Monday, February 8, 2016

The Era of the Football Clubs in the Summer Olympics

1900 Paris Summer Olympics Football Sport

Football has grown to include more teams, in the 1900 Paris Summer Olympics only three teams competed. It gets more interesting to note that the teams that participated were actually scrambled or were local football clubs. However they represented the three participating nations in the 1900 Summer Olympics Football Sport.

These participating clubs were the now defunct Upton Park Football Club, from London that represented Great Britain. It was a 34 year old club that had been established in 1866. Upton Park Football Club was also known as the Scarlet and Black and managed to give Great Britain a Gold medal in the 1900 Summer Olympics.

Host France was represented by USFSA XI, whose full name was Union des sociétés françaises de sports athlétiques and was responsible for organizing many of sports for Olympics in France including cycling, fencing, hockey and Rugby Union. This USFSA was an amalgamation of two former sporting organizations, the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Course a Pied, which was established in 1885 by then a secretary-general of Racing Club de France by the name of Georges de Saint-Clairwith the help France Rugby Union Organizers known as Stade Francais. On the other hand Father on Modern Olympics; Pierre de Coubertin, a French politician Jules François Simon and another reputable French Preacher by the name of Henri Didon formed Comité Jules Simon in 1888. Formally, Comité Jules Simon, was also known as Comité pour la Propagation des Exercises Physiques and would join Union des Sociétés Françaises de Course a Pied in 1890 to create Union des sociétés françaises de sports athlétiques. France was then the only country that had a team representing most of France Football Clubs something close to today’s national team.

The 1900 Olympics Football took part in a fairly newly Stadium Vélodrome de Vincennes, which had been built in 1894 and was also the venue for Rugby Union in the same 1900 Summer Olympics Games.

THE PICTURE OF THE VENUE FOR THE FOOTBALL SPORT IN THE 1900 SUMMER OLYMPICS

The other nation that participated in the 1900 Summer Olympics football sport was Belgium who were represented by a private university football team; the Université libre de Bruxelles.

The 1900 Summer Olympics football took place for three days only, from September 20th to September 23rd and only two matched were played. The first match saw the Great Club. Upton Park beat USFSA XI 4 goals to nil while in the final match USFSA XI beat the Belgium university club by 6 goals to 2. With the Great Britain Team conceding no loss they were declared the winner. With only three teams each of the nation participating in the 1900 Summer Olympics football sport got a medal with Great Britain’s Upton Park Football Club getting the gold medal, the silver medal went to the host France, while Belgium settled for a bronze medal. The medals however were not awarded during the Olympics Games but were awarded by the IOC later. In total 12 goals were scored in the 2 matches of the football games which brought together 36 footballers from Belgium, Great Britain and Host France.

BELOW IN THE PICTURE OF TEAM THAT REPRESENTED HOST FRANCE IN THE FOOTBALL SPORT IN THE 1900 SUMMER OLYMPICS

The viewership was also low with only 500 spectators in the first game of host France and gold medal winner Great Britain, while second game which pitied Belgium University Club and France had only 1500 spectators. Things would not be much different in the next edition of the Summer Olympics 1904 Olympics held in St. Louis, in the USA State of Missouri.