The 2016 Summer Olympic games will be hosted by Brazil from August 5th through the 21st. Over 10,500 athletes from over 200 countries across the world will be taking part in the games. Three hundred and five (305) medals in twenty-eight (28) sports will be competed for. About fifty (50) African countries will be participating in the games. Nigeria, Algeria and South Africa will be representing Africa at the Men’s Olympic football tournament while South Africa and Zimbabwe will be representing Africa in the women’s category. The opening match will take place on August 4th between Iraq and Denmark, while the host team will be playing against South Africa later in the day.
Group A has been regarded as a tough zone when the superlative performances of Brazil and Denmark are put into consideration. However South Africa can still spring surprises at the group stage.
Nigeria won gold at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and silver at Sidney in 2000. The country will be playing with Sweden, Columbia and Japan in Group B. This looks like a favorable group for Nigeria and all things being equal, the country may qualify for the next round and make appreciable impact at the tournament.
Algeria, which is the third African representative at the tournament, will be playing with Argentina, Honduras, and Portugal in Group D. Argentina and Portugal are well known teams, especially at the age grade category, but like they say, football is not mathematics; surprises do happen and Algeria may end up surviving this knock out stage.
In the women’s category, South Africa will be slugging it out with Brazil, China and Sweden in Group E. while Zimbabwe will be playing with Canada, Australia and Germany in Group F.