Where: Marcana /
Corinthians Arena / Fonte Nova Arena / Mane Garrincha Stadium / Mineirao /
When: 12 match
days throughout the Olympic schedule
The world game returns to the home of the 2014 FIFA World
Cup where Football is a religion and the passion and fanfare in the stadiums
matches the action on the pitch.
The Olympic Football format differs slightly in the men’s
and women’s tournaments – in that the men’s competition is age-restricted
(U23s) permitting three "over age” athletes per nation, whilst the women’s is non
age-restricted and follows in the open format of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Teams are divided into groups of four nations, with a round
robin format following that sees team’s earn:
Three points for a win
One point for a draw
Zero points for a loss
The top two nations in each group progress to the knock out
phase, with teams seeded by virtue of finishing first or second in their group.
The winners and losers of the semi-final stage, play-off for gold and bronze
Goal difference (tallied on goals scored versus goals conceded)
is used to split teams on equal points at the culmination of the group stage,
with head to head record or goals scored used to further adjudicate if and as
Matches are played over two 45 minute halves, with 11
players on either side.
With footballers amongst the world’s biggest stars, Brazil
will boast the highest profile name at this year’s football tournament, with
Barcelona superstar Neymar highlighting Brazil’s quest to win a first ever
Olympic gold medal in men’s football.
The USA has dominated women’s Olympic football, winning four
of the five gold medals on offer since the sport was first opened up to women
at Olympic level in 1996.
The Olyroos missed qualification for Rio, meaning Australian
hopes are firmly pinned on the Matildas. The weight of expectation hasn’t
burdened the Aussie women however, with the girls producing a dominant
qualifying campaign against a highly ranked international field (including
Japan, North Korea and China) in the Asian confederation earlier in 2016,
winning all but one match in sealing a berth for Rio.
Australia has never won a Football medal at Olympic level and
the Matildas will kick start their campaign in Brazil, before the official opening
The Matildas will go head to head with Canada at 2am Perth
time on Thursday morning before clashing with Germany (Aug 6) and Zimbabwe (Aug
10) in their group, with the top two nations progressing to the knockouts.
The Australian team features two Western Australian
athletes, with Lisa De Vanna and Sam Kerr both members of the Matildas squad in
De Vanna is the only member of the Matildas squad with
previous Olympic experience, playing for Australia at the Athens 2004 Games,
which is the last time the women’s team featured at Olympic level.
Sam Kerr scored for the Matildas in their historic Asian Cup
success back in 2010 and the Aussies will be looking for more history in Brazil
when the action gets under way tomorrow morning.
To follow the Lisa De Vanna and Sam Kerr’s campaign in Rio,
view their bios below, including information on when they’re in action in