Football

Thomas Mueller, Mats Hummels in Olympic preliminary squad

Despite being axed from the Germany team last year, former World Cup winners Mats Hummels and Thomas Mueller are surprise contenders to feature at the Tokyo Olympics after being included in a 50-strong preliminary list of candidates.

The squad will not be finalised until June, but both Borussia Dortmund defender Hummels, 31, and Bayern Munich forward Mueller, 30, are in the extended list submitted on Wednesday by Stefan Kuntz, who will coach the German team in Tokyo.

Football at the Games, between July 23 and Aug 8, is contested at Under-23 level, but each team are allowed to add three older players.

Despite helping Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the pair were dumped by coach Joachim Loew after the national team failed to qualify from the group stages of the 2018 World Cup.

The German Football Association has stipulated that no player can play at both Euro 2020, from June 12-July 12, and the Olympics.

Germany are in Group F of the Euros, alongside world champions France, Portugal and a team from the play-offs. - AFP

Football