Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Spain can select two switchers

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The Spanish team for men’s football at the Paris Olympics got permission Thursday from the IOC to select two players who previously played for other countries.

Leeds forward Mateo Joseph had played for England at Under-20 level and Juventus defender Dean Huijsen represented Netherlands national youth teams.

Both Spain-born Joseph and Huijsen recently changed eligibility through FIFA to play for Spain at Under-21 level, and those moves are now also recognised by the International Olympic Committee.

Spain won its only Olympic title in men’s football in 1992, when Pep Guardiola played. Spain took silver in Tokyo three years ago when its squad included current senior players Unai Simón, Pedri and Dani Olmo.

At the Paris Olympics, Spain will play in a group with Egypt, Uzbekistan and the Dominican Republic in the 16-nation men’s football tournament that starts July 24, two days before the opening ceremony. Argentina, Israel, Ukraine and the United States also qualified.

The IOC approved changes of Olympic nationality for 11 athletes Thursday, including two former Russians. Denis Taradin can compete in sailing for Cyprus and wrestler Chermen Valiev is now eligible for Albania.

A person takes video of Olympic rings on the Eiffel Tower Friday, June 7, 2024, in Paris. PHOTO: AP