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Dominican Republic Making History with Fútbol Debut at 2024 Paris Olympics

Lead Photo: Dominican Republic's players pose for a picture before the start of the international friendly football match between Peru and Dominican Republic at the Monumental Stadium in Lima on March 26, 2024. (Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP) (Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP via Getty Images)
Dominican Republic's players pose for a picture before the start of the international friendly football match between Peru and Dominican Republic at the Monumental Stadium in Lima on March 26, 2024. (Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP) (Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES/AFP via Getty Images)
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Paris 2024 is bringing a lot of firsts for Latin America. And one of those firsts is the Dominican Republic making its Olympic debut in fútbol. The Caribbean nation qualified for the first time by advancing to the final match at the 2022 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Honduras. To avoid direct competition with the FIFA World Cup, Olympic fútbol is played by U-23 fútbol teams, with competition rules allowing each team to field squads with only 3 players over the age of 23.

They are in Group C alongside Egypt, Spain, and Uzbekistan and are set to debut on July 24th, two days before the official Opening Ceremony. Some sports, like fútbol, debut before the  opening ceremony, because playing through an entire fútbol tournament takes a bit longer than the actual Olympics, which officially ends on August 9th with the Closing Ceremony. Indeed, the final for the fútbol tournament at the Olympics will be played on August 10th.

The Dominican Republic will play its first match against Egypt, and then go on to play against Spain on July 27th and Uzbekistan on July 30th. The top two nations in each group will qualify for the knockout stages. 

The coach of the team is Spaniard Ibai Gómez, and the squad of 21 players consists of goalkeepers Enrique Bösl, Anthony Núñez, and Xavier Valdez, defenders Joao Urbáez, Thomas Jungbauer, Francisco Marizán, Edgar Pujol, Junior Firpo, Nelson Lemaire and Luiyi de Lucas, midfielders Omar de la Cruz, Fabian Messina, Ángel Montes de Oca and Heinz Mörschel and forwards Edison Azcona, Josué Báez, Nowend Lorenzo, Rafael Núñez, José de León, Oscar Ureña, Peter González.

Whoever wins the fútbol tournament will still receive a medal, and it will count towards their country’s total, even if it isn’t reflected at the time of the Closing Ceremony.