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Although football can trace its roots back to ancient China, it was in England that the modern game was born, before going on to become the most popular sport in the world. In the streets of England in medieval times, large crowds of people would gather together to drag a pig’s bladder to markers situated at opposing ends of a town to score a goal. Such events were well known for being as violent as they were popular. In the 16th century, English schools established the modern football codes, thereby transforming mob riots into a proper sport.

Brief overview of the rules

The women’s competition is organised in exactly the same way as the FIFA tournaments, played on a grass pitch with two teams of 11 in matches split into two 45-minute halves. The same rules apply to the men’s game, but with a slight difference in the composition of the teams. Each team must be made up entirely of players born on or after 1 January 2001 (aged 23 at the time of Paris 2024). However, three (3) footballers born before the mentioned date, above the age limit, can be included in the squad list (18 players per team).

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Olympic history

Football was included in the Olympic programme very early on, back at the Paris Games in 1900, and has been played at every edition since. Women’s football made its Olympic debut at the Atlanta Games in 1996. The USA has been on the highest step of the podium multiple times, including at Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004,  Beijing 2008 and London 2012.Germany won gold at Rio 2016, while Canada are the defending Olympic champions after triumphing at Tokyo 2020.

Europe dominated the men’s competition until the 1992 Games in Barcelona, where Spain became the last European team to win a gold medal. Since the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, African and Latin American teams have won every gold medal, with Brazil repeating as Olympic champions at Tokyo 2020. Europe always seemed to have the upper hand in the sport until 1992, when Spain became the last nation from the old continent to win the gold medal in the men’s game. Many footballing greats have taken part in the Olympic Games, including Ferenc Puskás in 1952, Lev Yashin in 1956, Samuel Eto’o in 2000, Lionel Messi in 2008, Neymar in 2012 and 2016, Marta in 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020, and Alex Morgan in 2012, 2016, 2020.

Events in 2024

The football tournaments will take place between the 24th of July and the 10th of August.

  • Football Tournament (women’s / men’s)

Venues in 2024

For the football tournaments of Paris 2024, the fixtures take place in seven of the most beautiful and iconic venues of the country:

International organisation

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