Men’s football was introduced in Olympic 1900 Games in Paris. In that tournament, Great Britain won the first gold medal. The Olympics football tournament has been contested since then except in 1932 due to a dispute between the IOC and FIFA.
Can professional players play in the Olympics?
In 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, IOC gave the permission to professional players to participate. An age limit was set at 23 and each team is allowed three “over-age” players.
Now the main reason behind Why don’t professional footballers play in the Olympics is that the Olympics are not an official FIFA event like World Cup, Euros and many more. Therefore, the clubs aren’t required to allow their players to participate in the tournament.
The following are another reasons as to why don’t professional footballers play in the Olympics :
Olympics are for Under 23 players, with only three slots available for overage players per team. It is a platform for young talents.
Olympics are not considered very important in the football world. In games like basketball, hockey, volleyball, badminton, Olympics have a huge importance but it´s not considered a major tournament in football.
As told earlier, Olympics are not an official even by FIFA. Therefore, FIFA doesn’t need to stop their domestic leagues for the Olympics.
FIFA World Cup has established itself as the biggest tournament in the world. Therefore there is no need to have two international tournaments consisting of the best players from nations around the globe. The Olympics has established itself as a tournament for young talent like the U-20 and U-17 World Cups.