Open main menu

Football at the 1948 Summer Olympics

Football at the 1948 Summer Olympics tournament, won by Sweden, managed by Englishman George Raynor.[1]

Football at the 1948 Summer Olympics
Tournament details
Host countryGreat Britain
Dates26 July – 13 August
Teams18 (from 5 confederations)
Venue(s)13 (in 3 host cities)
Final positions
Champions Sweden (1st title)
Runners-up Yugoslavia
Third place Denmark
Fourth place Great Britain
Tournament statistics
Matches played18
Goals scored102 (5.67 per match)
Top scorer(s)Sweden Gunnar Nordahl
Denmark John Hansen (7 goals)



Final tournamentEdit

Indian team at 1948 Olympics, captain T. Ao at the centre of first row, goal scorer S. Raman next to Ao and coach Balaidas Chatterjee to the extreme right.

The tournament began on 26 July 1948 with a preliminary round of two matches: Luxembourg defeating Afghanistan 6–0 and the Netherlands beating Ireland 3–1, with Faas Wilkes scoring two goals for the Dutch. In the first round, which began five days later, the Netherlands played Great Britain at Highbury, Britain prevailing 4–3 after extra time. In goal for Britain was Ronnie Simpson, who would go on to become the oldest Scottish international debutant in history and one of the Lisbon Lions. Yugoslavia (victors over Luxembourg) and Sweden (3–0 winners against Austria) also went through. France eliminated India.

The final match ball.

Sweden's play at White Hart Lane attracted much attention even then. Their forward line contained three exceptional players; one of them Gunnar Gren scored a brace in an easy win. There were two goals, as well, for future FIFA World Cup star Zeljko Cajkovski in Yugoslavia's 6–1 rout of Luxembourg, although they were behind at half-time. There were future World Cup stars also on parade in South Korea's 5–3 defeat of Mexico and the United States's 9–0 defeat at the hands of Italy. Walter Bahr, Ed Souza, Charlie Colombo and John Souza would later be members of the American team that beat England at the 1950 FIFA World Cup.

In the quarter-finals, Sweden defeated both the South Koreans and the Danes in the semi-final. In the second semi-final, Great Britain played Yugoslavia at Wembley Stadium, going out by three goals to one. 3–1 was also the score in the final in favour of Sweden over Yugoslavia.

Preliminary roundEdit

Luxembourg  6–0  Afghanistan
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: A.C. Williams (Great Britain)

Netherlands  3–1  Ireland
Wilkes   1'   74'
Roosenburg   11'
Report O'Kelly   52'
Attendance: 8,000
Referee: George Reader (Great Britain)

First roundEdit

Yugoslavia  6–1  Luxembourg
Stanković   57'
Mihajlović   61'
Željko Čajkovski   65'   70'
Mitić   74'
Bobek   87'
Report Schammel   10'
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Karel van der Meer (Netherlands)

Denmark  3–1 (aet)  Egypt
K. Hansen   82'   95'
Pløger   119' (pen.)
Report El Guindy   83'
Attendance: 12,000
Referee: Stanley Boardman (Great Britain)

Great Britain  4–3 (aet)  Netherlands
McBain   22'
Hardisty   58'
Kelleher   77'
McIlvenny   111'
Report Appel   20'   63'
Wilkes   81'
Attendance: 21,000
Referee: Vald Laursen (Denmark)

France  2–1  India
Courbin   30'
Persillon   89'
Report Raman   70'
Attendance: 17,000
Referee: Gunnar Dahlner (Sweden)

Turkey  4–0  Republic of China
Kılıç   18'61'
Saygun   72'
Küçükandonyadis   87'
Attendance: 3,000
Referee: Johann Beck (Austria)

Sweden  3–0  Austria
G. Nordahl   2'   10'
Rosen   71'
Attendance: 9,514
Referee: William Ling (Great Britain)

South Korea  5–3  Mexico
Choi Song-Gon   13'
Bai Chon-Go   30'
Chung Kook-Chin   63'66'
Chung Nam-Sik   87'
Report Cárdenas   23'
Figueroa   85'
Ruiz   89'
Attendance: 6,500
Referee: Leo Lemesic (Yugoslavia)

Italy  9–0  United States
Pernigo   2'57'88'90'
Stellin   25' (pen.)
Turconi   46'
Cavigioli   72'87'
Caprile   90'
Attendance: 20,000
Referee: Charles de la Salle (France)


Yugoslavia  3–1  Turkey
Željko Čajkovski   21'
Bobek   60'
Wölfl   80'
Report Gulesin   33'
Attendance: 8,000
Referee: Victor Sdez (France)

Sweden  12–0  South Korea
Liedholm   11'62'
G. Nordahl   25'40'78'80'
Gren   27'
Carlsson   61'64'82'
Rosén   72'85'
Attendance: 7,110
Referee: Giuseppe Carpani (Italy)

Great Britain  1–0  France
Hardisty   29' Report
Attendance: 25,000
Referee: Karel van der Meer (Netherlands)

Denmark  5–3  Italy
John Hansen   30'53'74'82'
Pløger   84'
Report Cavigioli   49'
Caprile   67'
Pernigo   81'
Attendance: 25,000
Referee: William Ling (Great Britain)


Sweden  4–2  Denmark
Carlsson   18'   42'
Rosén   31'   37'
Report Seebach   3'
John Hansen   77'
Attendance: 20,000
Referee: Stanley Boardman (Great Britain)

Great Britain  1–3  Yugoslavia
Donovan   20' Report Bobek   19'
Wölfl   24'
Mitić   48'
Attendance: 40,000
Referee: Karel van der Meer (Netherlands)

Bronze medal matchEdit

Great Britain  3–5  Denmark
Aitken   5'
Hardisty   33'
Amor   63' (pen.)
Report Præst   12'49'
John Hansen   16'77'
J. Sørensen   41'
Attendance: 50,000
Referee: Karel van der Meer (Netherlands)

Gold medal matchEdit

Sweden  3–1  Yugoslavia
Gren   24'   67' (pen.)
G. Nordahl   48'
Report Bobek   42'
Attendance: 60,000


Swedish gold medal team
First roundQuarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinals
  Republic of China0
  Great Britain1
  Great Britain (a.e.t.)4
  Great Britain1
  South Korea0
  South Korea5
  Denmark2 Bronze Medal match
  Denmark (a.e.t.)3
  Denmark5  Great Britain3
  Italy3   Denmark5
  United States0




7 goals
5 goals
4 goals
3 goals
2 goals
1 goal


  1. ^ "Football at the 1948 London Summer Games". Sports Reference. Retrieved 9 October 2018.


External linksEdit