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How Many Soccer Teams Are In The Olympics?


In Olympic soccer, there are a set number of teams that make the group stage and beyond. In men’s soccer, there are 16 teams that participate in the Summer Olympics. Meanwhile, 12 women’s teams play in each Summer Olympics.

How Are Teams Divided?

In men’s Olympic soccer, teams are divided into four groups, with four teams in each. Every team plays the other three teams in their group, and the top two teams from each pool move onto the quarter-final knockout stage. The knockout stage consists of eight teams in total, with two teams from each of the four groups.

In women’s Olympic soccer, the twelve teams are divided into three groups of four. Within every group, each team plays the other three teams. Since there are only three groups of four teams, the top three teams in the group stage will move on to the knockout rounds. This results in a total of eight teams advancing to the quarter-final knockout round.

How Do Teams Make the Olympics?

To make the Olympics, most of these teams must participate in pre-tournament qualification games and special tournaments specific to their regions. The pre-tournament games are organized in accordance with FIFA regulations.

2020 Tokyo Olympics and Point Systems

Here are the groups that were created for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:

Group AJapan, South Africa, Mexico, France
Group BNew Zealand, Korea Republic, Honduras, Romania
Group CEgypt, Spain, Argentina, Australia
Group DBrazil, Germany, Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia

For the group round, three points are earned for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a defeat. Wins are hard to come by, and a three-point win in the preliminary round is huge for a country.

The most points it is possible to attain after the divisional/pool round is nine points (this is if the team goes 3-0). If a team wins a game, draws a game, and loses a game, they will finish with four points.

The top two teams with the most points from each four-team group make the eight-team knockout stage, and competition is bound to be both entertaining and intense.

Brief Overview of the Rules

In the Olympics, each game consists of two 45-minute halves. If the game is scoreless or tied after 90 minutes, a 30-minute extra-time period is played (two 15-minute halves). If the game is still scoreless or tied, a five-player penalty shootout will determine the outcome of the contest.