, will hold a qualifying tournament in March 2008, while Europe (UEFA) will use next year's FIFA Women's World Cup in China as a qualifying competition. The top three European finishers at China 2007 will go on to qualify for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.

The two teams from North, Central America and the Caribbean (CONCACAF) have yet to be determined and details of their pending qualifying competition will be released shortly. But if recent tournaments are anything to go by, the USA, Canada and Mexico will be heavily fancied to make the grade.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
UEFA Qualifying

from FIFA:

The three best-ranked UEFA teams at the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup China 2007 will qualify for the Women's Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008.

Should the results of the FIFA Women's World Cup not clearly identify the three best teams, play-off matches would be held in order to determine the teams that qualify for the Olympic tournament.

In order to avoid any doubt, teams will be considered as having the same ranking if eliminated in the same stage. Therefore, teams eliminated at the end of the group phase will have the same ranking irrespective of their position, number of points or goal differences.

Also, according to Article 5.1* of the Regulations of Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008, and the approval of the FIFA Executive Committee, the England team is not eligible to participate in the Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008. In this regard, only four teams from UEFA are permited to qualify for the three slots at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008.

Consequently, should England finish among the top three European teams in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2007, they would forfeit their position to the European team ranked immediately below them. Similarly, England cannot qualify for the play-offs, and will therefore be unable to participate in the play-off matches i.e. there cannot be play-offs between five teams.
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* "The associations affiliated to FIFA may participate in the Tournaments provided there is a National Olympic Committee (NOC) in their respective country which is already recognised or about to be recognised by the IOC."

Update: Norway and Germany have qualified, by surviving the Group Round in the World Cup. Sweden and Denmark will have to have a playoff for the final qualifying spot, as they were both eliminated in group play.
UPDATE: Sweden beat Denmark in the playoff to qualify.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
CONCACAF Qualifying

The Canadian Soccer Association says it can't afford the paltry cost of $300,000 to $400,000 to host the CONCACAF Women's Olympic qualifying tournament early next year.

Canada was one of the countries that turned down requests from CONCACAF to put in a bid.

Update: The qualification tournament will take place in Ciudad Juarez, México, April 2-13, 2008.

The tournament will feature six CONCACAF teams: Canada, the United States, México, Costa Rica, Trinidad & Tobago, and Jamaica.

Two teams will qualify.

Preliminary tournament

Update: The two qualifiers will be the winners of the following matches on April 9: USA v. Costa Rica and Canada v. Mexico.

Update: Canada and the USA have qualified.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Qualified so far:

UEFA: Norway, Germany, Sweden
AFC: China (as hosts), Japan, North Korea
CONMEBOL: Argentina (plus Brazil, if they beat Ghana)
CAF: Nigeria (plus Ghana, if they beat Brazil)
Oceania: New Zealand
CONCACAF: Canada and USA

To come:
Brazil or Ghana (April 19)
Update: Brazil beat Ghana.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The Sweden-Denmark playoff for the third and final UEFA qualifying spot:

Nov. 8: Denmark 2-4 Sweden

Nov. 28: Sweden 3-1 Denmark

Sweden advances to the Olympics on 7-3 aggregate.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Qualifying is now complete. The 12 competing countries will be:

UEFA: Norway, Germany, Sweden
AFC: China (as hosts), Japan, North Korea
CONMEBOL: Argentina, Brazil
CAF: Nigeria
Oceania: New Zealand
CONCACAF: Canada, USA

The Group Draw:
Group E (Tianjin): China, Sweden, Argentina, Canada
Group F (Shenyang): Korea DPR, Nigeria, Germany, Brazil
Group G (Qianhuangdao): Norway, USA, Japan, New Zealand

sez FIFA:
The Women's Olympic Football Tournament Draw in Beijing on Sunday tossed up a series of interesting clashes. China were grouped with Sweden and Canada, who knocked them out in the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2003, while defending champions USA have been drawn with 2000 Olympic champions Norway, alongside Asia's emerging powers Japan and New Zealand. Two-time world champions Germany will not have it easy, either, with Korea DPR and Brazil set to test them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Match Schedule and Results:

Group E
Aug. 6
Argentina 1-2 Canada
China PR 2-1 Sweden
Aug. 9
Sweden 1-0 Argentina
Canada 1-1 China PR
Aug. 12
China PR 2-0 Argentina
Sweden 2-1 Canada

Group F
Aug. 6
Germany 0-0 Brazil
Korea DPR 1-0 Nigeria
Aug. 9
Nigeria 0-1 Germany
Brazil 2-1 Korea DPR
Aug. 12
Korea DPR 0-1 Germany
Nigeria 1-3 Brazil

Group G
Aug. 6
Japan 2-2 New Zealand
Norway 2-0 USA
Aug. 9
USA 1-0 Japan
New Zealand 0-1 Norway
Aug. 12
Norway 1-5 Japan
USA 4-0 New Zealand

Aug. 15
Quarter-finals
#19 USA 2-1 Canada
#20 Brazil 2-1 Norway
#21 Sweden 0-2 Germany
#22 China 0-2 Japan

Aug. 18
Semi-finals
Brazil 4-1 Germany
USA 4-2 Japan

Aug. 21
Bronze medal
Germany 2-0 Japan

Gold medal
Brazil 0-1 USA (aet)
 

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Group E is weak,I do believe our NT and Sweden could break through together.But Canada has chance too,last Olympic game,you kick us out from the quater-final.
Group F is nightmare,it is much horrible than Group G
BTW,you are so active,Jeff.So many posts you have!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Group E is weak,I do believe our NT and Sweden could break through together.But Canada has chance too,last Olympic game,you kick us out from the quater-final.
Group F is nightmare,it is much horrible than Group G.
I agree with your assessment.

