- 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.
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.
All the details concerning the groups or the match schedule can be found on FIFA’s website www.fifa.com.
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.
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