The Evolution of Football (Part 4) : FIFA World Cup initiates in Uruguay

In 1930, the governing body of football decided to start the World Cup in Uruguay.


In our last article, we have concluded how FIFA rose to the occasion when the world needed a federation to carry on its prerequisites in the world of soccer.

A couple of decades later, the Olympic football tournaments were seen as a huge success and that instigated then FIFA president Jules Rimet to organise a global tournament which would only satiate footballing nations to play an official championship.

On 28 May 1928, the FIFA Congress in Netherlands decided to stage a world championship itself. With Uruguay, then an inspiring soccer playing nation (Now two-time official football world champions), were to celebrate their hundred years of freedom in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay as the hosts for the first World Championship in Football in that same year.

The national Football Associations of certain nations were invited to send a team, but the choice of Uruguay as a venue for the competition meant a long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean for all the European sides who were dominating football back then. To everyone’s surprise, no European country pledged to send a team until two months before the start of the competition. Due to this, the very first world cup did not even include qualifying rounds. Rimet eventually persuaded four European teams to participate in the World Cup and eventually just thirteen teams (seven from South America, four from Europe, and two from North America) from all over the globe participated in the inaugural world cup in Uruguay.

The first ever match in the FIFA World Cup fabricated France and Mexico to be a part of that historic moment. Although Uruguay were scheduled to be on the opening fixture, some technical hinges made them behindhand. France won the game 3-1, where Lucian Laurent of France scored the first goal.

Although all the matches were held in Montevideo, three venues were used, viz, Estadio Centenario, Estadio Pocitos and Estadio Parque Central. The Estadio Centenario was built both for the tournament and as a celebration of the centenary of Uruguayan independence as it could hold a capacity of 90,000 people. At that time, it was the largest football stadium outside of Europe. However, a rushed construction schedule and delays caused by the rainy season meant the Centenario was not ready for use until five days into the tournament.

The four group winners in Argentina, Yugoslavia, Uruguay and the United States, moved to the semi-finals. The first semi-final was played between the USA and Argentina on a damped rainy pitch. The United States team, which featured six British-born players, lost midfielder Raphael Tracy after ten minutes to a broken leg as the match became violent. The strength of the United States team was overwhelmed by the pace and trickery of the Argentinian final third, as the match finished 6–1 to Argentina.

In the second semi-final the only European team in Yugoslavia and the hosts collided. Here, though, Yugoslavia took a surprise lead through their striker Dorde, Uruguay then took a 2–1 lead. Then shortly before half-time Yugoslavia had a goal disallowed by a controversial offside decision.The hosts scored three more in the second half to win 6–1. Suprisingly, both the games ended with the same scoreline.

The results of the semi-final meant that Uruguay would host Argentina in a self-image game because Argentina had already lost against the hosts in the 1928 Olympics Final which instigated the inauguration of the FIFA World Cup in itself.

The final was a joy to watch for both the set of fans, with Argentina showing superior passing, dribbling and vision throughout the game. Although Uruguay scored the opening goal, Argentina responded in style. Within the second half, Argentina got the lead coming from behind. In the second half of the game, Uruguay attacked in numbers and Uruguay defended with all men behind. Eventually, Uruguay just outshone and the equaliser was scored. Minutes later, Santos scored the third for the hosts, and in the finishing stages, Uruguay scored a counter-attacking goal through Casto which summed up the game with a 4-2 scoreline.


Which country do you support in the FIFA World Cup? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo by NazionaleCalcio