The 1950 FIFA World Cup was the fourth edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football championship for senior men's national teams. it was held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July 1950. It was the first World Cup tournament in over twelve years, as the 1942 and 1946 World Cups were cancelled due to World War II. Italy, the two-time defending champions, were eliminated in the first round for the first time in history. Uruguay, who had won the inaugural competition in 1930, defeated the host nation, Brazil, in the deciding match of the four-team group of the final round. This was the only tournament not decided by a one-match final. It was also the inaugural tournament where the trophy was referred to as the Jules Rimet Cup, to mark the 25th anniversary of Jules Rimet's presidency of FIFA.

1950 FIFA World Cup
IV Campeonato Mundial de Futebol[1]
Brasil 1950
Official poster
Tournament details
Host countryBrazil
Dates24 June – 16 July
Teams13 (from 3 confederations)
Venue(s)6 (in 6 host cities)
Final positions
Champions Uruguay (2nd title)
Runners-up Brazil
Third place Sweden
Fourth place Spain
Tournament statistics
Matches played22
Goals scored88 (4 per match)
Attendance1,045,246 (47,511 per match)
Top scorer(s)Brazil Ademir (9 goals)

Host selection edit

Because of World War II, the World Cup had not been staged since 1938; the planned World Cups of 1942 and 1946 were both cancelled. After the war, FIFA were keen to resurrect the competition as soon as possible, and they began making plans for a World Cup tournament to take place. In the aftermath of the war, much of Europe lay in ruins. As a result, FIFA had difficulties finding a country interested in hosting the event, since many governments believed that their scarce resources ought to be devoted to more urgent priorities than a sporting tournament.

The World Cup was at risk of not being held for sheer lack of interest from the international community, until Brazil presented a bid at the 1946 FIFA Congress, offering to host the event on condition that the tournament take place in 1950 rather than the originally proposed year of 1949.[2] Brazil and Germany had been the leading bidders to host the cancelled 1942 World Cup; since both the 1934 and 1938 tournaments had been held in Europe, football historians generally agree that the 1942 event would most likely have been awarded to a South American host country. Brazil's new bid was very similar to the mooted 1942 bid and was quickly accepted.

Qualification edit

Having secured a host nation, FIFA would dedicate some time to persuading countries to send their national teams to compete. Italy was of particular interest as the long-standing defending champions, having won the two previous tournaments in 1934 and 1938; however, Italy's national team was weakened severely as most of its starting line-up perished in the Superga air disaster one year before the start of the tournament. The Italians were eventually persuaded to attend, but travelled by boat rather than by plane.[3]

Brazil (the host country) and Italy (the defending champion) qualified automatically, leaving 14 places remaining. Of these, seven were allocated to Europe, six to the Americas, and one to Asia.

Former Axis powers edit

Both Germany (still occupied and partitioned) and Japan (still occupied) were unable to participate. The Japan Football Association (suspended for failure to pay dues in 1945) and the German Football Association (disbanded in 1945 and reorganised in January 1950) were not readmitted to FIFA until September 1950, while the Deutscher Fußball-Verband der DDR in East Germany was not admitted to FIFA until 1952. The French-occupied Saarland had been accepted by FIFA two weeks before the World Cup. This is the most recent World Cup finals not to feature Germany in it.

United Kingdom nations edit

The "Home" nations were invited to take part, having rejoined FIFA four years earlier, after 17 years of self-imposed exile. It was decided to use the 1949–50 British Home Championship as a qualifying group, with the top two teams qualifying. England finished first and Scotland second.

Teams refusing to participate edit

A number of teams refused to participate in the qualifying tournament, including most nations behind the Iron Curtain, such as the Soviet Union, 1934 finalists Czechoslovakia, and 1938 finalists Hungary.[3] Ultimately, Yugoslavia was the only Eastern European nation to take part in the tournament.

Withdrawals during qualification edit

Argentina, Ecuador, and Peru in South America withdrew after the qualifying draw, in Argentina's case because of a dispute with the Brazilian Football Confederation. This meant that Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay qualified from South America by default.[3] In Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Burma all withdrew, leaving India to qualify by default. In Europe, Austria withdrew, claiming its team was too inexperienced.[3] Belgium also withdrew from the qualification tournament.[3] These withdrawals meant that Switzerland and Turkey qualified without having to play their final round of matches.[4]

Qualified teams and withdrawals after qualification edit

The following 16 teams originally qualified for the final tournament:

Participating countries after 3 of the 16 qualifying countries withdrew.

