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Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics

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Title: Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Chronological summary of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Mano Menezes, Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's tournament, Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's tournament, Mexico national under-23 football team
Collection: 2012 in Association Football, 2012 Summer Olympics Events, Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Football at the Summer Olympics, Football Competitions Hosted by London, International Association Football Competitions Hosted by England, International Association Football Competitions Hosted by Scotland, International Association Football Competitions Hosted by Wales
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics

Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics
Tournament details
Host country United Kingdom
Dates 25 July – 11 August
Teams 28 (from 6 confederations)
Venue(s) (in 6 host cities)
Final positions
Champions  Mexico (men)
 United States (women)
Runners-up  Brazil (men)
 Japan (women)
Third place  South Korea (men)
 Canada (women)
Fourth place  Japan (men)
 France (women)
Tournament statistics
Matches played 58
Goals scored 146 (2.52 per match)
Attendance 2,186,150 (37,692 per match)
Football at the
2012 Summer Olympics

men  women
men  women

The association football tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics was held from 25 July to 11 August, and was the only sport to begin before the official opening day of the Olympic Games, two days before the opening ceremony. It was also the only sport to be held at multiple venues outside London (the host city of the Olympics), with Manchester, Glasgow, Newcastle, Coventry and Cardiff all hosting matches. The finals were played at Wembley Stadium. Associations affiliated with FIFA were invited to send their senior women's and men's under-23 national teams to participate; men's teams were allowed to augment their squads with three players over the age of 23. 504 football players competed for two sets of gold medals.[1]

For these games, the men competed in a 16-team tournament and the women in a 12-team tournament. The draw for the tournament took place on 24 April 2012.[2]


  • Venues 1
  • Competition schedule 2
  • Qualified nations 3
    • Men's tournament 3.1
    • Women's tournament 3.2
    • United Kingdom/Great Britain teams 3.3
  • Tie breakers 4
  • Medal summary 5
    • Medal table 5.1
    • Medalists 5.2
  • Men's tournament 6
    • Squad restrictions 6.1
  • Women's tournament 7
    • Squad restrictions 7.1
  • Controversies 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


There are six stadiums that hosted matches:[3] The stadiums represent London itself and South East England, the English Midlands, North West England and North East England in England, as well as Scotland and Wales.

Football at the 2012 Summer Olympics (the United Kingdom)
Wembley Stadium Old Trafford
Capacity: 90,000 Capacity: 76,212
Wembley 22 August 2007 20 August 2006
Cardiff Newcastle
Millennium Stadium St. James' Park
Capacity: 74,500 Capacity: 52,387
5 February 2009 21 August 2008
Glasgow Coventry
Hampden Park Ricoh Arena
Capacity: 52,103 Capacity: 32,500
18 July 2004

NOTE: Ricoh Arena was known as the City of Coventry Stadium due to the no-commercialization policy.

Competition schedule

P Preliminaries ¼ Quarterfinals ½ Semifinals B 3rd place play-off F Final
Event↓/Date → Wed 25 Thu 26 Fri 27 Sat 28 Sun 29 Mon 30 Tue 31 Wed 1 Thu 2 Fri 3 Sat 4 Sun 5 Mon 6 Tue 7 Wed 8 Thu 9 Fri 10 Sat 11
Men P P P ¼ ½ B F
Women P P P ¼ ½ B F

Qualified nations

Men's tournament

Means of qualification Date of completion Venue Berths[4] Qualified Senior team
FIFA Ranking
Host nation 1  Great Britain 4
AFC Preliminary Competition 29 March 2012 Various (home and away) 3  South Korea
 United Arab Emirates
CAF Preliminary Competition 10 December 2011  Morocco 3  Gabon
CONCACAF Preliminary Competition 2 April 2012  United States[5] 2  Mexico
CONMEBOL Preliminary Competition 12 February 2011  Peru 2  Brazil
OFC Preliminary Competition 25 March 2012  New Zealand 1  New Zealand 95
UEFA Preliminary Competition 25 June 2011  Denmark 3  Spain
AFC–CAF play-off 23 April 2012 Great Britain[6] 1  Senegal 61
Total 16
  • ^1 Locations are those of final tournaments, various qualification stages may precede matches at these specific venues.
  • ^2 Senior ranking shown for comparison only. This is an under-23 competition, which does not award ranking points for the FIFA World Rankings, neither takes it into consideration.
  • ^3 England's ranking.

