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Brazil 19



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.  But much of Europe lay in ruins.  As a result, FIFA had some difficulties finding a country interested in hosting the event, since many governments believed that the world scenario did not favour a sportive celebration, and also that the resources that would have to be put into organizing the World Cup could not be diverted from other more urgent fronts.  For some time, the World Cup was at risk of not being held for lack of interest, until Brazil presented a bid to FIFA, offering to host the event in 1949.  Brazil and Germany had been the leading bidders to host the cancelled 1942 World Cup, and Brazil's new bid was very similar to their 1942 bid and was quickly accepted at the 24th FIFA Congress in Luxembourg on 26 July 1946 (along with the 1954 World Cup). On 27 July 1948, Congress decided to delay the World Cup Finals for a year, deciding it should take place in 1950.

The Draw
The Brazilian organizers of the tournament demanded a new format in which the sixteen teams were divided into four pools of four teams, with the four group winners advancing to a final group stage, playing on a league basis to determine the winner.
The organizers had spent a great deal on stadium and infrastructure investment. A knockout tournament would only return sixteen games, while the proposed double phase format would guarantee thirty games, and enhance the ticket revenue. Guaranteeing each team at least three games.
FIFA originally resisted, but backed down after Brazil threatened to withdraw as hosts.
The draw, held in the library of the Foreign Office in Rio on Monday, 22 May 1950, presided over by the Foreign Minister, Raoul Fernandes, allocated sixteen qualifying teams into four groups.

Pot 1 (all seeded) Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
Brazil Scotland Bolivia India
Italy Sweden Chile Mexico
England Switzerland Paraguay Turkey
Uruguay Spain Yugoslavia United States

Before the qualification competition, George Graham, SFA chairman, had said that Scotland would only travel to Brazil as winners of the Home Championship. After Scotland ended up in second place behind England, Scotland withdrew from the tournament.

Turkey also withdrew, citing financial problems and the cost of travelling to South America. FIFA then invited Portugal and France, who had both been eliminated in qualifying.

India then withdrew, citing costs. There was not enough time to invite further replacement teams or to reorganize the groups, so the tournament featured only thirteen teams, with just two nations in Group 4.


The Build-Up

23 May: The Football Association announced their squad of 21 players for the tournament.

"The party will leave by air on June 19. Matthews and Taylor, who are at present with the F.A. touring side in Canada, and Aston and Cockburn, now in America with Manchester United, will join the party in Brazil." - The Times

India withdrew from Group III, leaving three teams (Italy, Paraguay and Sweden).

Group IV, as per the draw, was Bolivia, France, (Eire, Israel or Portugal) and Uruguay.

30 May: The fixtures were announced.

"It was decided to wait until Wednesday to allow Portugal time to reply to an invitation to compete before allocating the grounds". The Times

1 June: The venues for England's games were announced (two in Rio, one in Belo Horizonte).

6 June: France withdrew from the tournament. 

"The decision followed the rejection by the Brazil Sports Federation of the French complaint that their team would have to travel extensively (2,174 miles) in a comparatively short period of time between matches (25 to 29 June)". The Glasgow Herald

14 June: England's first training session is held on the second pitch at the home of Dulwich Hamlet FC.

19 June: The F.A. touring team beat the United States in New York by a goal to nil, whilst the World Cup squad flew to Rio, a journey of 31 hours. The squad are based at the Luxor Hotel on Copacabana Beach.

22 June: The F.A. touring team beat a Swedish amateur side, Jønköpings, by seven goals to one in Montreal.

23 June: England's team for the opening game, against Chile, was announced, whilst Sweden were chosen as hosts for the 1958 tournament.


