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Variations of football that should be Olympic sports

Tom Gott
The Olympics are well underway
The Olympics are well underway / Masashi Hara/Getty Images

The Tokyo Olympics feature a whole host of new sports. Skateboarding, softball and surfing are just three of many events making their debuts in 2021, and there's still scope for plenty of others to join the Olympic family in future.

Over in the football world, there are plenty of variations that would be ridiculously fun to watch at the Olympics, and including them would help open a route into football for any of us normal people that can't cope with a gentle jog down a pitch.

Let's take a look at some of the best.

1. Headers & Volleys

We all love a good volley, right? Well, why not make an Olympic event specifically dedicated to them?

There are so many different ways you could do H&Vs. Maybe everyone needs to have a stint in goal in a four-way free-for-all. Maybe one country sends a goalkeeper to take on three volley-ers from another country.

Double points for a bicycle kick. Five for a diving header. Play it how you want. There are no wrong answers.

2. Futsal

The Olympic committee flirted with including futsal (indoor, hard-court football) when they debuted it at the 2018 Youth Olympics, but unfortunately, we've never seen it make the next step up.

That's a massive shame, because futsal is undoubtedly more exciting than normal football and would entice an audience who can't really be bothered with a 90-minute slog-fest on the grass.

Futsal is infinitely faster and could easily offer up some of the best highlights of the whole Games. Get it in.

3. Beach Football

If there's a Beach Soccer World Cup, why can't we have it in the Olympics?

Played mainly by holiday goers who have had one too many cervezas, beach football is actually one of the most popular variations of football on the planet. It's already played at an elite standard and could be introduced to the Olympics immediately.

Purpose-built beach football venues might not exactly have the most use after the Games are over, but hey, figuring out what to do with it isn't my job.

4. Crossbar Challenge

If archery and shooting can be events, there is surely a place for a good ol' fashioned crossbar challenge.

Most hits in a row? Who can hit the smallest bar? From the furthest distance? Most in 60 seconds? One-on-one? The possibilities are endless.

You could add in some bonus points for trick shots and even chuck in a three-point line like in basketball to add some extra pizzazz to the whole thing. Sign me up.

5. Wembley Doubles

Right, first things first, let's make sure we're all on the same page here. Wembley Doubles = World Cup Doubles, Knockout Doubles, Two-man Cuppies or any other name you want to give it.

Basically, it's just a load of pairs in an all-out brawl to score first against a goalkeeper.

Maybe every country brings a goalkeeper and they have to swap out after a few minutes, or don't even bring a goalkeeper and just play spider rules. The carnage is what makes it fun.

6. Freestyle

Freestyle would look a lot like gymnastics. Give someone a ball and let them go crazy on a skill-laden routine.

These days, there are so many freestylers who can't make the most of their skills because there just isn't anywhere to use them at the highest level. People are doing things that have never been done before, but you'll only see them if they manage to retweet their way on to your feed.

Add in agility courses if you want to make this a bigger thing. There's so much you could do with it.

7. Panna Battle

Lock two elite freestylers in a cage and have them battle it out in a panna war. Does it get more fun than that?

You could make this part of the 'freestyle' category that is rapidly growing into the best hypothetical Olympic event of all time. Add up your scores from each round and you've got yourself the ultimate winner.

What makes this so special is that this kind of football is the most accessible form of the game on the planet - you literally just need a ball - so we might even see champions from some of the smaller nations.

8. Teqball

Teqball is a new-wave mix of football and table tennis that is already so popular that it's pushing for a spot in the Olympics.

You can have doubles and singles as players hit the ball back and forth over a curved table using anything other than their hands or arms, creating a game that is so fun that professional footballers have already fallen in love with it.

Ronaldinho is an ambassador for the sport, so the platform is there to help Teqball grow into one of the Games' best events.