Tuesday, September 9, 2014

1978 FIFA World Cup

I am sure football fans are going to love this FDC and the stamps on it issued by Brazil to commemorate WC78.

The 1978 FIFA World Cup was the 11th staging of the FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial international football world championship tournament, which was held in Argentina between 1 and 25 June 1978.
The 1978 World Cup was won by Argentina who beat the Netherlands 3–1 after extra time in the final. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth team (after Uruguay, Italy, England and West Germany), to be both hosts and world champions. Argentina, the Netherlands and Brazil were the gold, silver and bronze medalists respectively. Iran and Tunisia made their first appearances in the finals.

The official match ball was the Adidas Tango.

This Worl Cup was not devoid of its fair share of controversy.A fact surrounding the 1978 World Cup was that Argentina had suffered a military coup only two years before the cup, a coup known as the National Reorganization Process. Less than a year before the World Cup, in September 1977, Interior Minister General Albano Harguindeguy, stated that 5,618 people had recently disappeared. The infamous Naval Mechanics School (known by its acronym ESMA) held concentration camp prisoners of the Dirty War and those held captive reportedly could hear the roars of the crowd during matches held at River Plate's Monumental Stadium, located only a mile away; prompting echoes of Hitler's manipulation of sports during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Because of the political turmoil, some countries, most notably the Netherlands, considered publicly whether they should participate in the event. Despite this, all teams eventually took part without restrictions. Allegations that Dutch star Johan Cruyff refused to participate because of political convictions were denied by him 30 years later. More controversy surrounded the host, Argentina, as all of their games in the first round kicked off at night, giving the Argentines the advantage of knowing where they stood in the group. This issue would arise again in Spain 1982, which prompted FIFA to change the rules so that the final two group games in subsequent World Cups would be played simultaneously.

Further accusations surrounded the game Argentina and Peru played in the second round of the tournament. Argentina needed to win by a margin of four goals to proceed to the final and did so by defeating Peru by 6–0. However, claims that the Argentine military dictatorship interfered to ensure Argentina would defeat Peru, were denied by the Peruvian captain and several Peruvian players. Some accusations originated in the Brazilian media and pointed to the fact that the Peruvian goalkeeper had been born in Argentina. There is also an alleged deal, reported by the British media as an anonymous rumour, that involved the delivery of a large grain shipment to Peru by Argentina and the unfreezing of a Peruvian bank account that was held by the Argentine Central Bank. Another alleged deal, published by a Colombian drug lord in a controversial book, involved the Peruvian team being bribed without any political implications. A third alleged deal, claimed by a Peruvian leftist politician, encompassed sending 13 Peruvian dissidents exiled in Argentina back to Peru. On top of the contradictions between stories, no evidence is shown in any case.

The biggest surprise of this World Cup came in Group 3, where Austria finished ahead of Brazil. All this does not undermine this lovely FDC issued by Brazil to commemorate FIFA World Cup 1978.

Thank you Merja.

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