The place of football in the Olympics has always been questioned, however, it was the success of the Olympics football that inspired FIFA to launch the World Cup in 1930. The Olympic Football Tournament presents the top players, especially the under-23 age bracket. Football was not featured in the first Olympics, held in Athens in 1896.
Since 1932 there have been disputes over allowing professionals to play football at the Olympics. There were arguments about the best players being eligible for the Olympic football. However, in 1984, the policy loosened and professionals who had not been in the World Cup could play. Also, in 1992 male professionals, could play but they must be below age 23. The women Olympic football, however, allows women of all ages and it was debuted in 1996. Since 1996 the same year that women’s football was introduced into the Olympics, Africa and South American teams have been the only winners of the gold medals. Spain remains the last European country to win the gold medal since 1992.
Men’s football appeared at the Olympics much earlier than the women’s football, however, it is very complicated for the men. Aside from the fact that only U-23s are to play in addition to three older players, players can be kept from the Olympics by their clubs because clubs are not mandated to release their players for the Olympics. In 1996 Nigeria’s broke the 86, 000 spectators with their progress to the football gold medal. Beating Brazil in the semifinals and Argentina in the finals. It was an outstanding record in the Olympic football. For a country like Brazil, who is passionate about football and takes the Olympic football seriously, Neymar delivered their first men’s football gold medal in Rio de Janeiro 2016. The American football becoming a full Olympic sport is under consideration.