Every four years there is an enormous event where countries from all around the world come to show off their athletic prowess; and it is not the World Cup. The summer Olympics are held every four years, having the winter Olympics in between. At these Games, there is one sport that is recognized worldwide for its popularity, it is football. Football has a long history and a very good track record ever since the Olympics started; it is no wonder that the matches are so highly spectated. It is a test of endurance, skills, and team work; the perfect combination for an Olympic event.
Football in the Olympics
The Olympic Games became an official international event in 1896 when Pierre Fredy, the Baron of Coubertin, wanted to promote international understanding through competition and sports. Football, with its long history behind it and its increasing popularity was added to the roster of events for the summer Olympics. Only during the 1896 and the 1932 Olympics was football not included in the regular line up. Apart from those two dates, football has appeared in every single one of the rest of the Games. As it is today, it was not when it was just starting. During these early times football was still becoming official through the creation of FIFA in 1904. They started out by only having 6 teams play, whereas today there are 16 teams from 5 different areas/continents.
Difference between Football and American Football
Fans from around the world consider football to be simply football, but in America’s case, football is an entirely different sport. Football for others is called Soccer in America, and football for America is called American Football everywhere else. The main difference between these two high energy and popular sports is how the game is played. For football (soccer), the entire game is played by controlling the ball with their feet and only the goalkeeper is allowed to touch the ball with his hands. While with (American) football, most of the game is played by tackling and passing the ball with the hands, and the person that does touch the ball with their feet is the Punter/Kicker. Similar names, but completely different gameplay and style.
2012 Olympic Qualification and Groups
Not just any country can participate in this prestigious event; they have to qualify before they can play. The process is a simple one, countries that are within a continent or region will play each other, and usually the winner and a few runner ups will get that privilege. The one team that doesn’t have to battle it out is the Olympics host country; as they have already fought for the right to host the event. The lineup, depending on continent or region is determined as such:
Three teams can qualify from Europe: Spain, Switzerland, and Belarus. Great Britain in included in this group as they are the host country and automatically qualifies.
Two teams from South America: Brazil and Uruguay.
Two teams from North and Central America: Honduras and Mexico.
Three teams from Africa: Egypt, Morocco, and Gabon. The winner of the Asia vs. Africa play-off also gets a spot; in this case Senegal got it.
Three teams from Asia: Japan, South Korea, and United Arab Emirates.
One team from Oceania: New Zealand.
Once the qualifying matches have been played and the winners determined, they are then split up into groups. They randomize it so that teams from different continents/regions play each other. As there are 16 teams, they are split into 4 groups where they will play each other; that is the first round. The Quarter-finals and Semi-finals are single elimination matches. The Final match is played to determine Gold and Silver medals; there is also a match to determine Bronze medal. The groups are split as following:
Group A: Great Britain, Senegal, United Arab Emirates, and Uruguay.
Group B: Mexico, South Korea, Gabon, and Switzerland.
Group C: Brazil, Egypt, Belarus, and New Zealand.
Group D: Spain, Japan, Honduras, and Morocco.
2012 Olympic Football Venues
The football matches are held throughout various venues spread across Great Britain. They have a total of 6 venues for these matches to take place in. They have organized in such a way that different groups play at different arenas throughout the tournament. The 6 venue locations and stadiums are:
Location Stadium Capacity
1 Cardiff Millennium Stadium 74,500
2 Coventry Coventry Stadium 32,500
3 Glasgow Hampden Park 52,103
4 Manchester Old Trafford 76,212
5 New Castle St. James’ Park 52,387
6 London (Main venue) Wembley Stadium 90,000
2012 Olympic Football Betting
As the 2012 London Olympic Games are going on, those interested in watching and betting on the football events are in for an entertaining time. It is very easy to place bets on this 2012 Olympic Football, as there are many options for the bettors. They can place the simplest kind of wager there is, the Moneyline, where all they do is bet on who the winner of the match will be. They could even place an early bet on who will win the Gold medal. There are other forms of betting like Match Points, where the bettor will wager how many points will be scored during a match.
For those bettors that want to have fun while betting, the Prop Bets are the way to go. There will be different types of prop bets, such as game related or simply something that will occur during the down-time. They can place bets on which team/player will score the first goal or even which team/player will get the first yellow or red card of the match. These are fun ways to bet while enjoying the most popular sport in the world.