Olympic Medal Hunt Under Way

Beijing 2008 may be a little under a year away but the battle for places in the Olympic Football Tournament has long since commenced, with South America and Europe having already identified their representatives. With plenty of issues still to be decided in the other qualifying competitions, FIFA.com rounds up all the latest news from each confederation.

Race over in South America and Europe

Argentine national forward Carlos Tevez kisses his gold medal in 2004

The identity of the two nations who will be representing CONMEBOL was revealed at the qualifying tournament for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007, held in Paraguay in January. Not surprisingly, regional powerhouses Argentina and Brazil were first past the post and will now carry the continent's medal hopes in Beijing next year.

Over in Europe, UEFA adopted a similar system, using the European U-21 Championship to sort out which four nations would go forward to China. The arduous qualification process began back in April 2006, and when the finals reached their conclusion in June this year Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Serbia were the quartet left standing .
* For all the results select the tournament in the right-hand menu.

CONCACAF halfway there

The qualification process is a good deal more complex in the CONCACAF region. The winners of the two tickets for Beijing 2008 will emerge from a final group of eight U-23 teams. Mexico, USA, Canada have already booked their places in the section and will be joined by five teams from the separate Caribbean and Central American competitions.

So far only the first stage of the Caribbean tournament has been completed, with Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada and Bahamas now going forward to two three-team groups. Those matches will be played in October 2007 with the top team in each group joining the North American trio. Central America's three contenders will be decided in November.

* For all the results select the tournament in the right-hand menu.

Stamina the key in the CAF

The race in Africa, scheduled to end in March next year, is now into its third and final phase, consisting of three groups made up of 12 teams each. Only the winners in each group will advance to Beijing, and after three rounds of games it is Nigeria, Zambia and Cameroon who lead the way. But with such a long way still to go, the frontrunners should be taking nothing for granted.

* For all the results select the tournament in the right-hand menu.

Asian race nears finish line

The AFC tournament reaches its conclusion in November. Three groups of four teams are battling it out for the right to represent the continent and with just three rounds of matches left Iraq, Korea Republic and Japan are the three sides holding all the aces. One side already sure of their place at next year's showpiece are hosts China.

* For all the results select the tournament in the right-hand menu.

Oceania waits its turn

The OFC qualifying tournament kicks off at the beginning of March 2008.

Source: FIFA

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