Women's tournament

Means of qualification Date of completion Venue Berths Qualified FIFA Ranking
Host nation 1  Great Britain 9
AFC Preliminary Competition 11 September 2011  China[7] 2  Japan
 North Korea
CAF Preliminary Competition 22 October 2011[8] 2  South Africa
CONCACAF Preliminary Competition 29 January 2012  Canada[9] 2  United States
CONMEBOL Preliminary Competition 21 November 2010  Ecuador 2  Brazil
OFC Preliminary Competition 4 April 2012 1  New Zealand 23
(UEFA) 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup 17 July 2011  Germany 2  Sweden
Total 12
  • ^1 Locations are those of final tournaments, various qualification stages may precede matches at these specific venues.
  • ^2 England's ranking.

United Kingdom/Great Britain teams

A men's football team representing Great Britain competed in the Olympics until 1972, albeit failing to qualify for the main tournament after 1960. Great Britain did not enter a football team in the Olympics for the rest of the 1970s, plus the entire 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

On 24 August 2008, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggested that the presence of a GB team at the 2012 games was "vital".[10] He said that he had approached Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson to coach such a team.[10] The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football associations opposed such a move in case it would affect their status within the governing body of football, FIFA.[10]

On 29 May 2009, after last-ditch talks prompted by a FIFA deadline to settle the row, the four associations sent a letter to FIFA stating that while the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish associations would not participate in a unified UK men's or women's teams at the Olympic Games, they would not prevent England from fielding teams under that banner.[11][12]

However, Britain's FIFA Vice-President Jim Boyce stated that Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey, Craig Bellamy, Charlie Adam and other non-English players would have the legal right to be considered for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics. The deal among the four "home nations" was challenged by the British Olympic Association. Boyce said there was no legal restriction as to why a player from Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland could be stopped from playing.[13]

Ultimately, five Welsh players were included in the 2012 Great Britain Olympic football squad, with Ryan Giggs – included as one of the three players over the age of 23 permitted – selected as team captain.[14] Giggs would score during the tournament, in a 3–1 defeat of the United Arab Emirates at Wembley.[15] None of the Great Britain men's football squad came from Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Tie breakers

This tournament differs from other modern major international football tournaments, in that head-to-head records is not the primary way to break ties.

The ranking of the teams in each group shall be determined as follows:[16]

  1. greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;
  2. goal difference in all group matches;
  3. greatest number of goals scored in all group matches;
  4. greatest number of points obtained in all group matches between the teams concerned;
  5. goal difference resulting from all group matches between the teams concerned;
  6. greatest number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;
  7. drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee.

Medal summary

Medal table

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Mexico 1 0 0 1
United States 1 0 0 1
3 Brazil 0 1 0 1
Japan 0 1 0 1
5 Canada 0 0 1 1
South Korea 0 0 1 1
Total 2 2 2 6


