10:00 Good morning, and welcome to today’s live-blog in which I’ll be covering the draw for the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Football tournaments at London 2012. The Nadeshiko, who qualified automatically for the Games as a consequence of winning the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, are placed in Group F, and cannot be drawn against fellow seeds Great Britain and the United States, who sit in Groups E and G respectively.
Meanwhile, the Samurai Blue, whose qualification was assured via a 2-0 victory over Bahrain on 14 March, find themselves in Pot 3 with fellow Asian Confederation entrants South Korea and United Arab Emirates, and owing to the laws of the competition, will not face either side in the group stages.
10:52 The conclusion of the draw will also pose some interesting selection questions for Under-23 manager Takashi Sekizuka. Having already confirmed that he is considering choosing Arsenal’s Ryo Miyaichi, who is currently on loan at Premier League strugglers Bolton Wanderers, he is also provided with the dilemma of whether to pick up to three over-23 players to join his squad. Sekizuka used just 27 players in total in picking both teams and substitutes across the qualification rounds, and while Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda would add world-class talent to the squad, the 51-year old would have some arkward decisions in naming a starting line-up given Keigo Kigashi has been an ever present and Hiroshi Kiyotake would have almost certainly started all six Group C matches had he not been injured.
11:04 For those unaware, as the Nadeshiko have been seeded and placed in Group F, they will play their first two matches at the City of Coventry Stadium on 25 and 28 July, before moving to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff for the final group game on 31 July.
11:08 This will be the 23rd Olympic football tournament in the history of the Olympics.
11:10 Gary Lineker is performing duties as host at the draw, and introducing LOCOG Committee chairman Sebastian Coe.
11:11 Coe trying to express how the legacy of the games will help all corners of the nation, which is likely to be met with some cynicism from the British press, rightly in my view. Coe also saying that the tickets for the football will be on sale, he hopes, at the beginning of May.
11:13 Back to Gary Lineker, who confirms that the women’s draw will take place first. FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke will conduct the draw, assisted by fellow guests Robbie Savage; the singer Mel C, formerly of the Spice Girls; ex-Scotland international Kevin Gallagher; England women’s player Kelly Smith, and finally Brazilian legend Ronaldo.
11:16 Valcke just explaining how the qualification process worked in terms of how many spaces for the tournament were available to each confederation.
11:18 Sweden drawn against Japan.
11:21 South Africa the next entrants in Group F with the Nadeshiko and Sweden.
11:23 Canada is the final name in Group F. I imagine it should a relatively straightforward group for Japan.
11:27 To confirm again, Group F is Japan, Sweden, South Africa and Canada.
11:28 On to the men’s draw now. Valcke confirming the places for the seeds in their respective groups.
11:29 Japan is in Pot 3. Pots 1 and 2 are being drawn first.
11:32 Japan has avoided Great Britain and Uruguay in Group A, Mexico and Switzerland in Group B. They will face Spain and Honduras and one other side in Group D.
11:35 Japan’s Group D is completed with Morocco taking the final place.
11:37 To confirm again, Group D is Spain, Japan, Honduras and Morocco.
11:40 A slightly more tricky group for the Under-23 Samurai Blue, facing arguably the strongest team in the competition in Spain, and CAF qualification tournament runners-up Morocco will provide a test for Takeshi Sekizuka’s men.
11:55 The Japan Under-23 men’s team will play Spain in Glasgow on 26 July, followed by Morocco in Newcastle on 29 July, and round-up their Group D fixtures when they meet Honduras in Coventry on 1 August.
11:57 The Nadeshiko face Canada in Coventry on 25 July and Sweden at the same venue on 28 July, before travelling to Cardiff on 31 July where they complete their Group E games with a match against South Africa.
Group D (Men)
Group F (Women)
12:01 Thank you for joining me. I’ll be providing reaction from the Japanese football press later on today. (All times BST)