Olympic rings

Reds pair set for Tokyo Olympics

Friday 02 July 2021 17:19

Manchester United duo Eric Bailly and Amad have been selected in Ivory Coast’s squad for the upcoming men’s football tournament at the Tokyo Olympics.

The sporting jamboree – postponed for a year due to COVID-19 – gets under way in Japan later this month.

Sixteen men’s teams will compete to win the football gold medal between 22 July and 7 August, with participating sides naming 22-man squads.

All but three players must be aged 24 or under, with Bailly, who is 27, taking his place as one of the Elephants’ overage trio.

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Our centre-back is no stranger to international competition, having won the 2015 African Nations Cup with the senior side. He was also part of the set-up in 2017.

It will be a first taste of tournament football for Amad though, in what is fast becoming a landmark year for the teenager.

The forward scored his maiden United goal in March just two months after completing his transfer from Atalanta and made his international bow later that month.

He opened his scoring account with a stunning free-kick against Burkina Faso in a friendly in June and will be keen to make an impression in a tournament which has long showcased impressive young talent – Neymar, Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto’o are among previous gold medal winners.

Ivory Coast are in a tough-looking Group D, alongside 2016 finalists Brazil and Germany, plus Saudi Arabia.

The group stage runs from 22 July to 28 July and the tournament will be broadcast on television throughout the world, including on BBC in the UK and NBCUniversal in the United States.

United also have representation in the women’s competition, with Ella Toone in Great Britain’s selection and Jackie Groenen travelling with the Netherlands contingent.