Both Olympic teams include Under-23 players. Only three members of the squad can be over the age of 23. There are no age restrictions in World Cup squads. Olympic football contests, unlike World Cup matches, do not provide players with full international caps. They count towards the individual players' U23 caps.
Olympic games are played over a two-week period, starting on Friday, 24 August. The final game is usually played on Sunday, 26 August. World Cups are played over a four-year period, starting in June. The latest possible date for the finale is July 13. The Olympics also have a closing ceremony, while the World Cup does not.
Olympic football tournaments are divided into two stages: the group stage and the knockout stage. There are seven groups in total, four for each gender. Each group is made up of one team from each of the eight confederations who qualify through their regional competitions. The allocation of teams to groups is done by FIFA using the CFID (Confederation Formula System). The best ranked countries within their regions will be placed in the better-ranked groups.
In the group stage, which lasts from August to October, each team will play every other team in its group once at a time. The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. The third-place finisher from each group advances to the "cross-over" phase.
The primary distinction is that the Olympics feature 16 teams, but the World Cup features 32. In the Olympics, however, teams are only permitted to field U-23 age players, with a maximum number of three players above the age of 23 allowed. The World Cup allows teams to bring in younger players as long as they are under the age of 23 by July 2.
There are also certain events in the Olympics that do not take place during the World Cup. For example, the penalty shoot-out is used after regular time has been played out through extra time.
World Cup soccer has several games that cannot occur during the Olympics. For example, there is no 3rd place play-off game for countries who fail to qualify for the knockout stages.
The final tournament of the year for most countries takes place in June and July. The Olympics begin on August 8 and end on August 24 this year.
In conclusion, the World Cup features more games and more international teams than the Olympics. However, due to age restrictions, some events can't take place during the World Cup.
Football at the World Cup is more prestigious than football in the Olympics. The World Cup is open to players of all ages. Each Olympic squad is limited to three players above the age of 23. The World Cup permits each side to have a roster of 23, whereas the Olympics only allows for 18 players.
The World Cup has more games than the Olympics. While the Games last for just ten days this year, they last for about two months between June and July. The World Cup includes one-off matches as well as semi-finals and finals. In addition, it provides more opportunity for international players to earn money by appearing in competitions such as these.
The World Cup has higher stakes than the Olympics. The winning team of the World Cup receives $40 million while the losing team receives nothing. No country has ever failed to qualify for the Olympics after playing in the World Cup.
There are more foreign players in the World Cup squad than in the Olympic team. For example, there are currently 31 foreign players in the Brazilian squad which plays in the 2014 World Cup. This is more than the number of foreign players (29) in the Greek team that will play in the 2016 Olympics. However, Greece has 12 teams so each team can include up to three foreign players.
Why is there an age limit of 23 in Olympic soccer? It is done to ensure that the Olympics do not overshadow or match the World Cup. That is why, at least for males, an age limit is enforced. If there was no age restriction, the two competitions would be essentially similar, with the exception of a few teams.
The Olympic football tournament has been held every four years since 1896, except for 1932 when it was not held because of economic depression.
Since 1952, all countries have been allowed to enter one team into the tournament. Before then, only the "home country" team could participate. The idea is that each country will choose the best team without regard to age. In fact, many countries use this opportunity to select younger players than their national teams.
Thus, the under-23 category was created so that older players did not hinder young talent from gaining experience. Also, most European countries do not want to risk losing their best players just before a major tournament by using their youth teams.
Some countries, such as Mexico and Canada, do not have strict age restrictions for their senior teams. This is because young players in these countries often get plenty of playing time with the first team.
Age limits are used by almost all professional leagues around the world. They help protect the reputation of these leagues by preventing older players from entering the tournament.