The First World Cup. Two balls and all amateurs.

The next world cup in Qatar in 2022 will be played in Winter in Stadiums specially built with air con. This is a world away from the first played ninety two years ago in Uruguay. Qatar will see highly paid professional athletes play with breathable kit and aerodynamic boots. In 1930 they were amateurs (the Uruguay Captain missed one game as he was taking his law degree) playing in heavy cotton jerseys and, literally, thick leather hobnailed boots.  Luckily this is not a consideration for anyone wanting Football Kits now. A visit to an online retailer such as kitking will provide modern styles and designs.

The teams will arrive in Qatar in style and by airplane. The European entrants arrived by steamer after a 3 week trip, many of them practicing on the deck. The cost of travel, and the accommodation cost at the other end put many of the European teams off, the Football Association of England received a personal invitation from their Uruguayan counterparts but they declined. In the end only four European teams were entered. The French came because Jules Rimet (who the trophy was named after) insisted they go, the Belgians were also told to by the FIFA vice president and the Romanians went by Royal appointment as King Carol II, freshly crowned, put up the money. The Yugoslavian King Alexander I was less prepared to put his hand in the royal pocket and the stylish Croatian players had refused anyway so they had no chance. In the end they just sent Serb’s from the domestic leagues and came fourth! No African of Asian teams were sent and in the end the cup was the four European teams, seven South American countries (the most there has ever been) and the USA (who came third, their best ever result) and Mexico for CONCAF.

The first round was a simple group stage affair with the winners going on to make up the semi-finals. There was no third place playoff so the final was set. It was between the hosts Uruguay and their fierce rivals Argentina. Both had scored 6 goals against their North American and Yugoslavian opposition. Tens of thousands of Fans came over from Argentina and Montevideo was swamped.  The gates to the game were opened 6 hours before kick-off and the place was full by Midday.

Arguments about the ball meant that the Argentinians choice was used for the first half and the Uruguayans for the second. At half time the Argentines lead 2-1 Golden boot winner Guillermo Stabile scoring his eighth.  In the second half Uruguay attacked in numbers scoring 3 times to win. The next day was declared a National Holiday.

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