Summer Olimpic Games 2008 in Beijing

Watch Olympic Games 2008 live online. The most exciting competition in August - football tournament at Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing.

The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, are an international multi-sport event, that in this year will be held in Beijing, People's Republic of China from August 8 to August 24, and followed by the 2008 Summer Paralympics from September 6 to September 17. 10,500 athletes are expected to compete in 302 events in 28 sports.

The Olympic games were awarded to Beijing after an exhaustive ballot of the International Olympic Committee(IOC).

The Olympic slogan, One World, One Dream, calls upon the world to unite in the Olympic spirit. Athletes will compete in 302 events in 28 sports, just one event more than was on the schedule of the Athens games of 2004. Several new National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have also been recognized by the IOC.

The official logo of the games, titled "Dancing Beijing", features a stylized calligraphic character jing, referencing the host city. The mascots of Beijing 2008 are the five Fuwa, each representing both a color of the Olympic rings and a symbol of Chinese culture.

The Chinese government has promoted the games to highlight China's emergence on the world stage. A total of 37 venues will be used to host the events including 12 newly constructed venues. Earlier in 2007, former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch had said that he believes that the Beijing games will be "the best in Olympic history."

Football (soccer) at the 2008 Summer Olympics will be held from August 6 to August 24. Men's teams are allowed to augment their squad with three players over the age of 23.

History

In 1900 and 1904, football was introduced as an exhibition sport and became the first team sport included in the Olympic Games. Since 1908, the sport has been held at every Olympic Games with the exception of 1932 in Los Angeles.

Europe clearly dominated the competitions until 1992, when Spain became the last European team to win a gold medal.

Since the introduction of women's football in 1996, the USA won the gold medal in 1996 and 2004, but was beaten in the final by Norway in 2000.

Format of the tournament

The 16 teams, which take part in the final competition, shall be divided into four groups of four teams. The FIFA Organising Committee shall divide the teams into groups by seeding and drawing lots in public, whilst taking sporting and geographical factors into consideration as far as possible. The teams in the four groups shall be designated as follows:

Group A Group B Group C Group D
A1 B1 C1 D1
A2 B2 C2 D2
A3 B3 C3 D3
A4 B4 C4 D4

The system of play shall be a league system, each team playing one match against each of the other teams in the same group, with three points for a win, one point for a draw, and none for a defeat.

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

a) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;

b) goal difference in all group matches;

c) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches. If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their ranking shall be determined as follows:

d) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches between the teams concerned;

e) goal difference resulting from all group matches between the teams concerned;

f) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;

g) fair play point system, in which the number of yellow and red cards each team has received is evaluated;

h) drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee.

The two teams ranked first and second in each group qualify for the quarter-finals.

The matches in the group stage shall be played in accordance with a schedule drawn up by the FIFA Organising Committee and BOCOG. The last two matches in each group shall be scheduled to kick off simultaneously.

Quarter-finals

The eight teams that advance from the quarter-finals as follows:

Winner A v. Runner-up B = Winner 1
Winner B v. Runner-up A = Winner 2
Winner C v. Runner-up D = Winner 3
Winner D v. Runner-up C = Winner 4

The matches shall be played in accordance with the knockout system.

Semi-finals

The winners of the quarter-finals shall contest the semi-finals as follows:

Winner 1 v. Winner 3
Winner 2 v. Winner 4

The matches shall be played in accordance with the knockout system.

Final and play-off for third place

1. The winners of the semi-finals qualify for the final.

2. The losers of the semi-finals contest the play-off for the third place.

3. If the play-off for the third place is not played directly preceding the final and is a draw after 90 minutes, extra time shall be played (two periods of 15 minutes each) and followed, if necessary, by kicks from the penalty mark to determine the winner. However, if the match is played directly preceding the final and is a draw after 90 minutes, no extra time shall be played and the winner shall be determined immediately by kicks from the penalty mark.

4. If the final is a draw after 90 minutes, extra time shall be played (two periods of 15 minutes each) and followed, if necessary, by kicks from the penalty mark to determine the winner.

Contest Duration

Each match lasts 90 minutes, divided in two periods of 45 minutes each, with an interval of 15 minutes in between.If a match in the knockout stages is a draw after 90 minutes, extra time shall be played (two periods of 15 minutes each) followed, if necessary, by kicks from the penalty mark to determine the winner.

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