First Phase
Pool 2
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Spain 3 3 0 0 6 1 +5 6
England 3 1 0 2 2 2 =0 2
Chile 3 1 0 2 5 6 -1 2
United States 3 1 0 2 4 8 -4 2
25 June 1950 - both 3.00pm BRT
England 2 Chile 0 [1-0]
Estádio Municipal, Rio de Janeiro (29,703)
 Mortensen, Mannion
Spain 3 United States 1 [0-1]
Estádio Durival Britto e Silva, Curitiba (9,511)
Igoa, Basora, Zarra

"...Mannion, Mortensen, Bentley, and Wright were prominent for England, who had most of the game territorially, and were the better team. Many attacks were stopped by the vigorous methods of the Chilean defence, but it was a sporting game". - The Times, 26 June 1950

29 June 1950 - both 3.00pm BRT
3.00pm BRT - Spain 2 Chile 0 [2-0]
Estádio Municipal, Rio de Janeiro (19,790)
Basora, Zarra
6.00pm BRT - United States 1 England 0 [1-0]
Estádio Independência, Belo Horizonte (10,151)

"Probably never before has an England team played so badly. The chances they missed were legion. With the American goal at their mercy, the forwards blazed over the bar or hesitated near goal to allow a lively defence to rob them of the ball.
"The small ground and the close marking of the United States defenders seemed to upset the English players in their close passing game...
"They had some bad luck, it is true, particularly after half-time, but the Americans also went near to increasing their lead on occasions with sudden breaks-away." -
The Times, 30 June 1950

2 July 1950 - both BRT
3.00pm - Spain 1 England 0 [0-0]
Estádio Municipal, Rio de Janeiro (74,462)
6.00pm - Chile 5 United States 2 [1-0]
Estádio Adelmar da Costa Carvalho, Recife (8,501)
Robledo, Cremaschi (3), Prieto
Wallace, Maca (pen)

"England's reorganized forward line was always a source of danger.
"frequently baulked by the obstruction tactics of their opponents which went unpunished...
"though beaten and eliminated from the tournament, they were accorded a great reception by the vast Brazilian crowd." - The Times, 3 July 1950

"...general disappointment that England failed to survive the preliminary rounds...
"crowd did not like the rough and often dubious tactics of the Spanish team...
"Although the English team has the right to feel that at times it was treated badly by the referee, in fact it had only itself to blame...
"While the forwards were indulging in short passing near the goal, a typical massed Continental type defence was set up and proved too strong to penetrate.
"...defence and approach work could not be criticised." -
The Guardian, 4 July 1950

Second Phase
9 July 1950 - both 3.00pm BRT
 Uruguay 2 Spain 2 [0-0]
Estádio Municipal Paulo Machado de Carvalho, Pacaembu (44,802)
Ghiggia, Varela
Basora (2)
Brazil 7 Sweden 1 [0-0]
Estádio Municipal, Rio de Janeiro (138,886)
Ademir (4), Chico (2)
Anderson (pen)

"Mr Drewry, the Football League president and chairman of the International Selection Committee, and Sir Stanley Rous did not return with the England players, who arrived in London late yesterday afternoon. They are staying on to the end of the World Cup games as members of F.I.F.A. Committee." - The Sunderland Echo, 10 July 1950

"Gate receipts for the World Football Championships which are being played in Rio are expected to amount to three-quarters of a million pounds. This is without taking into account the possibility of any play-offs in the final pool which is now being decided. From the 18 games already played the Brazilian organising committee have taken nearly £470,000. Takings from England's three matches amount to more than £76,000, of which £50,000 came from the match with Spain." - The Lincolnshire Echo, 11 July 1950

13 July 1950 - all 3.00pm BRT
Uruguay 3 Sweden 2 [0-0]
Estádio Municipal Paulo Machado de Carvalho, Pacaembu (7,987)
Ghiggia, Míguez (2)
Palmér, Sundkvist
Brazil 6 Spain 1 [0-0]
Estádio Municipal, Rio de Janeiro (152,772)
Parra OG, Jair, Chico (2), Ademir, Zizinho
16 July 1950
Sweden 3 Spain 1 [0-0]
Estádio Municipal Paulo Machado de Carvalho, Pacaembu (11,227)
Sundkvist, Mellberg, Palmér
Uruguay 2 Brazil 1 [0-0]
Estádio Municipal, Rio de Janeiro (205,000)
Schiaffino, Ghiggia

The Final Pool

The Final
Pool Table
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Uruguay 3 2 1 0 7 5 +2 5
Brazil 3 2 0 1 14 4 +10 4
Sweden 3 1 0 2 6 11 -5 2
Spain 3 0 1 2 4 11 -7 1