1896 did not qualify


1900 did not qualify


1904 qualified for the first time using British Flag - no medals. The team included two blacks on athletics; Len Tau and Jan Mashiani


1908 Used British Flag - got two medals; 1 Silver and 1 Bronze


1912 Used the Union of South Africa flag. Got 6 medals; 4 Gold and 2 Silver


(WWI hiatus from 1914 - 1918)


1920 Used the Union of South Africa flag. Got 10 medals; 3 Gold, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze


1924 Got 3; 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze


1928 Flag was changed, (orange, white and blue with small Union Jack over white), Got 3 medals; 1Gold and 2 Bronze


1932 Got 5 medals; 2 Gold and 3 Bronze


1936 Got 1 medal; 1 Silver


1948 Got 4 medals; 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze


(WWII hiatus from 1939 - 1948)


1952 Got 10 medals; 2 Gold, 4 Silver and 4 Bronze


1956 Got 4 medals; 4 Bronze


1960 Got 3 medals; 1 Silver and 2 Bronze


RSA suspended until readmission in 1992       


1992 Used National Olympic Committee of South Africa flag. Got 2 medals; 2 Silver


1996 Used the current flag for the first time. Got 5 medals; 3 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze


2000 Got 5 medals; 2 Silver and 3 Bronze


2004 Got 6 medals; 1 Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze


2008 Got 1 medal; 1 Silver


2012 Got 6 medals; 3 Gold 2 Silver and 1 Bronze

Facts about Olympic Games

  • For the first time in modern Olympics all countries participating in London have representation of both men and women athletes.
  • Iranís women's team and three Jordanian players were banned at the second round of the Asian football qualification tournament due to not adhering to FIFA dress code. The players were allowed to play while covering their head in the first round. FIFA banned the hijab in 2007, although FIFA now allows the hijab to be worn after overturning the 2007 decision in 2012.
  • The Japanese women's team took exception at having to fly economy class on a 13 hour flight to Europe, while the men's team flew business class. The Japanese FA stated that the men fly business class to the Olympics because they are professional athletes.
  • Following the South Korean flag being put on display on the stadium screen at Hampden Park when the teams were being announced before the Colombia versus North Korea women's match, the North Korea team protested against this action by refusing to take to the pitch. As a result of the wrong flag being displayed, the kick-off was delayed.
  • Greek triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou was expelled from the Games prior to the official commencement because of a Twitter message that was viewed as racist against Africans immigrants.
  • All competitors who win medals will be tested for doping. The Olympic anti-doping laboratory will test up to 400 samples every day for more than 240 prohibited substances. Albanian weightlifter Hysen Pulaku became the first athlete to be tested positive. Gymnast Luiza Galiulina and runner Tameka Williams were also suspended for failing drug tests.
  • Around 10,500 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are expected to participate, surpassing the 1948 Summer Olympics in London and the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester as the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in the United Kingdom.
  • Three athletes from the Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee, which had its membership withdrawn by the IOC Executive Committee at the IOC session of June 2011, and one athlete from South Sudan, which has no recognized NOC, participated independently under the Olympic flag.
  • The Games were officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II, who was accompanied by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. It was the second Games opened personally by the Queen; she opened the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada and Prince Philip opened the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne (Australia) on her behalf. The Games held in Australia and Canada in 1988, 2000 and 2010 were opened by their countries' respective Governors General.
  • South Africaís Oscar Pistorius will be the first amputee athlete to compete in the Olympics.


Menís football at the Olympic Games

Beijing 2008

Winner: Argentina

Runners-Up: Nigeria

Third: Brazil

Fourth: Belgium

Top Scorers: Giuseppe ROSSI (ITA)


Athens 2004

Winner: Argentina

Runners-Up: Paraguay

Third: Italy

Fourth: Iraq

Top Scorers: Carlos TEVEZ (ARG)


Sydney 2000

Winner: Cameroon

Runners-Up: Spain

Third: Chile

Fourth: USA

Top Scorers: Ivan ZAMORANO (CHI)


Atlanta 1996

Winner: Nigeria

Runners-Up: Argentina

Third: Brazil

Fourth: Portugal

Top Scorers: BEBETO (BRA)

NB: Nigeria made Olympic football history by becoming the first African and non-European and South American team to win the gold medal. While the football tournament remained primarily an Under-23 competition, each of the 16 competing countries were allowed to use as many as three overage players in a compromise between FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.


