The third World Cup was held in Europe for a second
time, although Germany had annexed Austria, and Spain was in civil turmoil.
Austria (who had already qualified for the tournament, after a
play-off match with Latvia) withdrew and some of their players appeared for Germany.
England were offered a spot in the finals, in Austria's place, but the
English didn't accept FIFA's invitation and so the finals started with 15 teams; Sweden
receiving a bye.
France 1938 - Preliminary
Round, Quarter-finals, Semi-finals,
Third place, 1938 World Cup
Uruguay and other South
American nations were again disgrutled; they wanted the tournament in Argentina. Argentina
withdrew, leaving Brazil the only representative from South America.
The Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia) represented Asia
without playing a single game in qualifying. Japan were at war with China and the United
States refused another pre-finals play-off -- having beaten Mexico on their way to Italy 34.
For the first time, the World Cup
holders and host nation automatically qualified; although the hosts wouldn't win the
tournament on home turf for the third competition in succession and Italy were to make it
two out of two instead -- comfortably beating the hosts in the Paris quarter-final, before
overcoming Brazil in their semi-final and dominating Hungary in the final.
Sadly, the World War years meant no more World Cup football until Brazil 1950.
Paris: Switzerland vs Germany (1:1 aet)
Le Havre: Czechoslovakia vs Holland
Marseille: Italy vs Norway (2:1 aet)
Paris: France vs Belgium (3:1)
Reims: Hungary vs Dutch East Indies
Strasbourg: Brazil vs Poland (6:5 aet)
Toulouse: Cuba vs Romania (3:3 aet)
Replays -- 9th June
Paris: Switzerland vs Germany (4:2)
Toulouse: Cuba vs Romania (2:1)
Antibes: Sweden vs
Bordeaux: Brazil vs Czechoslovakia (1:1 aet)
Lille: Hungary vs
Paris: Italy vs
Replay -- 14th June
Bordeaux: Brazil vs Czechoslovakia
Marseille: Italy vs
Paris: Hungary vs
Bordeaux: Brazil vs Sweden (4:2)
1938 World Cup
Italy vs Hungary (4:2)
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