the 1956 FIFA congress in Lisbon, three nations formally
applied to host the 1962 World Cup - Argentina, Chile and West
Germany. It was generally agreed that the tournament couldn't
be held in Europe for the third successive time, so the
Germans application was rejected. Argentina had better cards
on their hands, because of their footballing heritage, larger
stadiums and a tremendous interest in the game amongst its
people. They were the hot favourites, but in May 1960 Chile
was rocked by dreadful earthquakes which claimed 5000 lives.
This tragedy, one would have thought, would have made
Argentina even stronger candidates, but powerful pleading by
the Chilean FA president, Carlos Dittborn, won the sympathy of
FIFA and Chile were declared hosts for the 1962 tournament.
Dittborn said: "We have nothing - that is why we must
have the World Cup."
The Chileans set about building new stadiums and the
magnificent National Stadium in Santiago was completed in time
for the start of the tournament. For a poor nation, Chile did
not disappoint FIFA as World Cup hosts. But the organizers
could do little about the football.
This World Cup in Chile brought us little new, only one
surprise and that was in the qualification. Sweden who were
runners-up four years earlier failed to qualify. Brazil came
to Chile with a team very much like the one who won in 1958.
Only one major addition, Amarildo, who would take over after
Pelé who got injured already in the second match. June 2nd
was a black day in World Cup history. Chile met Italy in front
of nearly 70.000 spectators in Santiago. They were witnessing
discraceful scenes on the field as Latin temperament took
over. Only two players were sent off, both Italians, but it
should have been a lot more. The English referee Aston said
the match was uncontrollable as the players were punching and
kicking eachother. The teams needed the police to get escorted
off the field safely. The hosts won the football match 2-0.
In the quarterfinals Yugoslavia and West
Germany met again for the third time running. On both the
previous occasions, the Germans had ended up winning. This
time a Radakovic goal three minutes before time sent
Yugoslavia through. Brazil with a sparkling Garrincha beat
England, the Czechs beat Hungary and Chile surprisingly beat
the Soviet Union and now found themselves in the semifinal.
There they met Brazil who looked unstoppable and Garrincha and
Vava scored two goals each to send Brazil to yet another
final. Czechoslovakia won the other semifinal against
Yugoslavia. Chile captured the bronzemedals with a winning
goal which was the last kick on the ball in the match. It was
a great achievement for Chile who didn't expect their team to
go this far. Garrincha who was sent off in the semifinal
eventually was allowed to play in the final. Even though
Czechoslovakia took the lead early on, Brazil looked like the
better team and came back and won the final 3-1. Even without
Pelé for most of the tournament, Brazil managed to defend
their title. Read more about this final, by clicking on the
"Final" link in the left column.