By Ollie Irish
Just 13 nations contested the inaugural FIFA World Cup, with hosts Uruguay winning the two-week tournament. Here, via the power of YouTube, is some terrific archive footage of the final:
“The final was played at the Estadio Centenario on July 30. The stadium gates were opened at eight o’clock, six hours before kick-off, and at noon the ground was full, officially holding 93,000 people. A disagreement overshadowed the build-up to the match as the teams disagreed on who should provide the match ball, forcing FIFA to intervene and decree that the Argentine team would provide the ball for the first half and the Uruguayans would provide their own for the second.
“The game ended 4-2 to Uruguay (who had trailed 2-1 at half time) who added the title World Cup winners to the mantle of Olympic Champions, as Jules Rimet presented the World Cup Trophy, which was later named for him. The following day was declared a national holiday in Uruguay; in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires a mob threw stones at the Uruguayan consulate.” [Via Wiki]
As Wiki says, 93,000 was the official attandence, but I bet there were more than 100,000 fans inside the Estadio Centenario that day.
Why didn’t England play? They – and the other British home nations – were ineligible, having withdrawn from FIFA because of a dispute over payments to amateur players.