Football at the Summer Olympics

football competition

Football (soccer) has been included in every Summer Olympic Games except 1896 and 1932 as a men's competition sport. Women's football was added to the official program at the 1996 Atlanta edition.

HistoryEdit

Football was not in the original modern Olympic Games program as international football was not that popular in 1896. However an unofficial football tournament was organised during the first competition. Complete records have been lost and may not even be true but it seems that only two games may have been played. An Athens XI lost to a team representing Smyrna (Izmir), then part of the Ottoman Empire. Smyrna went on to be beaten 15-0 by a team from Denmark. Demonstration tournaments were played at the 1900 and 1904 games and the "Intercalated Games" of 1906, but these were contested by various clubs and scratch teams, and are not considered to be official Olympic events. Neither FIFA nor the IOC recognize the Intercalated Games. The first proper tournament is said to be in the 1908 Olympics, organized by the The Football Association. It had 6 teams. The next tournament was organized by the Swedish Football Association in 1912. However, the tournament was very unbalanced, with some high scoring games such as 10-0 and 12-0, and all of the players were amateurs.

For the 1984 Olympics, the IOC admitted professional players.

Since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, all teams have to be under-23 years old. Since 1996, three over 23 players are allowed.

A women's edition was added in 1996. The women's tournament has no age restrictions, unlike the men's tournament.

ResultsEdit

MenEdit

Year     # of teams
1900  
Great Britain
 
France
3
1904  
Canada
 
United States
3
1908  
Great Britain
 
Denmark
5
1912  
Great Britain
 
Denmark
11
1920  
Belgium
 
Spain
14
1924  
Uruguay
 
Switzerland
22
1928  
Uruguay
 
Argentina
17
1936  
Italy
 
Austria
16
1948  
Sweden
 
Yugoslavia
18
1952  
Hungary
 
Yugoslavia
25
1956  
Soviet Union
 
Yugoslavia
11
1960  
Yugoslavia
 
Denmark
16
1964  
Hungary
 
Czechoslovakia
14
1968  
Hungary
 
Bulgaria
16
1972  
Poland
 
Hungary
16
1976  
East Germany
 
Poland
13
1980  
Czechoslovakia
 
East Germany
16
1984  
France
 
Brazil
16
1988  
Soviet Union
 
Brazil
16
1992  
Spain
 
Poland
16
1996  
Nigeria
 
Argentina
16
2000  
Cameroon
 
Spain
16
2004  
Argentina
 
Paraguay
16
2008  
Argentina
 
Nigeria
16
2012  
Mexico
 
Brazil
16
2016  
Brazil
 
Germany
16

WomenEdit

Year     # of teams
1996  
United States
 
China
8
2000  
Norway
 
United States
8
2004  
United States
 
Brazil
10
2008  
United States
 
China
12
2012  
United States
 
Japan
12
2016  
Germany
 
Sweden
12

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