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Fair Play Award
Football World Cup 1934
The 1934 Football World Cup was hosted by Mussolini's Italy. It was the first football World Cup for which teams would have to qualify in order to take part. The number of participating nations this time doubled from the previous tournament, but only 10 of the 32 nations came from outside the continent of the host nation. Italy became the second World Cup champions, beating Czechoslovakia in the final, 2-1.
Mussolini's influence is said to have extended to the choice of referees for Italy's matches. The Swedish referee who refereed the semi-final and final was said to have met with Mussolini before the matches, and disputed decisions were given in favour of Italy. Some referees ruled so much in Italy's favour that they were suspended by their home nations after the tournament.
This World Cup was unique in two ways. First, the reigning World Cup holders Uruguay declined an invitation to participate as a mark of defiance against the European snub from the previous World Cup in 1930, becoming the only holders not to compete in the following tournament. Second, the hosts, Italy, had to qualify.
The preliminary round took the form of a knockout stage, which saw eight European teams: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland advance.
The quarterfinals provided the first replay that the World Cup had seen when Italy and Spain drew 1-1 after extra time. Italy won the replay 1-0, and then went on to beat Austria by the same margin. Meanwhile Czechoslovakia secured their place in the final by beating Germany 3-1.
The Del Partiti stadium provided the venue for the final and with 70 minutes played, the Czechoslovakians were ahead 1-0. The Italians managed to pull level before the final whistle, and then added another goal in extra time to be crowned World Cup Winners.
Sweden 3-2 Argentina
Germany 5-2 Belgium
Spain 3-1 Brazil
Switzerland 3-2 Holland
Hungary 4-2 Egypt
Italy 7-1 United States
Czechoslovakia 2-1 Romania
Austria 3-2 France (aet)
3rd/4th place play-off:
World Cup Final: