Japan was drawn to face South Africa, Mexico and France in the group stage of the Tokyo Olympic men's soccer tournament on Wednesday, while the host nation will meet Canada, Great Britain and Chile in the women's competition.

Normally held in the Olympic host city, the draw for the postponed Tokyo Games took place at FIFA headquarters in Zurich amid travel restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

Former New Zealand Olympic soccer player Ryan Nelsen draws host nation Japan during the draw for the Tokyo Olympic Games men's soccer tournament in Zurich on April 21, 2021. (from FIFA's official YouTube account)(Kyodo)

Hajime Moriyasu's men will open their Group A campaign against South Africa at Tokyo Stadium on July 22, the day before the Olympic opening ceremony.

They will play Mexico at Saitama Stadium on July 25 and wrap up the group stage against France at International Stadium Yokohama three days later.

The Japanese men will be aiming for their first Olympic medal since their bronze at the 1968 Mexico City Games. The top two teams from each of the four groups will advance to the quarterfinals of the 16-team tournament.

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Normally contested by under-23 teams with a limited number of overage players, the age bracket for this year's men's tournament has been raised to under-24 in response to the one-year postponement of the games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Silver medalists at the 2012 London Olympics, Nadeshiko Japan open their Group E campaign against Canada at Sapporo Dome on July 21 and face Great Britain at the same venue three days later. They will finish the group stage against Chile at Miyagi Stadium on July 27.

The top two teams from each of the three groups, plus the two best third-place teams, will move on to the quarterfinals of the 12-team women's tournament.