Host City: Athina, Greece
Date Started: August 11, 2004
Date Finished: August 28, 2004
Participants: 425 (259 men and 166 women) from 22 countries
Youngest Participant: Sally Shipard (16 years, 297 days)
Oldest Participant: Joy Fawcett (36 years, 186 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 101 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): 6 countries with 1 medal
The formats were the similar in 2004 for both the men’s and women’s tournaments. The men had 16 teams separated into four four-team groups who played a round-robin format, with the top two teams in each group advancing to the quarter-finals and the knock-out phase. The women’s field increased to 10 teams separated into three groups who played a round-robin format, with the top two teams in each group, and the two best third-place finishers advancing to the quarter-finals and the knock-out phase.
Women played specific qualifying tournaments for the first time, with the 10 teams qualifying as follows – Greece as the host nation; the top two European teams at the 2003 World Cup (Germany, Sweden); Brazil as winner of the 2003 Sudamericano de Fútbol Femenino; two teams from the AFC (Asia) Olympic Qualifying Tournament (China, Japan); two teams from a CONCACAF (North & Central America/Caribbean) Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Mexico, United States); one team from a CAF (Africa) Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Nigeria); and one team from an Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Australia).
The 16 men’s teams qualified as follows – Greece as the host nation; three teams from the 1992 UEFA Europe Under-21 Championships (Italy, Serbia & Montenegro, Portugal); four teams from a CAF (Africa) Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Tunisia); three teams from an AFC (Asia) Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Iraq, Japan, Korea [South]); two teams from a CONCACAF (North & Central America/Caribbean) Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Mexico, Costa Rica); two teams from a CONMEBOL (South America) Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Argentina, Paraguay); and one team from the OFC (Oceania) Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Australia).
The tournaments were held in six venues around Greece – Olympic Stadium, Athina; Karaiskakis Stadium, Athina; Pampeloponnisiako Stadium, Patras; Panthessaliko Stadium, Volos; Kaftanzoglio Stadium, Thessaloníki; and Pankritio Stadium, Heraklion. The women did not play at the Olympic Stadium.
The United States’ women won the gold medal, defeating Brazil, 2-1, after extra-time in the final. The men’s final came down to two South American teams with Argentina winning gold by defeating Paraguay, 1-0.