1916 South American Championship

The 1916 South American Championship was the first continental championship for national association football teams in South America. It was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 2 July to 17 July during Argentina's Independence Centenary commemorations.[1][2] The tournament was won by Uruguay, who drew with Argentina in the last match of the tournament at Racing Club Stadium.[note 1][3][6]

1916 South American Championship
Sudamericano de football 1916 brazilian art.jpg
Brazilian poster advertising the championship
Tournament details
Host countryArgentina
Dates2 July– 17 July
Teams4 (from 1 confederation)
Venue(s)2 (in 2 host cities)
Final positions
Champions Uruguay (1st title)
Runners-up Argentina
Third place Brazil
Fourth place Chile
Tournament statistics
Matches played6
Goals scored18 (3 per match)
Top scorer(s)Uruguay Isabelino Gradín
(3 goals)


Uruguay, the first South American Champion

For a complete list of participating squads see: 1916 South American Championship squads


There was no qualifying for the tournament. The participating countries were Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. The teams played a single round-robin tournament, earning two points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss.


Buenos Aires Avellaneda
Gimnasia y Esgrima Racing
Capacity: 18,000 Capacity: 30,000

Final roundEdit

Each team played one match against each of the other teams. Two (2) points were awarded for a win, one (1) point for a draw and zero (0) points for a defeat.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
  Uruguay 3 2 1 0 6 1 +5 5
  Argentina 3 1 2 0 7 2 +5 4
  Brazil 3 0 2 1 3 4 −1 2
  Chile 3 0 1 2 2 11 −9 1
Uruguay  4–0  Chile
Piendibene   44'75'
Gradín   55'70'

Argentina  6–1  Chile
Ohaco   2'75'
J.D. Brown   60' (pen.)62' (pen.)
Marcovecchio   67'81'
Báez   44'

Brazil  1–1  Chile
Demósthenes   29' Salazar   85'

Argentina  1–1  Brazil
Laguna   10' Alencar   23'
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Carlos Fanta (Chile)

Uruguay  2–1  Brazil
Gradín   58'
Tognola   77'
Friedenreich   8'
Referee: Carlos Fanta (Chile)

Argentina  0–0[1]  Uruguay
Referee: Carlos Fanta (Chile)


 1916 South American Championship winners 
1st title

Goal scorersEdit

3 goals

2 goals

1 goal

Racial controversyEdit

The match between Uruguay and Chile played on 2 July was the first time in history a country fielded black players in an international tournament. Uruguay fielded Isabelino Gradín and Juan Delgado and their racial background became an issue with Chile. Chile complained before and after the match that the Uruguayans were unfairly selecting "Africans".


  1. ^ The match between Argentina and Uruguay played on 16 July had to be abandoned at 0–0 after only 5 minutes due to a riot within the spectators. The riot spilled over into the field and the clash finished with the wooden tribunes on fire. As the match couldn't be rescheduled in the Gimnasia y Esgrima Stadium, it was replayed at Racing Club Stadium. The partial result of the match in GEBA was declared null and overtaken by the one in Avellaneda.[3][4][5]


  1. ^ Historia de la selección argentina en la Copa América on Stub Hub magazine, 8 Apr 2019
  2. ^ Copa América: ¿Creación Argentina? Archived 2019-07-12 at the Wayback Machine by Nicolás Martins Barriga on UNLP website, 2011
  3. ^ a b Chau tablón by Gustavo Ronzano and Oscar Barnade on Clarín, 23 Jul 2005 (archived, 6 Nov 2013)
  4. ^ 1916: once policías para 30 mil hinchas en el primer escándalo del fútbol by Daniel Balmaceda on La Nación, 27 Nov 2018
  5. ^ "Triste epílogo del Campeonato Sudamericano" on La Vanguardia newspaper, 17 Jul 1916
  6. ^ South American Championship 1916 by Martín Tabeira on the RSSSF