When was the first FIFA World Cup held?

The world Cup planned in Qatar will mark a historic breaking point. Indeed, this year, the tournament takes place in winter unlike the usual summer heat that accompanies the World Cup.

It is therefore a turning point for this competition which continues to evolve and which is very different from the first edition which took place in 1930.

As with this 2022 edition, the first World Cup had its share of controversy. Indeed, the choice to organize the first World Cup in history in Uruguay rather than in a European country caused a sensation and had important consequences on the inaugural edition of the cup launched by Jules Rimet in 1928.

The crucial question, since the birth of FIFA in 1904, concerned the need to find a context in which national teams could compete, outside the OJ and its amateur character (even demonstrative, rather than competitive).

The founding act happened during the Amsterdam Congress of 1928, on the proposal of Rimet and Delaunay. The intention was to organize a championship on a world scale which allows nations to meet and which frees itself from the “monopoly” of the Olympic Games in this sense. The initial inspiration finds its roots in the 1924 and 1928 Olympic tournaments both won by Uruguay: a point that proved to be the source of tension.

Jules Rimet and his World Cup.

Jules Rimet and his World Cup. /

The domination of world football by the Celestial on the Olympic level led to the choice to focus on Uruguay and more specifically on Montevideo as the place where the first World Cup in history would be held.

A choice which came up against the candidacies of European nations (Italy, the Netherlands, Hungary, Spain and Sweden) and which led to a position taken by many countries of the Old Continent.

Only four European nationals left for Uruguay. Among them, France, Yugoslavia, Belgium and Romania. L’Italy by Vittorio Pozzo, for his part, rejected the invitation and joined the ranks of those who do not appreciate the choice of playing the World Cup outside European borders. A decision which, in Uruguay, did not fail to be discussed and criticized.

Which teams participated in the first World Cup in history? In addition to the four Europeans – the France, Yugoslavia, Belgium and Romania – the Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, United States of America and of course Uruguay participated. All this for a total of only thirteen teams, a number which obviously suffered from the boycott led by European countries in protest.

Italy of Pozzo large absent from this first CDM.

Italy of Pozzo large absent from this first CDM. /

As mentioned, it was Uruguay that hosted the first edition of the football world championships, all the matches of the competition took place in the capital Montevideo, spread over three stadiums: the centennial Stadium, the Pocitos Stadium and the Gran Parque Central Stadium.

The history of the Stade du Centenaire is closely linked to the first edition of the World Cup: the 80,000-seat stadium was designed in record time and unveiled precisely on the occasion of the World Cup. Its name refers to the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the promulgation of the first Constitution of the Uruguayan Republic.

For a first competition with such a small number of teams, a unique formula was chosen.

The thirteen nations have been divided into four groups, one of four teams and the other three of three. Two points were awarded for a win and one for a tie.

The teams at the top of the groups would then face each other in the semi-finals. From the semi-final, in the event of a tie, overtime would have ended up taking place.

The Uruguayan world champions.

The Uruguayan world champions. /

The four qualifying rounds for the semi-finals were composed as follows:

Group 1: Argentina, Chile, France, Mexico.
Group 2: Yugoslavia, Brazil, Bolivia
Group 3: Uruguay, Romania, Peru
Group 4: Belgium, Paraguay, USA

Argentina, Yugoslavia, Uruguay and the United States qualified for the semi-finals. The latter were played on July 26 (Argentina-United States) and July 27 (Uruguay-Yugoslavia) with an identical result: 6-1 in favor of Argentina and Celeste.

the success will come down to Celestial who beat Argentina in the final by a score of 4-2. Argentina responded to Dorado’s goal and even took the lead with Peucelle and then Stabile. Only, Uruguay was able to fight back and score in turn. The goals came in the second half from Cea, Iriarte and Castro.

All in a packed Centennial Stadium though. The rumor evokes 93,000 people present, for a capacity of 80,000 places.

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