Before the qualification competition, George Graham, chairman of the Scottish Football Association (SFA), had said that Scotland would only travel to Brazil as winners of the Home Championship[5] (England, by contrast, had committed to attending, even if they finished in second place).[5] After Scotland ended up in second place behind England,[6][7] the Scottish captain George Young, encouraged by England captain Billy Wright, pleaded with the SFA to change its mind and accept the place in Brazil; however, Graham refused to change his position and so Scotland withdrew from the tournament.[5]

Turkey also withdrew, citing financial conditions that included the cost of travelling to South America.[8] FIFA invited Portugal, Republic of Ireland and France, who had been eliminated in qualifying, to fill the gaps left by Scotland and Turkey. Portugal and Republic of Ireland refused, but France initially accepted and was entered into the draw.

Draw and withdrawals after the draw edit

The draw, held in Rio on 22 May 1950, allocated the fifteen remaining teams into four groups:[9][10]

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4

After the draw, the Indian football association, All India Football Federation (AIFF) decided against going to the World Cup, citing travel costs (although FIFA had agreed to bear a major part of the travel expenses),[11] lack of practice time, team selection issues, and valuing the Olympics over the FIFA World Cup.[11] Although FIFA had imposed a rule banning barefoot play following the 1948 Summer Olympics,[12] where India had played barefoot, the Indian captain at the time, Sailen Manna, claimed that this was not part of the AIFF's decision.[13] According to Indian sports journalist Jaydeep Basu, India did not participate because the AIFF did not have confidence in its players.[14]

France also withdrew, citing the amount of travel that would be required between the venues of the Group 4 matches. There was not enough time to invite further replacement teams or to reorganise the groups, so the tournament featured only thirteen teams, with just three nations in Group 3 and two nations in Group 4.

Of the thirteen teams that competed, only one, England, was making its debut. Several of the teams from the Americas teams were competing for the first time since the inaugural 1930 tournament – this included undefeated Uruguay, as well as Mexico, Chile, Paraguay, and Bolivia. Yugoslavia was also making its first appearance since 1930. Spain and the United States qualified for the first time since 1934. This would be the United States' last appearance at the World Cup finals until 1990, and Bolivia's last until 1994.

Format edit

A new playing format was proposed by the Brazilian organisers of the tournament to maximise matches and ticket sales since the stadium and infrastructure were so costly. The 13 teams were divided into four first-round groups (or "pools" as they were then called) of four teams, with the winner of each group advancing to a final group stage, playing in round-robin format to determine the cup winner. A straight knockout tournament, as had been used in 1934 and 1938, would have featured only sixteen games (including the third-place playoff), while the proposed two rounds of the group format would guarantee thirty games, and thus more ticket revenue.[15] In addition, this format would guarantee each team at least three games, and thus provide more incentive for European teams to make the journey to South America and compete.[15] FIFA originally resisted this proposal, but reconsidered when Brazil threatened to back out of hosting the tournament if this format was not used.[15]

In each group, teams were awarded 2 points for a win and 1 point for a draw. Had there been a tie on points for first place in a group, a playoff would have been held to determine the group winner.[16]

The entire tournament was arranged in such a way that the four first-round groups had no geographical basis. Hence, several teams were obliged to cover large distances to complete their programme, although Brazil was allowed to play two of its three group matches in Rio de Janeiro while its other group game was held in the relatively nearby city of São Paulo.

Summary edit

Ticket for the 1950 World Cup's decisive match between Brazil and Uruguay.

A combined Great Britain team had recently beaten the rest of Europe 6–1 in an exhibition match and England went into the competition as one of the favourites; however, they went crashing out after a shock 1–0 defeat by the United States and a 1–0 defeat by Spain. Italy, the defending champions, lost their unbeaten record at the World Cup finals with a 3–2 defeat by Sweden in its opening match and failed to progress to the second round.

