August 17 – While the Brazilian crowd booed French Olympic silver medal winning pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie at the presentation ceremony where Brazilian Thiago Braz da Silva collected gold, across town an almost full capacity crowd Maracana were stunned into silence when Sweden’s Lisa Dahlkvist slotted the final penalty in the semi-final shoot-out that sent the hosts to bronze medal play-off in Sao Paulo.
By Samindra Kunti
August 15 – The delirious scenes over the weekend as the Brazilian national women’s and men’s teams progressed to the semi-final brackets of their Olympic football tournaments revealed a nation desperate for success in their chosen sport, one that they know has been their national showcase to the rest of world. Olympic football in South America is important, in Brazil, at these games, it has almost reached defining importance.
August 15 – Last to turn up at the men’s Olympic football party in Brazil, could the Nigerians also be the last to leave? From being stranded in the US where plane tickets for the next leg of their journey to the tournament had not been paid, the African nation have fought their way through to the semi-finals and a match-up against Germany.
August 15 – It was the shock result of the tournament, The US women’s team, so dominant in the women’s game as current World and Olympic champions, crashed out on penalties in the quarter finals to Sweden who only scraped into the knockout rounds as third place qualifier in their group.
August 11 – Just when the crunch came, Brazil delivered. After being booed off twice in a row following goalless draws against South Africa and Iraq, Brazil’s Olympic squad finally found their scoring touch as they cruised to a 4-0 win over Denmark that not only ensured survival but also clinched top spot in Group A and a quarter-final against Colombia in Sao Paulo on Saturday.
August 10 – Tournament favourites Brazil and the USA both drew their final pool games but topped their groups to go through to the quarter-finals of the Women’s Olympic tournament. Canada topped their group to maintain a 100% win record beating European champions Germany 2-1.
August 10 – Brazil’s leading players could get so demoralised they might refuse to play in the Olympics if they keep getting booed. That was the stark warning issued by national coach Rogerio Micale as the host nation’s Olympic men’s team approached their must-win fixture against Denmark.
August 8 – Two games, no goals, booed off twice in four days by their own fans and now clinging on for dear life. Brazil’s men may have won the World Cup a record five times but their dreams of winning Olympic gold for the first time hang by a thread after another dismal performance.
August 4 – Not for the first time, Nigeria’s footballers have been locked in a payment dispute, this time as they head for the Olympics in Brazil.
By Samindra Kunti, Rio de Janeiro
August 3 – The Rio games kick off today with the women’s football tournament but Brazilian football focus and Olympic hopes will be on the men’s tournament that starts tomorrow and whether mercurial superstar Neymar can deliver them a much-coveted gold.
August 3 – When South Africa’s women footballers kick off the Rio Olympics later today, it will represent another crucial step in the long struggle for recognition back home.
By Samindra Kunti in Rio de Janeiro
August 2 – The Women’s football tournament will kick off competition at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games tomorrow with six matches across three venues in Rio, Sao Paulo and Mineirao. The official games opening ceremony takes place two days later in the Maracanã Stadium.
By Samindra Kunti
July 21 – Brazil’s women will start as one of the favourites for the Olympic gold medal next month, but the host nation’s players fear the permanence of the team may be under threat.
July 13 – Former Sierra Leone international Sheriff Suma hopes the country’s Olympic footballers will not be tempted to abscond when attending this month’s Rio Games.
By David Owen
April 14 – Neymar and his team-mates have been drawn against South Africa, Iraq and Denmark in this year’s Olympic men’s football tournament, while the Brazilian women have been bracketed with South Africa (again), Sweden and China, the global game’s new hot-bed at least in terms of business interest.