In 1900 and 1904, football was introduced as an exhibition sport and became the first team sport included in the Olympic Games. Women's football was introduced at the 1996 Olympic Games , where the final attracted a crowd of 76,000 people (cf. also superlatives ).
Only in Los Angeles 1932, football did not take part in the Olympic programme.
The United Kingdom dominated the first Olympic football tournaments, contested mainly by European nations. Before winning the first World Cup, the great Uruguayan generation led by Jose Leandro Andrade, won two Olympic tournaments in Paris 1924 and in Amsterdam 1928 (cf. also winners).
The growth of professional football after World War II meant that some of the best players were not eligible to compete in the Olympics. Nevertheless, the Olympic Tournament retained its vitality as the forum for the amateur game.
In 1952, Hungary's great generation with players such as Grosics, Czibor, Puskas and Kocsis won the tournament in Helsinki. After that and until Los Angeles in 1984 all the Olympic titles went to Eastern Europe.
When the Olympics moved into their modern open era, FIFA was obliged to reconsider its position for the Barcelona 1992 tournament which then was opened up but basically limited to players aged under 23 years.