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11 Aug 2004
IOC News

Athens 2004 - two days to go: kick-off of the Olympic football tournament

As the only competitions to start before the official opening of the Olympic Games, the men’s and women’s football tournaments start today. There are eight matches highlighted, including the men’s one between Greece and the Republic of Korea in Thessalonica.


Five cities

In exceptional circumstances, the football matches will take place in five towns: Athens, Volos, Thessalonica, Patras and Heraklion, the capital of Crete. The finals will be held in Athens, on 26 August for the women and on 28 August for the men.


Under 23 years old

The men’s tournament will be contested between 16 teams, in four rounds, and the women’s tournament between 10 teams over three rounds. According to a rule implemented by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), out of the 22 players allowed in each team, three are allowed to be over 23 years old. Some teams have decided to use this contingent, and others have given priority to their young players.


Match schedule

All the details concerning the groups or the match schedule can be found on FIFA’s website


Football and the Games

In 1900, football became one of the first team sports included in the Olympic Games. During the Sydney Games, the sport celebrated 100 years of Olympic football. Women's football was introduced at the 1996 Olympic Games, where the final attracted a world record crowd for a women's sporting event of 76,000 people.


FIFA’s centennial

This year, FIFA is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Several major events have been organised on this occasion.

Learn more on Athens 2004

Official website of Athens 2004
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