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men  Mexico (MEX)
José Corona (captain)
Israel Jiménez
Carlos Salcido
Hiram Mier
Dárvin Chávez
Héctor Herrera
Javier Cortés
Marco Fabián
Oribe Peralta
Giovani dos Santos
Javier Aquino
Raúl Jiménez
Diego Reyes
Jorge Enríquez
Néstor Vidrio
Miguel Ponce
Néstor Araujo
José Antonio Rodríguez
 Brazil (BRA)
Thiago Silva (captain)
Juan Jesus
Leandro Damião
Bruno Uvini
Alex Sandro
Alexandre Pato
 South Korea (KOR)
Jung Sung-Ryong
Oh Jae-Suk
Yun Suk-Young
Kim Young-Gwon
Kim Kee-Hee
Ki Sung-Yueng
Kim Bo-Kyung
Baek Sung-Dong
Ji Dong-Won
Park Chu-Young
Nam Tae-Hee
Hwang Seok-Ho
Koo Ja-Cheol (captain)
Kim Chang-Soo
Park Jong-Woo
Jung Woo-Young
Kim Hyun-Sung
Lee Beom-Young
Women  United States (USA)
Hope Solo
Heather Mitts
Christie Rampone (captain)
Becky Sauerbrunn
Kelley O'Hara
Amy LePeilbet
Shannon Boxx
Amy Rodriguez
Heather O'Reilly
Carli Lloyd
Sydney Leroux
Lauren Cheney
Alex Morgan
Abby Wambach
Megan Rapinoe
Rachel Buehler
Tobin Heath
Nicole Barnhart
 Japan (JPN)
Miho Fukumoto
Yukari Kinga
Azusa Iwashimizu
Saki Kumagai
Aya Sameshima
Mizuho Sakaguchi
Kozue Ando
Aya Miyama (captain)
Nahomi Kawasumi
Homare Sawa
Shinobu Ohno
Kyoko Yano
Karina Maruyama
Asuna Tanaka
Megumi Takase
Mana Iwabuchi
Yūki Ōgimi
Ayumi Kaihori
 Canada (CAN)
Karina LeBlanc
Chelsea Stewart
Carmelina Moscato
Robyn Gayle
Kaylyn Kyle
Rhian Wilkinson
Diana Matheson
Candace Chapman
Lauren Sesselmann
Desiree Scott
Christine Sinclair (captain)
Sophie Schmidt
Melissa Tancredi
Kelly Parker
Jonelle Filigno
Brittany Timko
Erin McLeod
Marie-Ève Nault

Men's tournament

Group A Group B Group C Group D

Squad restrictions

The same restrictions used for recent Olympiads are applied, in which each squad is to consist of eighteen players, of which no more than three may be over the age of 23 before the beginning of the next year. In the case of the 2012 Summer Olympics, this restricts players born before 1 January 1989.[17]

Women's tournament

Group E Group F Group G

Squad restrictions

There were no age restrictions in the women's tournament.[18]


After South Korea defeated Japan in the Bronze Medal match at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 10 August, South Korean player Park Jong-Woo walked around the field holding a banner with a message written in Korean, "독도는 우리 땅!" (dokdo neun uri ttang lit. "Dokdo is our territory!).[19] As both IOC and FIFA statutes prohibit any political statements being made by athletes at their respective sporting events, the IOC barred Park from the bronze medal ceremony and did not permit him to receive his medal.[20][21] In addition, it asked FIFA to discipline Park, and stated that it may decide on further sanctions at a later date.[22][23] FIFA failed to reach a conclusion on the case at a meeting at its Zurich headquarters held on 5 October, and the disciplinary committee discussed the case again on the following week,[24] then failed to reach a verdict again. The case was heard again by the committee on 20 November,[25] and FIFA decided on 3 December to suspend Park for two matches after he was considered to have breached the FIFA Disciplinary Code and the Regulations of the Olympic Football Tournaments. FIFA also imposed a warning on the Korea Football Association and reminded it of its obligation to properly instruct its players on all the pertinent rules and applicable regulations before the start of any competition, in order to avoid such incident in the future. The Korea Football Association was warned that should incidents of such nature occur again in the future, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee may impose harsher sanctions on the Korea Football Association.[26]

Iran's women's team[27] and three Jordanian players were banned at the second round of the Asian qualification tournament due to not adhering to FIFA dress code; the players were allowed to play while covering their head in the first round. FIFA banned the hijab in 2007,[28] although FIFA now allows the hijab to be worn after overturning the 2007 decision in 2012.[29]

Following the South Korean flag being put on display on the stadium screen at Hampden Park when the teams were being announced before the Colombia versus North Korea women's match, the North Korea team protested against this action by refusing to take to the pitch. As a result of the wrong flag being displayed, the kick-off was delayed.[30]

Japanese women's coach Norio Sasaki admitted to instructing his team to purposely attempt a tie against South Africa in group play in order to acquire a more favorable position in the quarterfinals, which would require less traveling for the Japanese squad. Neither FIFA nor the IOC took any action in response.[31][32][33]

