Sunday, December 20, 2009

1934 FIFA World Cup


The 1934 FIFA World Cup, or the World's Cup as it was known then, was the second football World Cup staged, and hosted by Italy from 27 May to 10 June. Italy was chosen as hosts by FIFA at the Stockholm congress of October 1932. It was the first World Cup for which teams would have to qualify in order to take part. 32 nations entered the competition, and after qualification, 16 teams participated in the finals tournament. Italy became the second World Cup champions, beating Czechoslovakia in the final, 2–1.

After a lengthy decision-making process in which FIFA's executive committee met eight times, Italy was chosen as the host nation at a meeting in Stockholm on 9 October 1932. The decision was taken by the executive committee without a ballot of members. The Italian bid was chosen in preference to one from Sweden; the Italian government assigned a budget of 3.5 million lire to the tournament. 32 countries applied to enter the tournament, so qualifying matches were required to thin the field to 16. Even so, there were several notable absentees. Reigning World Cup holders Uruguay declined to participate, in protest at the refusal of several European countries to travel to South America for the previous World Cup, which Uruguay hosted in 1930. As a result, the 1934 World Cup is the only one in which the reigning champions did not participate. The Home Nations, in a period of self-imposed exile from FIFA, also refused to participate. Football Association committee member Charles Sutcliffe's view was typical of British attitudes: "the national associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have quite enough to do in their own International Championship which seems to me a far better World Championship than the one to be staged in Rome".

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