World Cup Tales: Eleven Goals In Strasbourg, 1938

As the entrants lined up for the 1938 World Cup finals in France, storm clouds were building up the horizon, and the tournament itself wasn’t exempt from such global concerns. Three months prior to the start of it, German tanks had marched into Austria, annexing the country through the Anschl├╝ss agreement. Within a couple of months, the Austrian national football team, which had got to the semi-finals of the previous tournament in Italy and was one of the favourites for this one, was no more. On the 28th of March 1938, just sixteen days after the Anschl├╝ss was signed, FIFA was notified that the Austrian Football Association, the OFB, had been abolished and that Germany would be representing both nations. Sweden, the team that they had been due to play, received a bye to the second round of the tournament. The decision to award the 1938 World Cup finals to France had caused considerable outrage in itself. It had been announced at FIFA’s 1936 congress, which was held in Berlin, and it had been expected at the time that the finals of the competition would be alternated between Europe and South America. Argentina and Uruguay withdrew from the competition, leaving Brazil and Cuba as the only representatives from the Americas. The decision provoked a riot outside the headquarters of the Argentinian Football Association. The only South American preresentatives, however,...

Read More