Olympics Photo of the Day

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Football at the 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 programme in 1996.


Football was not on the original modern Olympic Games programme as international football was in its infancy in 1896. However an unofficial football tournament was organised during the first competition. Complete records have been lost 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. In 1906 teams from Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Netherlands and France were withdrawn from an unofficial competition and left Denmark, Smyrna (one Armenian, two Frenchmen and eight Britons), Athens and Thessaloniki Music Club to compete. Denmark won the final against Athens 9-0.