15 Apr 2016

Football Ferns Olympic draw revealed

6:27 am on 15 April 2016

The New Zealand women's football team will play France, Colombia and four time champions the United States in pool play at this year's Rio Olympics.

The draw was announced this morning with Fiji, the Oceania's men's representative after New Zealand were disqualified from the Olympic qualifiers, grouped with defending champions Mexico, Germany and South Korea.

New Zealand Football Ferns hold aloft OFC Women's Nations Cup trophy

New Zealand Football Ferns hold aloft OFC Women's Nations Cup trophy Photo: OFC

There will be a total of 58 matches, with 32 for the men, and 26 for the women.

Hosts Brazil are pitted against South Africa, Iraq and Denmark in the men's draw.

Brazil, who have been world champions at every level bar the Olympics, begin their campaign against South Africa in Brasilia, one of six host cities for the competition.

"All the teams will find it difficult but we are very confident and hope Brazil can win the gold medal," said former Barcelona forward Ronaldinho after helping with the draw.

Three players over the age of 23 are permitted to take part for each team and Brazil are in talks with Barcelona to free striker Neymar.

The United States women's team have won four of the five Olympic titles.

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