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Dates Fixed for Olympic Football
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A subordinate committee of the world football governing body, FIFA, has released the schedule for the football event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The FIFA Organizing Committee for the Olympic football tournaments said in a statement that the women's Olympic football matches will kick off on August 6, 2008 in Tianjin and conclude 15 days later at the Workers' Stadium in Beijing.

The opening game for the men's football event is set for Shanghai on August 7, 2008 and the final will be played at the National Stadium on August 23 in Beijing.

Qinhuangdao and Shenyang are also among the cities hosting football matches during the Olympiad.

The Chinese men's and women's Olympic football teams are sure to shine at the games as hosts.

The qualifying competitions around the globe are scheduled for completion by March 2008, the statement added. Brazil and Argentina have already confirmed their slots in the tournament thanks to their one-two positions at the recent South American U-20 Championship.

In women's qualifying rounds, a playoff is designed between the second-place holders from Africa and South America to decide the last ticket for the Beijing Games. Brazil will represent South America, while their counterpart is unclear until the qualifying event in Africa comes to an end.

Twelve women's football squads will compete at the Olympics, according to the committee, a record number, up two teams from previous Olympic games.

(CRI February 1, 2007)

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