AFC has announced the format of the 2012 London Olympics preliminary men’s football competition. Thirty-five teams have entered the fray for three-and-a-half slots in the men’s Olympics football tournament. Twenty-two lowest ranked teams will play home-and-away playoff in Round One and the winners will qualify for the second round. First leg of the first round will be played on February 23, 2011, while the return leg will be played on March 9, 2011.
The Round One winners will join 13 highest ranked teams in Round Two and 12 teams will make it to the third round after playing home-and-away playoff on June 19, 2011, and June 23, 2011.
The teams will be divided into three groups of four teams each in the third round which will have a home-and-away format. The winners of each group will qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.
All the second-placed teams will play in a round robin format and the winner will take on CAF’s representative for a place in the Olympics. The third round matches will be played on September 21, 2011, November 23, November 27, February 5, 2012, February 22 and March 14. The round robin matches between the second-placed teams will be played at a centralised venue from March 25 to 29, 2012.
Round 1MD1: February 23, 2011MD2: March 9, 2011
Round 2MD1: June 19, 2011MD2: June 23, 2011
Round 3MD1: September 21, 2011MD2: November 23, 2011MD3: November 27, 2011MD4: February 5, 2012MD5: February 22, 2012MD6: March 14, 2012
PlayoffMD1-MD3: March 25-29, 2012