|1934 World Cup|
|Dates||13 July-30 July|
|World Cup Guide|
The 1934 FIFA World Cup was the second FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in Italy from 27 May to 10 June 1934. The international football federation, FIFA, selected Italy as host nation at its Stockholm congress of October 1932.
Qualification and participantsEdit
The 1934 World Cup was the first for which teams had to qualify to take part. Thirty-two nations entered the competition, and after qualification, 16 teams participated in the finals tournament. Italy became the second World Cup champions, beating Czechoslovakia 2-1 in the final.After a lengthy decision-making process in which FIFA's executive committee met eight times, Italy was chosen as the host nation at a meeting in Stockholm on 9 October 1932. The decision was taken by the executive committee without a ballot of members. The Italian bid was chosen in preference to one from Sweden; the Italian government assigned a budget of 3.5 million lire to the tournament. 32 countries applied to enter the tournament, so qualifying matches were required to thin the field to 16. Even so, there were several notable absentees. Reigning World Cup holders Uruguay declined to participate, in protest at the refusal of several European countries to travel to South America for the previous World Cup, which Uruguay hosted in 1930. As a result, the 1934 World Cup is the only one in which the reigning champions did not participate. The Home Nations, in a period of self-imposed exile from FIFA, also refused to participate. Football Association committee member Charles Sutcliffe's view was typical of British attitudes: "the national associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have quite enough to do in their own International Championship which seems to me a far better World Championship than the one to be staged in Rome".
Despite their role as hosts, Italy were still required to qualify, the first and only time the host nation was not granted automatic qualification. The qualifying matches were arranged on a geographical basis. Withdrawals by Chile and Peru meant Argentina and Brazil qualified without playing a single match.
Only ten of the 32 entrants, and four of the 16 qualified teams (Brazil, Argentina, United States and Egypt, the first African team to qualify for a World Cup finals tournament), were from outside Europe. The last place in the finals was contested between the United States and Mexico only three days before the start of the tournament in a one-off match in Rome, which the United States won.
The majority of the 16 teams were making their first World Cup appearance. These included nine of the twelve European teams (Italy, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Austria, and Switzerland) together with Egypt. Egypt would not qualify for another World Cup finals until the next time the competition was held in Italy, in 1990.