Football was not on the original modern Olympic Games programme, perhaps unsurprisingly, as international football was in its infancy in 1896.
However, some sources claim that an unofficial football tournament was organised during the first competition, in which an Athens XI lost to a team representing Smyrna (Izmir), then part of the Ottoman Empire. Smyrna went on to be beaten (15-0) by a team from Denmark.
However, it is in fact unclear whether any competition took place at all; the Olympic historian Bill Mallon has written: "Supposedly a match between a Greek club and a Danish club took place. No such 1896 source supports this and we think this is an error which has been perpetrated in multiple texts. No such match occurred".
Tournaments were played at the 1900 and 1904 games and the Intercalated Games of 1906, but these were contested by various clubs and scratch teams, and although the IOC considers them to be official Olympic events they are not recognized by FIFA.
In 1906 teams from Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Netherlands and France were withdrawn from an unofficial competition and left Denmark, Smyrna (one Armenian, two Frenchmen and eight Britons), Athens and Thessaloniki Music Club to compete. Denmark won the final against Smyrna 9-0.
In the London Games of 1908 a proper international tournament was organised by the Football Association, featuring just six teams, rising to 11 in 1912, at which event the competition was organised by the Swedish Football Association.
These early matches were fairly unbalanced, as witnessed by some large scores; two players, Sophus Nielsen in 1908 and Gottfried Fuchs in 1912, each scored ten goals in a match, a record that stood for over 90 years.
All players were amateurs, in accordance with the Olympic spirit, which meant that some countries could not send their full international team.
Great Britain got around this problem by sending the England national amateur team (some of whom played with professional clubs within England, most notably Derby County's Ivan Sharpe and Tottenham Hotspur's Vivian Woodward), who managed to win the first two official tournaments convincingly, beating Denmark on both occasions.
Argentina beat Nigeria 1-0 in the Final of the 2008 Olympic Games Football Tournament in Beijing.
The 2012 Olympic Games took place in London with six venues used for football matches: London (Wembley Stadium 90,000)
Manchester (Old Trafford 76,212), Cardiff (Millennium Stadium 74,500), Newcastle (St James' Park 52,387), Glasgow (Hampden Park 52,103) and Coventry (City of Coventry Stadium 32,609).
Sixteen teams participated in the Men's Tournament and twelve teams competed in the Women's Competition.