Kind of sport
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. Two teams, each with eleven players, try to place the ball in the goal of the opponent, using either the foot or the head. This simple task and the relatively few and simple rules of the game make soccer a sport that is easy to understand. In the beginning of the modern Olympic Games, soccer was not doing all that well. It was difficult to get a handle on the concept `amateur' and many Olympic tournaments were marred by unpleasant incidents. After a reluctant start, qualifying rounds were instated in 1952. In 1984, FIFA enacted even more restrictive measures. In this way, players participating in qualifying matches were excluded from the world championships. In 1992 it was considered to implement an age limit of 23 years. But now, Olympic soccer is very popular, as can be seen in the following figures: in 1980 more than one-third of the total audience of the Olympic Games attended the soccer games and at the finals in Los Angeles in 1984, there were 101.799 people to cheer on the players from France and Brazil. At the Games in Seoul, teams from 114 countries from all over the world were competing for the sixteen places in the finals.
In 1996 soccer for women is admitted to the programme.