24 September 2021

London 2012: Bluffer’s guide to football

July 10, 2012
Football: Powell names squad for Euro 2013 decider

Great Britain will field a women’s football team for the first time at an Olympics this year.

Manger Hope Powell’s side have been drawn in a group with New Zealand, Cameroon and Brazil. The event is being seen as a golden opportunity to showcase the sport of women’s football.

Venue: The competition is to be staged at six grounds around the UK – Millennium Stadium, Cardiff; City of Coventry Stadium, Coventry; Hampden Park, Glasgow; St James’ Park, Newcastle; Old Trafford, Manchester and Wembley Stadium, London, where the finals will be held.

Date: 25 July – 9 August

Jargon buster

Extra time: If a match in the knockout stages is tied at the end of 90 minutes, the teams play 30 minutes of extra time in a bid to find a winner.

If there remains no winner at the end of this time a penalty shootout will take place, in which each team has five penalty kicks. If the score is still tied after this time, it will go to sudden-death.

Foul: Any illegal interference with an opposing player.

Free kick: An unobstructed kick awarded when the opposition commits a foul. Can be either direct (a goal may be scored from it), or indirect (the ball must be touched by at least one other player for a goal to be allowed).

Offside: This rule states a player may not become actively involved in play if she is in an offside position when the ball is touched/played by a team-mate.

To be in an offside position the player must be in front of the ball on the opposing team’s half of the pitch with no opposing players between her and the opposing goal-line, with the exception of the goal keeper.

An offside offence is then only committed if the player becomes actively involved in play by interfering or gaining an advantage.

Penalty: Related to free kick, a penalty is a form of the direct free kick. It is a shot taken at goal from twelve yards out defended only by the goalkeeper.

Basic rules

Essentially, the more traditional game of eleven-a-side football is a team sport in which players attempt to score goals by kicking a ball with the foot through two goalposts.

The team with the highest number of goals at the end of the game wins.

Two teams of eleven players will compete in a game lasting 90 minutes, split into two 45-minute halves. One of the eleven players is the goalkeeper, the only player permitted to handle the ball on the pitch, in her team’s penalty area.

Extra time and penalty shootouts will decide drawn matches during the knockout stages of this competition.

The competition will begin with a group stage. The teams will be divided into three groups of four, with the best eight teams qualifying for the quarter-finals.

A knockout format will then take over and the two winning semi-finalists will play for gold at Wembley, whilst the two losing semi-finalists will compete for bronze.

One to watch

The final GB team is yet to be decided, but Arsenal Ladies’ Ellen White shone at last year’s World Cup and has continued her form into this season.

Olympic rivalry:

Current Olympic champions USA and current World Cup holders Japan are the teams to look out for.

The Americans have won three golds at the Olympics so far and although Japan pipped them to FIFA Women’s World Cup victory last year they remain a hugely dominant side.

Being the first time players from the UK have competed as Great Britain it’s hard to say how the hosts will fair. The fact that England beat eventual World Cup winners Japan in the Group Stage of the event last year proves they’ve got talent on their side.

Who to follow on twitter…

@ellsbells89 – Ellen White



Football Olympic fact

Unlike the men’s game in the Olympics, women’s football is not restricted by age.

The men are only allowed a maximum of three players over the age of 23, and as this does not apply to the women, head coach Hope Powell has a vast number of talented players to choose from across the four home nations.

The Women’s Sports Magazine

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