Rio Olympics 2016: Football Kicks Off Games Before Opening Ceremony

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Olympic Opening Ceremony gets under way on Friday but did you know football kicks off two days earlier ? Here’s why

 

Why does football start early at the Olympics?

It’s simply for scheduling reasons, as it was at London 2012.

With 16 men’s and 12 women’s teams, there are 58 matches to get through. There is football being played on 12 days of the tournament, with six rest days.

Men’s groups

  • Group A: Brazil, South Africa, Iraq, Denmark
  • Group B: Sweden, Colombia, Nigeria, Japan
  • Group C: Fiji, South Korea, Mexico, Germany
  • Group D: Honduras, Algeria, Portugal, Argentina

Women’s groups

  • Group E: Brazil, China, Sweden, South Africa
  • Group F: Canada, Australia, Zimbabwe, Germany
  • Group G: USA, New Zealand, France, Columbia

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