The final match in Group 1 between Switzerland and Mexico was the second time a national team did not play in their own kit, the first being 1934 match between Austria and Germany when both teams arrived with white kits, and the Austrians borrowed blue kits from club side Napoli. Both teams arrived with only their red kits, so the Brazilian Football Confederation tossed a coin, with Mexico thus earning the right to play in their own kit, a right they waived as a friendly gesture, allowing the Swiss to wear their own kit while Mexico changed. The local team that lent their shirts was Esporte Clube Cruzeiro from Porto Alegre. The shirts had vertical blue and white stripes.[17]

The opening game of the Maracanã Stadium, shortly before the 1950 FIFA World Cup

The final group stage involved the teams that had won their groups: Brazil, Spain, Sweden and 1930 FIFA World Cup champions Uruguay, who were making their first World Cup appearance since winning the inaugural tournament. The World Cup winner would be the team that finished on top of this group. The final group's six matches were shared between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Brazil played all its final group matches at the Estádio do Maracanã in Rio while the games that did not involve the host nation were played in São Paulo.

Brazil won their first two matches with a 7–1 thrashing of Sweden and 6–1 rout of Spain, putting them on top of the group with one game left to play against Uruguay; in second and only a point behind. Brazil had scored 23 goals in the tournament and only conceded four, and so were strong favourites. The two teams had played three matches against each other in the Copa Río Branco, played in Brazil two months previously, with one match won by Uruguay 4–3 and two by Brazil (2–1 and 1–0), who won the tournament. Thus the difference in quality between the teams was not excessive; unlike Spain and Sweden the Uruguayans were used to the challenges in the big South American stadiums.[18]

On 16 July, before a huge home crowd of 199,954 (some estimated as 205,000) in the Estádio do Maracanã, the host nation only had to draw against Uruguay and the trophy would be theirs. After such crushing victories over Spain and Sweden, it looked certain they would take the title, and the home nation duly went ahead in the second minute of the second half, thanks to a goal from Friaça. However, Uruguay equalised and then, with just over 11 minutes left to play, went ahead 2–1 when Alcides Ghiggia squeaked a goal past Moacyr Barbosa, so Uruguay was crowned World Cup champions for a second time. This stunning defeat surprised Brazil to the point of shock and is known as the Maracanazo ("Maracanã blow").

The average attendance of nearly 61,000 per game, aided greatly by eight matches (including five featuring hosts Brazil) held in the newly built Maracanã, set a record that would not be broken until 1994. Not counting the Maracanã matches, the average attendance was a still-impressive 37,500; however, the only venues that saw crowds comparable to or greater than those in recent World Cups were the Maracanã and São Paulo. Other venues saw considerably smaller crowds.

Antonio Carbajal from Mexico was the last living player from this World Cup, he died in 2023.

Venues edit

Six venues in six cities around Brazil hosted the 22 matches played for this tournament. The Maracanã in the then-capital of Rio de Janeiro hosted eight matches, including all but one of the host's matches, including the Maracanazo match in the second round-robin group that decided the winners of the tournament. The Pacaembu stadium in São Paulo hosted six matches; these two stadiums in São Paulo and Rio were the only venues that hosted the second round-robin matches. The Estádio Sete de Setembro in Belo Horizonte hosted three matches, the Durival de Britto stadium in Curitiba and the Eucaliptos stadium in Porto Alegre each hosted two matches, and the Ilha do Retiro stadium in far-away Recife only hosted one match. In order to present itself as a modern country, Brazil invested a today's equivalent of 290 million US-Dollars into new stadiums. The newly built Maracanã cost around 275 million US-Dollars alone.[19]

Rio de Janeiro São Paulo Belo Horizonte
Estádio do Maracanã Estádio do Pacaembu Estádio Sete de Setembro
22°54′43.8″S 43°13′48.59″W / 22.912167°S 43.2301639°W / -22.912167; -43.2301639 (Estádio do Maracanã) 23°32′55.1″S 46°39′54.4″W / 23.548639°S 46.665111°W / -23.548639; -46.665111 (Estádio do Pacaembu) 19°54′30″S 43°55′4″W / 19.90833°S 43.91778°W / -19.90833; -43.91778 (Estádio Independência)
Capacity: 200,000 Capacity: 60,000 Capacity: 30,000
Porto Alegre Recife Curitiba
Estádio dos Eucaliptos Estádio Ilha do Retiro Estádio Vila Capanema
30°3′42″S 51°13′38″W / 30.06167°S 51.22722°W / -30.06167; -51.22722 (Estádio dos Eucaliptos) 8°3′46.63″S 34°54′10.73″W / 8.0629528°S 34.9029806°W / -8.0629528; -34.9029806 (Estádio Ilha do Retiro) 25°26′22″S 49°15′21″W / 25.43944°S 49.25583°W / -25.43944; -49.25583 (Estádio Vila Capanema)
Capacity: 20,000 Capacity: 20,000 Capacity: 10,000

