Why is there an age limit of 23 in Olympic soccer? It's to prevent the Olympics from overshadowing or eclipsing 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 age limit was introduced by the IOC in 1975 when they decided that athletes should not be forced out of competition before their time. Previously, competitors could take part in both events but this rule was introduced to avoid over-exertion and eliminate any advantage that might come with being more experienced.
There are some exceptions to the age limit. If an athlete turns 23 during the year, he or she can still participate provided they do so before January 1st of the following year. This exception was introduced into the Games rules after John Amery, who had been born on March 20th, 1923, turned 24 during the 1972 Munich Olympics. He participated in four events as one of Britain's leading footballers but did not finish higher than fifth place.
Similarly, if an athlete dies during an event, they can have remaining medals awarded to their family member or associate. Christiane Jongsma, who died during the 1995 Women's Soccer Tournament, has become one of the most famous examples of this phenomenon.
The men's soccer competition at the Summer Olympics is confined to under-23s as part of a campaign to keep the FIFA World Cup as the men's game's primary international event. The senior women's game has been present since 1964 but its status as an Olympic sport was not guaranteed until 2008 when the International Olympic Committee voted to include it.
There are two reasons why soccer isn't included in the Olympics. First, the IOC believes that young people should have access to other sports too. For example, they think that if you're good at basketball or American football then you should choose those sports instead. The second reason is that nobody knows how to organize a soccer tournament yet!
In 2004, seven years after being last seen at the World Cup, Brazil won their first Olympic gold medal with victory in Athens over France on home soil. Since then, more Brazilian than French medals have been awarded - 13 to 10. This year's tournament will be held in Poland and Ukraine and we can expect another dramatic finale with both sides trying to win gold. In fact, of the 32 countries who have played at least one match, only four have never reached the final: Argentina, Australia, Iraq and Nigeria.
At the end of the tournament, there is a short list of five games per gender which qualify individuals for inclusion in the Olympic team.
Age restriction Male participants have been needed to be under 23 years old since 1992, with a maximum of three over-23-year-old players permitted per squad since 1996. France has only won the Olympic championship once (in 1984), and from 1996 and 2016, it failed to qualify for the Olympics until re-qualifying in 2020.
In 1968, the tournament was limited to male professional football (soccer) players. Amateurs were not allowed to play in this event until 1976 when it was opened to all athletes. In 1992, the age limit was reduced to ensure that the world's best young players were able to compete.
Women's soccer/football was created as an independent sport in 1991. The IOC approved the women's tournament in 2009 after many advocates worked to bring it about. It is currently held every four years, with the next competition scheduled for 2024 in Paris. Women's football/soccer has always been played at the Olympics, but unlike men's football, it is not a demonstration event; instead, it has its own ranking system called the FIFA Women's World Rankings.
The top eight ranked teams at the end of the season will qualify for the Olympic tournament. The other four places are allocated to the remaining countries through a process known as "Olympic qualification". Each country can use only one team in the tournament, so if they win their group they cannot enter another player into the tournament.
Football at the World Cup is more prestigious than football in the Olympics. The World Cup is open to players of all ages. Each squad in the Olympics may have no more than three players beyond 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 contrast, the Olympics have only eight teams competing in basketball, swimming, gymnastics, athletics, and wrestling with another eight teams participating in other sports such as rowing, sailing, equestrian, and skiing. There are also larger prizes at stake at the World Cup than at the Olympics.
World Cup winners are awarded a trophy called the Jules Rimet Trophy. It is named after the man who created the tournament: Jules Rimet. The current holder of the trophy is Russia; it won its fourth title in 2018. The Olympic gold medal is called the Golden Boot because it is made of gold. The silver boot is called the Platina Medal because it used to be made of silver but now is mostly made of bronze.
World Cup winners also receive a check for $20 million while losers receive $8 million.