|Dates||28 August 1920 - |
5 September 1920
|Venue(s)||1 (in 1 host city)|
|Top scorer(s)||Herbert Carlsson (7 goals)|
Football was one of the 154 events at the 1920 Summer Olympics, held in Antwerp, Belgium. It was the fifth time association football was on the Olympic schedule. The tournament was expanded to 14 countries, including a non-European nation (Egypt) for the first time.
At the first Olympics after World War I, Central Powers countries involved in the conflict (Germany, Austria, Hungary, and their allies Bulgaria and Turkey) were not invited. The English FA had withdrawn from FIFA (together with the junior partners from Scotland, Ireland and Wales) after their demand that the federations of Germany, Austria and Hungary be excluded had been rejected. FIFA nevertheless accepted the entry of a Great Britain football team, judging that countries entering the Olympic Games in other sports should not be hindered entering the football tournament.
However, the gold medalists of the previous two Olympic football tournaments would not enjoy their participation long, as they were defeated 1-3 in the first round by Norway, who thus celebrated one of their iconic victories (to be followed by the elimination of Nazi Germany at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the 1993 win over England in World Cup qualifying, and the 2-1 defeat of reigning world champions Brazil at the 1998 World Cup).
The final (and gold) was won by host Belgium against Czechoslovakia (which participated in an international competition for the first time in their history) after the Czechs walked off to protest the officiating, and were subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
Since Belgium had also received a first round forfeit after Poland failed to arrive, the tournament to determine the silver and bronze medalists had the beaten quarter-finalists (Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden) facing each other to determine who would play the Netherlands, now assured of a medal.
|Olympisch Stadion||Stadion Broodstraat|
|Capacity: 35,000||Capacity: Not known|
|Jules Ottenstadion||Stade Joseph Marien|
|Capacity: Not known||Capacity: Not known|
16 teams entered the competition, which was organized on a knockout basis, but Switzerland withdrew before the first round draw had been made, meaning France were given a first-round bye.
14 teams entered the first round, with the winners joining France in the quarter-finals, and hosts Belgium received a first round forfeit after Poland failed to appear.
Czechoslovakia, participating in their first international tournament, made it to the final, beating Yugoslavia (who also played their first ever international match in the competition), Norway, and France, while Belgium, coming off their first round forfeit, beat Spain and the Netherlands to qualify for the final.
Under the original format, Spain would have played off against the three teams beaten in the main tournament by gold medalists Belgium, with the winners playing off for second and third, but Czechoslovakia had been disqualified, and Belgium had received a first round forfeit after Poland failed to arrive.
Therefore, Spain advanced straight to a silver medal match against the Netherlands, who had been beaten by Belgium in their semi-final. Spain won 3-1.
Belgium were scheduled to play Poland, but Poland failed to arrive (due to the ongoing Polish-Soviet War); Belgium were awarded a 2-0 victory.
|Groosjohan 10, 57
J. Bulder 44, 88 (pen.)
De Natris 115
|Report||Karlsson 16, 32
The final was highly controversial, and is the only time as of 2020 that an international final has been abandoned. Belgium were awarded the gold medal by default after Czechoslovakia walked off the field in the 40th minute to protest the officiating with Belgium leading 2-0 after Czech left-back Karel Steiner was ejected for assaulting Robert Coppée.
The Czechs were unhappy with the performance of the 65-year-old English referee, John Lewis, who had already refereed the Belgian semi-final victory over the Netherlands, a match observed by the Czechs (it had taken place on the same day and in the same stadium as their own victory against France), as well as the English linesmen, Charles Wreford-Brown and A. Knight, who had allowed a contentious second Belgian goal in the 30th minute that Henri Larnoe had converted.
The Czechs immediately protested the result of the final, [note 1] but their protest was dismissed, and the Czech team were disqualified from the tournament.
After the disqualification of Czechoslovakia, a match between Netherlands and France was planned to award silver and bronze medals, but France forfeited because most of its players were already returning home. It was then set up a knock-out tournament between the four teams eliminated during quarter-finals, the winner of which would have contested the Netherlands for second place.
This match was not part of the tournament, but was organised after both teams were eliminated. Some sources refer to this as an eighth place match or part of the silver and bronze medal tournament.
|4||Italy||4||2||0||2||5||7||−2||4||Eliminated in playoffs|
|8||Egypt||1||0||0||1||1||2||−1||0||Eliminated in first round|
|12||Kingdom of SCS||1||0||0||1||0||7||−7||0|
Coach: Raoul Daufresne
Coach: Francisco Bru
| Netherlands |
Coach: Fred Warburton