In the 78th minute of the women's semi-final between Canada and the United States, referee Christina Pedersen awarded an indirect free kick to the United States after Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod kept possession of the ball in her hands for more than six seconds – a violation of Law 12. Although the decision was correct, according to a literal reading of the Law, it is extremely rare for the offence to be punished. From the ensuing indirect free kick, Pedersen awarded a penalty kick to the United States when she deemed that a Canadian defender deliberately handled the ball. Abby Wambach scored from the penalty kick, tying the match at 3–3, before the United States scored again in extra time to win 4–3.[34] The Canadian team protested the call in media outlets afterwards; FIFA is investigating the situation but indicated that any disciplinary action would be postponed until after Canada's bronze medal match.[35]

See also


  1. ^ "Football". London 2012. Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  2. ^ "GB Olympic football teams to play in Manchester, London and Cardiff". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 10 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Sports & venues: Football stadia, UK-wide". London 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2009. 
  4. ^ "AFC slots for Olympics approved". Asian Football Confederation. 
  5. ^ "CONCACAF to seek additional World Cup berth". CONCACAF. 16 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Play-off details confirmed". FIFA. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "China to host women's Olympic qualifiers".  
  8. ^ "Fixture change in Africa". 19 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "Canada granted 2012 Olympic Qualifiers". Canadian Soccer Association. 
  10. ^ a b c "Brown pays tribute to GB success".  
  11. ^ "England to go solo with 2012 Olympic team?". ESPNsoccernet. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2009. 
  12. ^ "Torneos olímpicos de fútbol – Londres 2012" [Full fixture Olympic football tournaments – London 2012] (in Spanish). International football journalism. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2011. 
  13. ^ "London 2012 Olympics: Gareth Bale and non-English players have 'legal right' to play for Team GB". The Daily Telegraph. 24 March 2011. 
  14. ^ "Welsh stars Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy dismiss Olympic fears". BBC Sport. 9 July 2012. 
  15. ^ Fletcher, Paul (29 July 2012). "Olympics football: Ryan Giggs inspires GB win over UAE". BBC Sport. 
  16. ^ Regulations of the Olympic Football Tournaments London 2012 (FIFA) Chapter VII, Articles 25 & 29, Paragraph 5 (p. 37 & 40).
  17. ^ Regulations of the Olympic Football Tournaments London 2012 (FIFA) Chapter III, Article 8, paragraph 3 (p. 15).
  18. ^ Regulations of the Olympic Football Tournaments London 2012 (FIFA) Chapter III, Article 8, paragraph 4 (p. 15).
  19. ^ "'"[SS포토]동메달 축구대표팀 박종우, '독도는 우리 땅!. Sports Seoul (in Korean). 10 August 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  20. ^ "'"London Olympics: row over S Korea 'political celebration. BBC News. 11 August 2012. 
  21. ^ "IOC weighs in on flag incident". ESPN. 11 August 2012. 
  22. ^ Hunt, Katie; Kwon, K.J. (13 August 2012). "Politics keeps South Korean soccer player off medal podium". CNN. 
  23. ^ Das, Andrew (11 August 2012). "South Korean Denied Medal Over Politics". The New York Times. 
  24. ^ "FIFA puts off ruling on S. Korean". theStarOnline. 2012-10-06. 
  25. ^ "FIFA to hear case over South Korea Olympic protest". Brian Homewood (Reuters). 20 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "Korea Republic’s Park Jongwoo suspended for two matches". FIFA. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  27. ^ Shantyei, Sanam (6 June 2011). "Iran women's Olympic dream crushed by dress code ruling". Arab News. 
  28. ^ Singh, Vijai (3 March 2012). "Headscarves for Women’s Games Near Approval". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  29. ^ "Hijabs approved for soccer players by FIFA". CBC News. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  30. ^ Bowater, Donna (25 July 2012). "London 2012 Olympics: North Korea women footballers protest over flag gaffe". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  31. ^ David Ebner James Christie. "Badminton scandal is a reminder of sport’s dark thread: cheating". The Globe and Mail. 
  32. ^ "London Olympics badminton scandal raises ethical issues –". 8 January 2012. 
  33. ^ "Algerian Olympic runner reinstated for 1,500 final - Track & Field News". NBC Olympics. 
  34. ^ Johnson, George (6 August 2012). "Canada loses a heartbreaker to U.S. in Olympic soccer semi-final". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  35. ^ "FIFA may discipline Canadian players, coach over ref remarks". CBC Sports. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 8 August 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 

External links

  • Official website

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