Monday, December 21, 2009

1950 FIFA World Cup

The 1950 FIFA World Cup, held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July, was the fourth FIFA World Cup, and the first staged in 12 years due to World War II. Brazil was chosen as the host country by FIFA in July 1946. It was also the first tournament that the trophy itself would be referred to as the Jules Rimet Cup, to mark the 25th anniversary of Rimet's presidency of FIFA. It was won by Uruguay, who had won the inaugural competition in 1930, clinching the cup by beating the hosts Brazil 2–1 in the deciding match of the four-team final group (this was the only tournament not decided by a one-match final).

Originally, the tournament format would be that the 16 teams be divided into four first round groups (or "pools" as they were then called) of four teams, with the group winners advancing to a final group stage, playing in round-robin format to determine the winner. However, because only 13 teams competed, this left two first round groups with four teams, another with three teams, and the last group with only two teams. The draw took place in Rio de Janeiro, on 22 May 1950.[2] In fact, 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 program, although Brazil was allowed to play two of its three group matches in Rio de Janeiro while its other game was in (comparatively) nearby São Paulo.

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.
(wikipedia.org)

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