It is unfortunate that at least one of China, Canada, and Sweden will be eliminated in the first round.

Likewise, only two of Germany, Brazil, and Korea DPR can advance to the quarter-finals.

Edited to Add: Kindly disregard the previous two sentences. I had forgotten that the 2 best Third-Place teams will advance also.

Group G is a "gimme" for USA and Norway.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The official Olympic website is a nightmare to navigate, and very slow. It's a disgrace, quite frankly.

Anyone looking for the rules of the women's soccer tournament will spend about 10 minutes of wasted time searching.

I have saved you those 10 precious minutes by posting the rules below:

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Competition Format

Group stage

The twelve teams taking part in the final competition shall be divided into three groups of four teams.

The FIFA Organising Committee shall divide the teams into groups by seeding and drawing lots in public, whilst taking sporting and geographical factors into consideration as far as possible.

The teams in the three groups shall be designated as follows:

Group E Group F Group G
E1 F1 G1
E2 F2 G2
E3 F3 G3
E4 F4 G4

The system of play shall be a league system, each team playing one match against each of the other teams in the same group, with three points for a win, one point for a draw, and none for a defeat.

The ranking of the teams in each group shall be determined as follows:

a) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;

b) goal difference in all group matches;

c) greatest number of goals scored in the group matches.

If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria,their rankings shall be determined as follows:

d) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches between the teams concerned;

e) goal difference resulting from all group matches between the teams concerned;

f ) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;

g) fair play point system, in which the number of yellow and red cards each team has received is evaluated;

h) drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee.

The two teams ranked first and second in each group and the two best teams among those coming third qualify for the quarter-finals.

The two best teams among those coming third shall be determined as follows:

a) greater number of points obtained in all the group matches;

b) goal difference resulting from all the group matches;

c) greater number of goals scored in all the group matches;

d) fair play point system, in which the number of yellow and red cards each team has received is evaluated;

e) drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee.


Quarter-finals

The eight teams that advance from the group stage shall contest the quarter-finals as follows:

Winner E v. 3rd F or G = Winner 1
Winner F v. Runner-up G = Winner 2
Winner G v. 3rd E or F = Winner 3
Runner-up E v. Runner-up F = Winner 4

The matches shall be played in accordance with the knockout system.

Semi-finals

The four teams that advance from the quarter-finals shall contest the semi-finals as follows:

Winner 1 v. Winner 3
Winner 2 v. Winner 4

The matches shall be played in accordance with the knockout system.

Final and play-off for third place

1. The winners of the semi-finals qualify for the final.

2. The losers of the semi-finals contest the play-off for the third place.

3. If the play-off for the third place is not played directly preceding the final and is a draw after 90 minutes, extra time shall be played (two periods of 15 minutes each) and followed, if necessary, by kicks from the penalty mark to determine the winner. However, if the match is played directly preceding the final and is a draw after 90 minutes, no extra time shall be played and the winner shall be determined immediately by kicks from the penalty mark.

4. If the final is a draw after 90 minutes, extra time shall be played (two periods of 15 minutes each) and followed, if necessary, by kicks from the penalty mark to determine the winner.

Contest Duration

Each match lasts 90 minutes, divided in two periods of 45 minutes each, with an interval of 15 minutes in between. If a match in the knockout stages is a draw after 90 minutes, extra time shall be played (two periods of 15 minutes each) followed, if necessary, by kicks from the penalty mark to determine the winner.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
U.S. forward Abby Wambach broke her left leg during the U.S. team's match against Brazil on Wednesday night in San Diego (a 1-0 USA win) and now she will miss the Olympics.

Wambach broke the leg after a collision with a Brazilian defender in what was the U.S. team's final warm-up match before heading to China for the Olympics.

Wambach suffered fractures in both the tibia and fibula in her left leg, an injury that usually requires three months to recover from.
 

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The tournament kicks off today. I'm watching Germany-Brasil right now. I missed the 1st half as I didn't know that it already starts today. Still 0-0, but a good game. Chances on every side, with a slight advantage for Marta and co.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The official Olympic website is a nightmare to navigate, and very slow. It's a disgrace, quite frankly.
I should have known better than to trust the Official freakin' Olympic website for accurate information!

Here's what I read this morning in their hard-to-find results section:
(BEIJING, August 6) -- The first three games of the women's football tournament saw Canada beat Argentina 2-1, New Zealand beat Japan with the same score and Germany drew with Brazil 0-0.
In actual fact, New Zealand tied Japan 2-2.

I resolve not to rely on scores reported on the Official Olympic joke of a website, and will henceforth report only those scores verified by reputable media.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It is of course too much to expect that the Official Olympic sorry-excuse-for-a-website would post official match reports, but from the unofficial reports on the FIFA website, we can get a glimpse of what the attendance is like at the women's football events.

And the figures are not impressive.

The Olympic Sports Center Stadium in Tianjin was less than two-thirds full for the home team's match against Sweden.

The much smaller Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium (capacity 32,000) had less than one-quarter of its seats occupied for the double-header featuring Japan v. New Zealand and USA v. Norway. If those matches had been held in Edmonton, Canada, there would have been at least 60,000 in attendance. Edmonton has less than half the population of Qinhuangdao.
 
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