The 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth staging of the World Cup, was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. As the year saw the 50th anniversary of FIFA, it was appropriate for football's premier competition to be played in the home of its governing body, and Switzerland was chosen as hosts in July 1946.
For the first time there was television coverage, and special coins were issued to mark the event. 16 teams qualified for the tournament and an unusual system was used in the first stage. The 16 teams were divided into four groups: each group was comprised of two of the eight seeded teams based on world rankings (Austria, Brazil, England, France, Hungary, Italy, Turkey and Uruguay), plus two unseeded teams.
Instead of a conventional round-robin where each team would play three matches, the seeded teams as well as the unseeded teams were spared from playing each other as the unseeded teams were squared up only against the seeded ones in a chance to qualify, so each team played only 2 group matches, unless tied for the second qualifying position by points, which required a play-off.
The quarter-finals saw the favourites Hungary beat Brazil 4-2 in one of the most violent matches in football history, which became infamous as the Battle of Berne whilst Hungary’s semi-final against Uruguay was one of the most exciting games of the tournament with two late extra time goals taking Hungary through to the final, beating a team that had not previously lost a World Cup game.
The Wankdorf Stadion in Berne saw 60,000 people cram inside to watch the final between West Germany and Hungary, a match marred by poor officiating and a suspected doping scandal.
Release Date: 13 July 2009
Certificate: E - Exempt from Certification
Sound: Dolby Digital
Production Year: 1958
Main Language: English