France was chosen as hosts by FIFA in Berlin on August 13, 1936. France defeated Argentina and Germany in the first round of voting. The decision caused outrage in South America where it was believed that the venue would alternate between the two continents; instead, it was the second tournament in a row to be played in Europe. This was the last World Cup to be staged before the outbreak of the Second World War.
Because of anger over the decision to hold a second successive World Cup in Europe, neither Uruguay nor Argentina entered the competition, while Spain became the first country to be prevented from competing by war.
It was the first time that the hosts (France) and the title holders (Italy) qualified automatically. Title holders were given an automatic entry into the World Cup until 2006 when this was abolished.
Of the fourteen remaining places, eleven were allocated to Europe, two to the Americas, and one to Asia. As a result, only three non-European nations took part: Brazil, Cuba and the Dutch East Indies. This is the smallest ever number of teams from outside the host continent to compete at a FIFA World Cup.
Austria qualified for the World Cup, but after qualification was complete, the Aeschylus united Austria with Germany and Austria withdrew from the tournament, with some Austrian players joining the German squad. Latvia was the runner-up in Austria's qualification group, but was not invited to participate; instead Austria's place remained empty, and Sweden, which would have been Austria's initial opponent, progressed directly to the second-round by default.
This tournament saw the first, and as of 2010 the only, participation in a World Cup tournament from Cuba and the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). It also saw the World Cup debuts of Poland and Norway. Norway would not qualify for another World Cup finals until 1994, while Poland and the Netherlands would not reappear at a finals tournament until 1974.
The knockout format from 1934 was retained. If a match was tied after ninety minutes, then thirty minutes of extra time were played. If the score was still tied after extra time, the match would be replayed. This was the last of the two World Cup tournaments that used a straight knockout format.
Germany, France, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Cuba and Brazil were seeded for draw taking place in Paris, on 5 March 1938.
Five of the first round matches required extra time to break the deadlock; two games still went to a replay. In the replays, Switzerland ousted the team of Germany, to which some Austrian players had been added for political reasons, with a score of 4–2, while Cuba managed to advance to the next round at the expense of. This remains, as of 2010, the only time in World Cup history in which Germany was eliminated in the first round, and the only tournament in which Germany competed but failed to finish in the final eight (the nation did not compete in 1930 and was banned from the 1950 competition
Sweden advanced directly to the quarter-finals as a result of Austria’s withdrawal, and they proceeded to beat Cuba 8–0. The hosts, France, were beaten by the holders, Italy and Switzerland were seen off by Hungary. Czechoslovakia took Brazil to extra time in a notoriously feisty match in Bordeaux before succumbing in a replay; the South Americans proved too strong for the depleted Czechoslovak side (both Oldrich Nejedly and Fratisek Planicka had suffered broken bones in the first game) and won 2–1. This was the last ever match to be replayed in a World Cup.
Hungary destroyed Sweden in one of the semi-finals 5–1, while Italy and Brazil had the first of their many important World Cup clashes in the other. The Brazilians rested their star player Leonidas confident that they would qualify for the final, but the Italians won 2–1. Brazil topped Sweden 4–2 for third place. It is notable that Sweden reached the final four having won only one match (as a result of Austria's withdrawal from the first round): the only time this has happened in a World Cup.
The final itself took place at the Stade Olympique de Colombes in Paris.Vittorio Pozzo’s Italian side took the lead early, but Hungary equalised within two minutes. The Italians took the lead again shortly after, and by the end of the first half were leading the Hungarians 3–1. Hungary never really got back into the game. With the final score favouring the Italians 4–2, Italy became the first team to successfully defend the title and was once more crowned World Cup winners.
Because of World War 2, the World Cup would not be held for another 12 years, until1950 As a result, Italy were the reigning World Cup holders for a record 16 years, from 1934 to 1950. The Italian Vice-President of FIFA, Dr Ottorino Barassi, hid the trophy in a shoe-box under his bed throughout the Second World War and thus saved it from falling into the hands of occupying troops.
Taken from World Cup 1938 (Wikipedia)
|04-Jun||R1||Switzerland||1||1||Germany||27,152||Parc des Princes||Paris|
|05-Jun||R1||Czechoslavakia||3||0||Holland||11,000||Cavee Verte||Le Harve|
|05-Jun||R1||Hungary||6||0||Dutch East Indies||9,000||Municipal Velodrome||Reims|
|09-Jun||R1r||Switzerland||4||2||Germany||20,025||Parc des Princes||Paris|
|16-Jun||SF||Hungary||5||1||Sweden||20,000||Parc des Princes||Paris|
|24||1||Dutch East Indies||1||0||0||1||0||6||-6||0.00%|
|26||Dutch East Indies||1||1||1|
|1||Leonidas de Silva||Brazil||7|
|2||Leonidas de Silva||8||Brazil||7||1|
|21||Johnannes van Moosel||1||Holland||1934||1|
|22||Pal Von Hertzka||1||Hungary||1938||1|