April 09, 2020 11:10
The postponement of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo to July next year due to the coronavirus pandemic would have made several Korean footballers ineligible for the men's under-23 football tournament, as they will turn 24 in 2021.
But their hopes of competing in the Olympics have been kept alive, as the International Olympic Committee decided to make an exception and extend the age limit.
"The athletes... who already earned an Olympic qualification quota place will retain it," the IOC said Wednesday. Coach Kim Hak-bum welcomed the decision. "The players born in 1997 did so much work in securing the Olympic berth, and it would have been disappointing if they didn't get a chance to play in the Olympics," he said.
With the decision, some 6,200 berths already secured by athletes or teams will remain valid. Korea has 157 athletes in 19 disciplines who have already qualified for the Olympics.
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