i saw the highlights for the MEX/CAN olympic qualifying game and i noticed it was U-23. why is the olympic qualifying event U-23 when I assume the olympic games itself have no age restrictions?
seems like it would be like using the world juniors in hockey as the qualifier for the olympics
By the time professional players were allowed to play in the Olympics, the World Cup was the ultimate in soccer and FIFA wanted to protect it. There have always been some kind of restrictions on who can play.
It now serves as the U23 championship, while other youth levels have World Cups.
Honduras have qualified for 3 of the past 4 Olympics, impressive by them.
Pretty much the European nations don't view the Olympics important as its the same year as the European Championships. Maybe a country like Belarus, who qualified for the Olympics but probably won't qualify for future senior tournaments, will look at it as important, but usually in the bigger countries its not really.
It's view is greater outside of Europe, for example Brazil might be taking Thiago Silva as an overage player