The 2012 Summer Olympics will feature 18 country teams vying for the gold in the soccer category (a.k.a. football for many European countries.) Since the 1900 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France, soccer has been featured as a continuous part in the Games except for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games. For nearly the first 100 years the soccer category in the Games was held only for men until the first women’s category was introduced in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
The aim of the competition is pretty simple and pretty much known by everyone the world over; score as many goals as possible in the opposing team’s net to defeat them. Each team features 11 players and has two 45 minute sections of the game with supplementary extra time and penalties shootouts used to determine the winner of each game and send them on to the next level of the competition. The Men’s soccer teams at the London 2012 Games are restricted to the under-23s competition, though each team is allowed up to three older players to even out the competition. The Women’s soccer category of the soccer event at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games are not restricted and can be any age.
At the Summer Olympic Games this year a British team will be playing for the first time since 1960 and reenters the Olympic Games with a history of gold, having repeatedly won the soccer competition at the Olympics since the 1908 London Games where Britain last hosted the Games. The other teams set to give Britain a run for their money are Uruguay, Brazil, Spain and New Zealand, each having a history of gold or a very close chance at it in the past.
The soccer events at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games will be held through Britain in six different cities and their stadiums around the country from July 25th to August 11th. The events will be held at Manchester in Old Trafford Stadium, Cardiff in Millenium Stadium, Newcastle in St. James’ Park, Glasgow in Hampden Park, Coventry in the City of Coventry Stadium and then finally London in Wembley Stadium for the finals. Each of the stadiums represents a section of the UK from Britain to Scotland and Wales. For those with the chance to see these teams go head to head, the soccer events at the Olympic Games are going to be truly spectacular.