Football to Start Early at Olympic Games, Team GB Will Not Compete
Sportsbooks and the best-betting app software are about to get heated up as the Olympic Games start early with football matches taking place, but don’t expect to see Team GB out on the pitch this time around.
While the English Football Association was hoping to have both a men’s and women’s team in Rio to compete, a lack of support in numerous areas have kept Team GB from participating in the event.
Other home nations were not able to offer a player able to join Team GB for football and Fifa would not accept a team without every nation being represented. In addition, qualifying for the Olympics is primarily based on the results of previous tournaments and while the women’s team would have been able to earn a place, the men’s team did not get past the group stage in their last competition.
Both teams were present in football during the 2012 Olympic Games in London, with the men and women making it to the quarterfinals before being eliminated. England striker Kelly Smith was part of the 2012 team, and has expressed his disappointment that the current Games will not include his fellow countrymen.
Smith adds that “it’s a great experience and you get to play against the best teams and players from across the world. It’s disheartening that they couldn’t get a side together.”
Olympics football has only recently grown in popularity. The women’s group was not added until the 1996 Games happened in Atlanta. However, since then many around the world view the women’s side of the sport as the more prestigious event. Men’s Olympic football teams have restrictions on their age limit, only being allowed three members who are over 23 years old.
Brazil are the determined favorites to win on the men’s side according to the best betting app data and sportsbooks odds. This event in particular has major implications for the country, which has been riddled with obstacles leading up to the Games and is looking to win its first gold in football on home soil.
The best betting app information points strongly towards the US team on the women’s side. The powerhouse squad that includes Carli Lloyd and Hope Solo are standing out among the crowd as favorites to win, being the current reigning world and Olympic champions. Other strong teams include a trio of European nations, the countries Sweden, France, and Germany.
Rio will host a total of 58 football matches throughout the Games, with a total of 28 different teams playing across both men’s and women’s squads. As was the case in London, football will be starting early simply for reasons of scheduling the matches to fit around all other events.
The Brazilian men’s football team will be represented by Neymar as its captain, with other strong players joining the squad in hopes of clutching the first gold medal for the country that recently experienced heartbreak in the semifinals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup against Germany.