Brazil was the host for the first World Cup
after World War II. In the FIFA congress in Luxembourg in July
1946, Brazil was the only candidate to host the World Cup in
1950, although it was originally planned to be held in 1949.
The decision to stage the fourth World Cup in South America
stemmed from the fact that a large part of Europe was still in
turmoil after the war. The choice of Brazil was to be a good
one. They were reigning South American champions and interest
in football was reaching remarkable levels of fanaticism in
that vast country. FIFA was confident Brazil would stage a
spectacular carnival of football. At this 1946 congress, FIFA
also announced that, from 1950, the World Cup trophy would in
the future be known as the Jules Rimet Cup, although it was
subsequently referred to as the Jules Rimet Trophy. This was
to mark Rimet's 25th anniversary as FIFA president.
This 1950 Cup also finally saw the entrance of British teams.
After Great Britain had beaten Rest Of Europe 6-1 in a match
in 1947, England arrived as one of the hottest favourites to
win. This tournament had a strange schedule. Some nations
withdrew from the cup after the draw of various reasons.
India, for example withdrew because FIFA wouldn't let them
play in bare feet! This made the groups look weird, with two
groups of four, one with three and one with only two teams.
The groupwinners would progress to a final pool where the
winners were crowned champions.
One of the biggest shocks in World Cup history
came on June 29th when England were beaten by USA by 1-0.
Uruguay who were lucky enough to only have one opponent in the
groupstage, took advantage of that and trashed Bolivia by 8-0
with their starplayer Schiaffino scoring four of the goals.
Sweden and Spain also showed class and topped their groups.
This World Cup has been the only one without a real final.
When Uruguay met Brazil in the last match, the hosts needed
only a draw to win the World Cup. They had beaten Sweden by
7-1 and Spain by 6-1 in their two earlier games in the group
and were favourites. Uruguay had drawn against Spain and
beaten Sweden by a single goal. A World record 200.000
spectators watched the game and couldn't believe the outcome.
Uruguay stunned the crowd and won 2-1 after coming from
behind. Read more about the final by clicking on the
"Decisive match" link in the left column.