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Switzerland 19



The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July.  Switzerland were chosen unopposed as hosts to hold the 1951 World Cup Finals, at the 24th FIFA Congress in Luxembourg on 26 July 1946 (along with the 1950 World Cup). A day later, Congress decided to delay the World Cup Finals for three years, deciding it should take place in 1954.

The Draw
These Finals used a unique format. The sixteen qualifying teams were again divided into four groups of four at the draw in Zürich, 30 November 1953. But each group contained two seeded and two unseeded teams. Only four matches were scheduled for each group, with a seeded team versus an unseeded team. Extra time would then be played if the teams were level after ninety minutes, but a draw would result if the scores were still level after 120 minutes.
Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
Switzerland Austria (seeded) France (seeded) Belgium
Uruguay (seeded) England (seeded) Italy (seeded) Mexico
Brazil (seeded) West Germany Czechoslovakia Korea Republic
Hungary (seeded) Yugoslavia Turkey (seeded) Scotland

The fixtures were drawn up on 1 February 1954. Because it had yet to be decided whether England or Scotland would win their group, both teams were paired with each other's opponents.


The Build-Up

16 November 1953: The World Cup Organising Committee decide that no injured player can be replaced during the World Cup Finals.

1 February 1954: The following fixture list is made for Wednesday, 16 June - Austria vs. England or Wales or Scotland in Zurich. Thursday, 17 June - Belgium vs. England or Scotland in Basle. Saturday, 19 June - Uruguay vs. England or Scotland or Wales in Basle. Sunday, 20 June - Switzerland vs. England or Scotland in Berne.

7 April: The FA selectors nominate 32 players for the World Cup, that will at first be tested on the continental tour in May.

22 April: As one drops out, another nine players are added to the party to make forty players.

24 May: The England party return from their disastrous continental tour, losing both matches (1-0 to Yugoslavia and 7-1 to Hungary).

"There is no question of withdrawal because we lost so heavily. We will give our best in the World Cup and do all we can to restore English prestige. The Hungarians were a miraculous team." - Walter Winterbottom

1 June: England party began two days of training at Roehampton, prior to the announcement of the World Cup squad.

"So far 27 players have been named, but only 25 will take part in the training which starts to-day. Matthews and Finney will not be there. Matthews has asked for a rest following his tour of the continent with his club, Blackpool, and Finney is having treatment for a thigh injury." - The Times

"The annual general meeting of the Football Association lasted twelve minutes. Not a word was said about England's recent heavy defeat by Hungary in Budapest." - The Guardian

3 June: The Football Association announced the squad of 17 players that were to travel to Switzerland for the tournament.

8 June: The Football Association announced the five reserves, who were to remain at home on standby. All of the 22-man squad returned to Roehampton for a further three days of training. Matthews and Finney were given the third day off. They were all asked to train on their club grounds for the next two days.

11 June: England's team for the opening game, against Belgium, was announced.

14 June: The England squad arrived in Lucerne, their base for the tournament.


First Phase
Pool D
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
England 2 1 1 0 6 4 +2 3
Italy 2 1 0 1 5 3 +2 2
Switzerland 2 1 0 1 2 3 -1 2
Belgium 2 0 1 1 5 8 -3 1
17 June 1954 - all CET
5:50pm - Switzerland 2 Italy 1 [1-1]
Stade Olympique de La Pontaise, Lausanne (43,000)
Ballaman, Hügi
6:10pm - Belgium 4 England 4 [1-2]ᴭᵀ
Sankt Jakob Stadium, Basel (14,000)
Anoul (2), Coppens, Dickinson OG
 Broadis (2), Lofthouse (2)

"England...were like those rare children of light who can pass through any experience protected by a sheath of impenetrable innocence.
"...dominated the central hour with some pure cultured football to take a lead that should have given them a worthy victory.
"...too much artistry at the time of their domination." - The Times, 18 June 1954

20 June 1954 - all CET
5:00pm - Italy 4 Belgium 1 [1-0]
Stadio Cornaredo, Lugano (26,000)
Pandolfini (pen), Galli, Frignani, Lorenzi
5:10pm - England 2 Switzerland 0 [1-0]
Wankdorfstadion, Bern (43,119)
Mullen, Wilshaw

"...torrid heat of over a hundred degrees under a cloudless sky...
"England, in a world sense, represent a Third Division side that has found its way into the last eight of the FA Cup.
"...must start thinking intelligently ahead of the pass.
"Yet England...deserved to win a match of extreme mediocrity.
"...dominating influence of Wright..." - The Times, 21 June 1954

23 June 1954 - 6:00pm CET
Switzerland 4 Italy 1 [1-0]
Sankt Jakob Stadium, Basel (14,000)
Hügi (2), Ballaman, Fatton








Second Phase
Another feature of the 1954 format was that the four group-winning teams were drawn against each other in the knockout stages to provide one finalist, and the four runners-up played against each other to provide the second finalist. The draw took place on 21 June.

26 June 1954 - both 5:00pm CET
Austria 7 Switzerland 5 [5-4]
Stade Olympique de La Pontaise, Lausanne (32,000)
Wagner (3), A.Körner (2), Ocwirk, Probst
Ballaman (2), Hügi (3)
Uruguay 4 England 2 [2-1]
Sankt Jakob Stadium, Basel (28,000)
Borges, Varella, Schiaffino, Ambrois
, Finney

"...departed defiantly with all flags flying and all their guns firing...
"...England so nearly could have won.
"...Uruguayan defence began to shudder before an articulate English answer made pointed by the inspiration of the evergreen Matthews.
"...limping Uruguayans at the end who were most relieved to hear the whistle blow...
"...higher degree of mobility, imagination, accuracy, and spirit than one has seen from an English side for some time.
"The Uruguayans played the whole second half with only eight fully effective men." - The Times, 28 June 1954

27 June 1954 - both 5:00pm CET
Hungary 4 Brazil 2 [2-1]
Wankdorfstadion, Bern (40,000)
Hidegkuti, Kocsis (2), Lantos (pen)
D.Santos (pen), Julinho
West Germany 2 Yugoslavia 0 [1-0]
Le Stade de Charmilles, Genève (17,000)
Horvat OG, Rahn
Quarter Finals

Semi Finals

30 June 1954 - both 6:00pm CET
West Germany 6 Austria 1 [1-0]
Sankt Jakob Stadium, Basel (57,000)
Schäfer, Morlock, F.Walter (2 pens), O.Walter (2)
Hungary 4 Uruguay 2 [1-0]ᴭᵀ
Stade Olympique de La Pontaise, Lausanne (45,000)
Czibor, Hidegkuti, Kocsis (2)
Hohberg (2)


Third Place Play-off

3 July 1954 - 5:00pm CET
Austria 3 Uruguay 1 [1-1]
Hardturm Stadion, Zürich (32,000)
Stojaspal (pen), Cruz OG, Ocwirk


The 1954 Final

4 July 1954 - 5:00pm CET
West Germany 3 Hungary 2 [2-2]
Wankdorfstadion, Bern (62,472)
Morlock, Rahn (2)
Puskás, Czibor