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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
World Cup history - Uruguay 1930
Uruguay's Lorenzo Fernandez, Pedro Cea and Hector Scarone celebrate World Cup success
Uruguay celebrate their success
Only 13 nations took part in the inaugural World Cup in Uruguay, with a majority of seven coming from south America, but it proved a huge success.

The Home Nations were all ineligible, having withdrawn from Fifa and Europe's representatives numbered four - France, Belgium, Yugoslavia and Romania.

As expected, south American countries dominated and the hosts took the honours in the final against Argentina.

Argentina threw away a 2-1 half-time lead as Uruguay ran out 4-2 winners.

The final was also notable for the fact that two balls were used after a pre-match row over which ball to use.

It is believed an Argentine ball was used in one half and a Uruguayan ball in the other, which, allied to the turn of fortunes for the teams on the pitch, gave birth to the popular phrase "a game of two halves".

The idea for a global footballing tournament had been conceived on 26 May 1928 at a meeting in Amsterdam of the Fifa congress.

A year later in Barcelona it was agreed that Uruguay, the Olympic champions and the era's footballing superpower, should celebrate 100 years of independence by hosting the first World Cup.

That they went on to win it made their celebrations complete.

England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales were unable to participate following a dispute over payments to amateur players.

However a number of British players did find their way into the team representing the United States, where professional football was being played.

Members of the France squad relax on the long journey to the World Cup
French players relax en route to the finals in Uruguay

Bar Belgium, France, Yugoslavia and Romania, European countries turned down their invitations.

They did not attend either in a fit of pique because the competition was not being staged in Europe or cited the three-week voyage to South America as prohibitive.

Romania entered on the personal instructions of King Carol, who also selected the squad.

He gave the players three months off from their jobs with guarantees that they would be re-employed.

All games were played in three stadiums in Montevideo and, despite the dominance of south American teams who won 12 of the 18 matches played, the Europeans did not disgrace themselves.

Lucien Laurent had the honour of scoring the first ever World Cup goal as France won their opening game against Mexico 4-1.

They were then unlucky to be beaten 1-0 in an epic match against Argentina.

The referee blew the final whistle six minutes early, realised his mistake and then had to call the players, some of whom were already in the bath, back to finish the game.

Yugoslavia won both their group games, including a 2-1 win over Brazil, but found the going altogether tougher in the semi-finals which were both one-sided affairs.

Uruguay went behind to a fourth-minute goal against Yugoslavia but bounced back to win 6-1.

The United States, who had beaten Belgium and Paraguay, faced a sizeable Argentine side who had been dubbed "the shot-putters" by the French after their group encounter, and also subsided by a 6-1 scoreline.

Some 100,000 fans packed into the Centenario Stadium for the final on 30 July to see Argentina throw away their interval lead as Uruguay, to the vast delight of the majority of the crowd, took the spoils.

Jules Rimet, the Fifa president and brains behind the World Cup, presented the trophy to winning captain Jose Nazassi and football's greatest tournament was born.


Group A
France 4-1 Mexico
Argentina 1-0 France
Chile 3-0 Mexico
Argentina 6-3 Mexico
Chile 1-0 France
Argentina 3-1 Chile
P W D L F A Pts
Argentina 3 3 0 0 10 4 6
Chile 3 2 0 1 5 3 4
France 3 1 0 2 4 3 2
Mexico 3 0 0 3 4 13 0

Group B
Yugoslavia 2-1 Brazil
Yugoslavia 4-0 Bolivia
Brazil 4-0 Bolivia
P W D L F A Pts
Yugoslavia 2 2 0 0 6 1 4
Brazil 2 1 0 1 5 2 2
Bolivia 2 0 0 2 0 8 0

Group C
Romania 3-1 Peru
Uruguay 1-0 Peru
Uruguay 4-0 Romania
P W D L F A Pts
Uruguay 2 2 0 0 5 0 4
Romania 2 1 0 1 3 5 2
Peru 2 0 0 2 1 4 0

Group D
USA 3-0 Belgium
USA 3-0 Paraguay
Paraguay 1-0 Belgium
P W D L F A Pts
USA 2 2 0 0 6 0 4
Paraguay 2 1 0 1 1 3 2
Belgium 2 0 0 2 0 4 0

Argentina 6-1 United States
Uruguay 6-1 Yugoslavia

Uruguay 4-2 Argentina

Leading scorer
Eight goals: Guillermo Stabile (Argentina)



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