Football at the Summer Olympics

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Men's Olympic Football Tournament
Olympic rings without rims.svg
Founded1900; 121 years ago (1900)
Number of teams16 (finals)
Current champions Brazil (2nd title)
Most successful team(s) Hungary
 Great Britain
(3 titles each)
2020 Summer Olympics
Women's Olympic Football Tournament
Olympic rings without rims.svg
Founded1996; 25 years ago (1996)
Number of teams12 (finals)
Current championsCanada Canada
(1st title)
Most successful team(s)United States United States
(4 titles)
2020 Summer Olympics

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.

History[change | change source]

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 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. The tournaments of 1924 and 1928 are the two only editions officially recognised by FIFA as championships of the world.[1]

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.

Results[change | change source]

Men[change | change source]

Year Gold medal icon.svg Silver medal icon.svg # 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
2020
Brazil

Spain
16

Women[change | change source]

Year Gold medal icon.svg Silver medal icon.svg # of teams
1996 United States
United States
China
China
8
2000 Norway
Norway
United States
United States
8
2004 United States
United States
Brazil
Brazil
10
2008 United States
United States
China
China
12
2012 United States
United States
Japan
Japan
12
2016 Germany
Germany
Sweden
Sweden
12
2020 Canada
Canada
Sweden
Sweden
12

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. El País de Madrid, ed. (June 5, 2016). "Uruguay: dos Mundiales, cuatro estrellas" (in Spanish). Retrieved Aug 28, 2019.