Barcelona 1992

Winner: Spain

Runners-Up: Poland

Third: Ghana

Fourth: Australia

Top Scorers: Andrzej JUSKOWIAK (POL)


Seoul 1988

Winner: Soviet Union

Runners-Up: Brazil

Third: Germany FR

Fourth: Italy

Top Scorers: ROMÁRIO (Romário de Souza Faria) (BRA)


Los Angeles 1984

Winner: France

Runners-Up: Brazil

Third: Yugoslavia

Fourth: Italy

Top Scorers: Borislav CVETKOVIC (YUG), Stjepan DEVERIC (YUG), Daniel XUEREB (FRA)


Moscow 1980

Winner: Czechoslovakia

Runners-Up: German Democratic Republic

Third: Soviet Union

Fourth: Yugoslavia

NB: The Communist countries held their own private Eastern bloc party in 1980 because a number of nations boycotted the Olympics. U.S. President Jimmy Carter refused to send American teams to Moscow after the Soviets' Afghanistan invasion. Six other countries that had qualified for the football tournament followed suit -- Argentina, Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Malaysia and Norway.


Montreal 1976

Winner: German Democratic Republic

Runners-Up: Poland

Third: Soviet Union

Fourth: Brazil

NB: The 1976 Games marked the start of three consecutive boycotts by African countries including Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia as a protest against continued membership of Apartheid South Africa and the June 16 massacre


Munich 1972

Winner: Poland

Runners-Up: Hungary

Third: Soviet Union

Fourth: German Democratic Republic


Mexico City 1968

Winner: Hungary

Runners-Up: Bulgaria

Third: Japan

Fourth: Mexico


Tokyo 1964

Winner: Hungary

Runners-Up: Czechoslovakia

Third: German Democratic Republic

Fourth: Egypt

NB: The 1964 event was preceded by saddest episode when 328 people were killed during rioting at a qualifying match between Peru and Argentina in Lima.


Rome 1960

Winner: Yugoslavia

Runners-Up: Denmark

Third: Hungary

Fourth: Italy


Melbourne 1956

Winner: Soviet Union

Runners-Up: Yugoslavia

Third: Bulgaria

Fourth: India

NB: Following the Hungarian Revolution and the Soviet Union's reaction to it, only 11 countries participated in this tournament, making it the smallest football competition since the 1908 & 1912 Summer Games.


Helsinki 1952

Winner: Hungary

Runners-Up: Yugoslavia

Third: Sweden

Fourth: Germany


London 1948

Winner: Sweden

Runners-Up: Yugoslavia

Third: Denmark

Fourth: Great Britain

NB: There was a 12 Olympic hiatus due World War II


Berlin 1936

Winner: Italy

Runners-Up: Austria

Third: Norway

Fourth: Poland

NB: Because of the growing professional influence and of the presence of a World Cup, there were difficulties defining what an amateur was. With no solution at the time, the International Olympic Committee decided not to include football at the 1932 Summer Games in Los Angeles.

Amsterdam 1928

Winner: Uruguay

Runners-Up: Argentina

Third: Italy

Fourth: Egypt

NB: the victory by Uruguay in this tournament led FIFA to choose them to host the first ever World Cup in 1930 Ė also Uruguay was celebrating 100 years of independence from Spain in 10930

Paris 1924

Winner: Uruguay

Runners-Up: Switzerland

Third: Sweden

Fourth: Netherlands


Antwerp 1920

Winner: Belgium

Runners-Up: Spain

Third: Netherlands

Fourth: France

NB: there was an eight year hiatus due to World War I. The five rings Olympic flag was hoisted for the first time. Egypt was the first non-European country to participate in Olympic football


Stockholm 1912

Winner: Great Britain

Runners-Up: Denmark

Third: Netherlands

Fourth: Finland


London 1908

Winner: Great Britain

Runners-Up: Denmark

Third: Netherlands

Fourth: Sweden

NB:     After attempts to have football as Olympic sport in Athens (1896), Paris (1900) and St. Louis (1904) it was included in London games.




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