Is soccer in the olympics ? The Olympic Games come around every 4 years and are one of the most-watched sporting events on the planet. There are so many events that take place it can be hard to keep track. As a soccer fan, you want to know if soccer is one of the events that are part of the Olympics. I am happy to let you know that it is!
Soccer is in the Olympics and is an Olympic sport. Men’s soccer has been a part of the Olympics since 1900, and women’s soccer has been a part of the Olympics since 1996. The men’s competition includes 32 games and the women’s competition includes 26 games throughout the Olympic tournament.
Soccer has been in the Olympics since 1900, and there has only been one Olympic Games where soccer did not feature. Interestingly the International Olympic Committee(IOC) and FIFA disagree on whether the first two Olympic games that included soccer should even be recognized. But we’ll talk about that further on in this article.
When Soccer First Took Part in the Olympics
The modern Olympic Games have taken place almost every 4 years since 1896 (only canceled during the two World Wars), and soccer has been included in almost every Olympic Games since the second Olympic Games in 1900.
Soccer became an Olympic sport in 1900 when men’s soccer was included in the Summer Olympic Games for the first time. The only Olympic games not to include soccer were the 1932 Olympics.
The reason for this was because FIFA, the international governing body for soccer, wanted to promote their own event rather than allow teams to compete at the Olympics.
The first FIFA World Cup took place in 1930, with Uruguay ending up as the winners of the tournament. Rather than take attention away from this new tournament, FIFA dropped soccer from the 1932 Olympic games in Los Angeles. [source]
By the time the 1936 Olympic Games in Germany came around the IOC and FIFA had come to an agreement and allowed the inclusion of soccer again.
The 1900 and 1904 Games
The first two Olympic Games to include soccer, the 1900 and 1904 Games, are interesting because of FIFA’s insistence on not recognizing them as official tournaments despite the IOC recognizing them as the Olympic Games.
FIFA considers soccer only to have been an Olympic sport since 1908, whereas the IOC considers soccer to have been an Olympic sport since 1900.
There are various reasons for this, but it mainly boils down to the fact that the soccer tournaments at the 1900 and 1904 Olympic games were considered “exhibition tournaments” while in the 1908 Olympic Games, soccer was a full medal tournament. The fact that FIFA didn’t exist as an organization before 1904 complicates their ability to recognize the tournaments of 1900 and 1904 as well. [source]
How Soccer Teams Qualify for the Olympics
So, recognizing that soccer is an Olympic sport and has been for over a century is important but how is it decided which nations can take part and which cannot?
To qualify for the Olympic Games a national soccer team has to finish as the winners, or amongst the top teams, in a regional qualifying tournament preceding the Olympic Games.
Winners of the Olympic Soccer Tournaments
I find it really interesting to look back at which teams have historically done well at different soccer tournaments. As I looked back at which teams had won the first soccer Olympics and which team had the most medals, I was surprised by what I found.
The first Olympic soccer tournament was won by Great Britain in 1900. Great Britain beat France in the final in Paris, and Belgium came in third place.
What is interesting about this result is that each country sent a local club team to represent the nation rather than a national team. Although the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognizes Great Britain, France, and Belgium as being the top 3 teams in the tournament, the games were actually played by 3 club teams.
Why Olympic Football Is More Important Than People Think
Olympic football has never been considered as prestigious as the World Cup. However, it actually plays a bigger role than people think.
For example, Romario may be the best football player ever to feature at the Summer Olympics. There are many other contenders, like Bebeto, Tevez and Crespo.
Then of course there were young men called Messi and Ronaldinho…
Brazil have been one of the leading countries in recent years.
Great Britain have not really taken Olympic football seriously since winning it twice 100 years ago, despite the game as we know it being invented by a group of English gentlemen at Cambridge University in 1863.
Until this year, that is. Not surprising with it being on home territory. That doesn’t mean they will win it, however. Might have had a better chance if David Beckham had been in the team…
Uruguay may be having a renaissance, having been one of the world’s great footballing nations through the 1930s and also winning the tournament twice.
For many years after the last war, it was dominated by Eastern European countries, but we were never quite sure if the players were amateur.
Eventually, in 1984, the IOC decided to admit professional players but, in one of its dafter decisions, prevented the better, Western nations from entering players who had played in a World Cup.
Eventually common sense prevailed, and from 1992 on, it was open to any players under 23, together with three “over age” players. That is the modern format.
For some, it will always be a sideshow—especially women’s football—but there are at least five reasons why Olympic football is more important than some people think.
Is Soccer an Olympic Sport? (History – Winners – Rules)
Soccer is an Olympic sport and has been since 1900. It was in 1996 when the women’s teams were allowed to compete.
The Olympics is a time for nations to unite while their country competes against the world. This togetherness is unique every four years when the Olympics takes part.
Normally in soccer, teams throughout the country play against one another, and the competition are fierce. We can now put our allegiances aside as your friends and family are rooting for the country.
It’s funny to see those players that have put in strong tackles now playing side by side while their country is the priority. It’s nice for players to put aside their differences and play together and celebrate.
Without the Olympics and national side, the players and fans would not put aside their differences, and the rivalry would be non-stop. So it’s a pleasure when these competitions come around.
Winner Of The First Soccer Olympics
The winner of the first Olympics in 1900 was Great Britain. The competition was not in order, and clubs represented the participating countries.
The club that played for GB was Upton Park FC. In second place France and Belgium in third. The game took place in France that year.
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