Squads edit

Match officials edit

Group stage edit

Group 1 edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Brazil 3 2 1 0 8 2 +6 5 Advance to final round
2   Yugoslavia 3 2 0 1 7 3 +4 4
3    Switzerland 3 1 1 1 4 6 −2 3
4   Mexico 3 0 0 3 2 10 −8 0
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
Brazil  4–0  Mexico
Ademir   30', 79'
Jair   65'
Baltazar   71'
Yugoslavia  3–0   Switzerland
Mitić   59'
Tomašević   70'
Ognjanov   84'

Brazil  2–2   Switzerland
Alfredo   3'
Baltazar   32'
Report Fatton   17', 88'
Yugoslavia  4–1  Mexico
Bobek   20'
Ž. Čajkovski   23', 51'
Tomašević   81'
Report Ortiz   89' (pen.)

Brazil  2–0  Yugoslavia
Ademir   4'
Zizinho   69'
Switzerland  2–1  Mexico
Bader   10'
Antenen   44'
Report Casarín   89'

Group 2 edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Spain 3 3 0 0 6 1 +5 6 Advance to final round
2   England 3 1 0 2 2 2 0 2
3   Chile 3 1 0 2 5 6 −1 2
4   United States 3 1 0 2 4 8 −4 2
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers

England  2–0  Chile
Mortensen   39'
Mannion   51'
Spain  3–1  United States
Igoa   81'
Basora   83'
Zarra   89'
Report Pariani   17'

Spain  2–0  Chile
Basora   17'
Zarra   30'
United States  1–0  England
Gaetjens   38' Report

Spain  1–0  England
Zarra   48' Report
Chile  5–2  United States
Robledo   16'
Cremaschi   32', 60'
Prieto   54'
Riera   82'
Report Wallace   47'
Maca   48' (pen.)

Group 3 edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Sweden 2 1 1 0 5 4 +1 3 Advance to final round
2   Italy 2 1 0 1 4 3 +1 2
3   Paraguay 2 0 1 1 2 4 −2 1
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers

  India was also drawn into this group, but withdrew before playing.

Sweden  3–2  Italy
Jeppson   25', 68'
Andersson   33'
Report Carapellese   7'
Muccinelli   75'

Sweden  2–2  Paraguay
Sundqvist   17'
Palmér   26'
Report López   35'
López Fretes   74'

Italy  2–0  Paraguay
Carapellese   12'
Pandolfini   62'

Group 4 edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Uruguay 1 1 0 0 8 0 +8 2 Advance to final round
2   Bolivia 1 0 0 1 0 8 −8 0
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers

  France was also drawn into this group, but withdrew before playing.

Uruguay  8–0  Bolivia
Míguez   14', 40', 51'
Vidal   18'
Schiaffino   23', 54'
Pérez   83'
Ghiggia   87'

Final round edit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Final result
1   Uruguay (C) 3 2 1 0 7 5 +2 5 Champions
2   Brazil 3 2 0 1 14 4 +10 4
3   Sweden 3 1 0 2 6 11 −5 2
4   Spain 3 0 1 2 4 11 −7 1
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
(C) Champions
Uruguay  2–2  Spain
Ghiggia   29'
Varela   73'
Report Basora   37', 39'
Brazil  7–1  Sweden
Ademir   17', 36', 52', 58'
Chico   39', 88'
Maneca   85'
Report Andersson   67' (pen.)

Brazil  6–1  Spain
Ademir   15', 57'
Jair   21'
Chico   31', 55'
Zizinho   67'
Report Igoa   71'
Uruguay  3–2  Sweden
Ghiggia   39'
Míguez   77', 85'
Report Palmér   5'
Sundqvist   40'

Sweden  3–1  Spain
Sundqvist   15'
Mellberg   33'
Palmér   80'
Report Zarra   82'
Uruguay  2–1  Brazil
Schiaffino   66'
Ghiggia   79'
Report Friaça   47'

Goalscorers edit

With nine goals, Brazil's Ademir was the tournament's top scorer. In total, 88 goals were scored by 47 players.

