Paris Olympics: New Zealand draw France, United States in men's football group

Football Ferns at Olympic qualifying in Samoa.
Football Ferns at Olympic qualifying in Samoa. Photo credit: Photosport

The Football Ferns have drawn defending champions Canada, along with hosts France and Colombia in group stages of the Paris Olympics.

The Canadians, ranked ninth, have medalled at the last three Games, with bronze at London 2012 and Rio 2016, before their victory over Sweden at Tokyo 2020.

The French women are ranked third in the world, but have only attended two Olympics, finishing fourth at London and reaching quarter-finals at Rio.

Colombia haven't ventured past group stages in two previous appearances at the Olympics, and managed a scoreless draw and 1-0 over New Zealand at Bogota in December.

The NZ women qualified for their fifth Olympics with an 11-1 over Solomon Islands in Samoa last month.

Meanwhil, New Zealand have also landed in the same group as France, as well as United States in men's draw.

The 'OlyWhites' qualified for the Games last September, when they overwhelmed Fiji 9-0 at the Oceania U23 tournament at Auckland, booking their attendance at their third Olympics, after making the quarter-finals at Tokyo.

Second in FIFA men's rankings, France have qualified as hosts, but failed to progress from group stages at Tokyo and did not qualify at the previous five Olympics. They won the gold medal at Los Angeles 1984.

Ranked 13th, United States have not contested the last three Olympics and their best placing was fourth at Sydney 2000, where they lost to Spain in the semis and Chile for the bronze medal. 

The Americans sealed their inclusion at Paris with victory at the CONCACAF U20 championship, where they beat Dominican Republic 6-0 in the final.

The fourth team in the group will come from playoff between the fourth-ranked teams from Africa - Guinea - and Asia, yet to be decided.