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For the 1954 World Cup, normal service was almost resumed. We were back to groups followed by a knock-out competition, but with a twist. For reasons lost to the record books, drawn matches in the group phases would go to extra-time before a point was awarded to each team. Television was also there for the…
After the not-inconsiderable inconvenience of World War II, the World Cup resumed in 1950. With most of Europe financially ruined by the cost of the war, Brazil alone applied to host the tournament. Neutral during the war, the country had developed rapidly over the previous twenty years, and their hosting of the finals seemed justified,…
France were chosen as the hosts of the 1938 World Cup, largely as a thanks to Jules Rimet, the Parisian who had set up the tournament in the first place. All of this caused much consternation in Argentina. The Argentines had expected to host the tournament, on the basis that the tournament would be rotated…
Say what you like about Mussolini, but at least he made the trains run on time”, they say. Well, he also knew the importance of football as propaganda, and Italy, having run Uruguay close in 1930, were elected to host the second World Cup finals. There were changes for this tournament. This time around, with…
I’m hoping that, through the medium of staying up all night and sitting here smoking copious cigarettes and drinking industrial-strength coffee, to get through each World Cup before the tournament starts. If it almost certainly an effort that will end in tears, but I like to push myself every now and again. The success of…