Alcides Ghiggia of Uruguay became the first player ever to score in every game: Just Fontaine would be the second in 1958 and Jairzinho the third (and, as of 2020, the last) in 1970.[21]

9 goals
5 goals
4 goals
3 goals
2 goals
1 goal

FIFA retrospective ranking edit

In 1986, FIFA published a report that ranked all teams in each World Cup up to and including 1986, based on progress in the competition, overall results and quality of the opposition.[22][23] The rankings for the 1950 tournament were as follows:

R Team G P W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1   Uruguay 4 4 3 1 0 15 5 +10 7
2   Brazil 1 6 4 1 1 22 6 +16 9
3   Sweden 3 5 2 1 2 11 15 −4 5
4   Spain 2 6 3 1 2 10 12 −2 7
Eliminated in the first round
5   Yugoslavia 1 3 2 0 1 7 3 +4 4
6    Switzerland 1 3 1 1 1 4 6 −2 3
7   Italy 3 2 1 0 1 4 3 +1 2
8   England 2 3 1 0 2 2 2 0 2
9   Chile 2 3 1 0 2 5 6 −1 2
10   United States 2 3 1 0 2 4 8 −4 2
11   Paraguay 3 2 0 1 1 2 4 −2 1
12   Mexico 1 3 0 0 3 2 10 −8 0
13   Bolivia 4 1 0 0 1 0 8 −8 0

Footnotes edit

  1. ^ The Portuguese pronunciation is [ˈkwaʁtu kɐ̃pjoˈnatu mũdʒiˈaw dʒi futʃiˈbɔw], in today's standard Brazilian pronunciation.
  2. ^ Alsos, Jan. "Planet World Cup - 1950 - Overview".
  3. ^ a b c d e Lisi (2007), p. 47
  4. ^ "World Cup 1950 qualifications". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  5. ^ a b c "Scotland and the 1950 World Cup". BBC.
  6. ^ Official Blundering Leads To Scottish Defeat, The Glasgow Herald, 17 April 1950
  7. ^ Scots May Yet Take Part In World Cup Series | Strong Pressure On Selectors To Change Decision, The Scotsman, 17 April 1950, via London Hearts Supports Club
  8. ^ "History TFF". Archived from the original on 13 September 2012.
  9. ^ Lisi (2007), pp. 48–49
  10. ^ "Brazil's first World Cup draw". FIFA. 3 December 2013. Archived from the original on 14 June 2014.
  11. ^ a b Fit to Post: Yahoo! India News "Blog Archive Barefoot in Bengal and Other Stories"
  12. ^ Lisi (2007), p. 49
  13. ^ Cronin, Brian (19 July 2011). "Did India withdraw from the 1950 World Cup because they were not allowed to play barefoot?". Los Angeles Times.
  14. ^ "why India did not compete in the 1950 football world cup and no it wasn't because they didnt have boots". 10 November 2022.
  15. ^ a b c Lisi (2007), p. 45
  16. ^ Fansworth, Ed (29 April 2010). "The US and the 1950 World Cup". The Philly Soccer Page. Archived from the original on 13 May 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  17. ^ "Histórias Incríveis: México veste camisa de time gaúcho na Copa de 50" (in Portuguese). 5 February 2013.
  18. ^ Massimo di Terlizzi (2014). Stadi da leggenda: Viaggio nelle grandi arene che hanno fatto la storia del calcio (in Italian). SEM. p. 65. ISBN 978-88-97093-31-2.
  19. ^ Fett, Matthias (2020). "The game has changed - a systematic approach to classify FIFA World Cups". International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics. 12 (3): 455–470. doi:10.1080/19406940.2020.1784978. S2CID 221714908.
  20. ^ Janela, Mike (12 June 2018). "World Cup Rewind: Largest attendance at a match in the 1950 Brazil final". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  21. ^ "Brazil Legends: Jairzinho". Football Whispers. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  22. ^ page 45
  23. ^ "FIFA World Cup: Milestones, facts & figures. Statistical Kit 7" (PDF). FIFA. 26 March 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 May 2013.

Bibliography edit

External links edit