Sunday 1 June 2014

What happened the last time Brazil held a World Cup? Why did only 13 teams compete?

Brazil line up for 1950 World Cup
For obvious reasons the 1942 and 1946 World Cups were cancelled. Both Germany and Brazil had optimistically bid for the 1942 World Cup. Unsurprisingly the Germans were not in the running for the first post-war tournament. Brazil bid again in in 1946 and were successful.

So after a 12 year break FIFA invited 16 countries to play in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil. These invitations were not greeted with great enthusiasm. Many countries could not or would not participate in the tournament now officially named the Jules Rimet Trophy. 

None of the eastern European countries felt strong enough to compete while Argentina was unhappy that they were not the hosts.

The British teams agreed to compete. England qualified as British Champions but withdrew. Turkey and India also withdrew - in India's case because FIFA did not allow them to play in bare feet.

FIFA then invited France, Ireland and Portugal. These days any national team would be on the first available plane - but  all declined. 

For the remarkable story of what happened at the tournament go here

World Cup History Quiz * 1930 World Cup * Football Teaching Pack

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