Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Dynamo Stadium, Moskva; Grand Arena, Central Lenin Stadium Area, Moskva; Grand Arena, Dynamo Stadium, Minsk; Kirov Stadium, Leningrad; Republican Stadium, Kyiv
Date Started: July 20, 1980
Date Finished: August 2, 1980
Format: Round-robin pools advance teams to single-elimination tournament of eight teams.
The Western boycott caused almost half of the qualified teams to withdraw: Argentina, Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Malaysia, Norway and the United States. Many of their replacements could not impress at Moscow, and the Cuban team even made it to the quarter-finals after a 0-8 loss to the host nation. The four teams from Eastern Europe, East Germany, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, had no trouble defeating the non-European teams and all placed for the semi-finals.
East Germany reached its second consecutive final, but without the players that had taken the gold in Montréal, while Czechoslovakia played its third Olympic final, losing in 1920 and 1964. The rules required that all amateurs were allowed to compete in Moscow, with the exception of European or South American players who had contested the 1978 World Cup qualifiers or finals. Several of the Czechoslovakian players had, in fact, competed at the 1980 European Championships in Italy. The final remained goal-less until the 77th minute, when substitute Svoboda put in a header to decide the tournament.