*TOP PICTURE-THE DRAWS BACK THEN: The officials of participating teams cluster around the conference table when Brazil held her first World Cup Draws in 1950. And, in the second picture is venue for Friday’s Brazil 2014 Draws –
The Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup Draws hold on Friday, 6 December, with top federation officials and coaches of the 32 finalists storming the host nation to witness the show.
Such event as World Cup Draws are now held as a very big ceremony unlike in the past, when just a few officials gathered for moderately organised Draws and football tournaments.
Coincidentally, Brazil hosted her first World Cup Draws for (The fourth FIFA World Cup) shortly after the Second World War. Today, Eyeonthesports.com shares the unforgettable memories of the event with our readers, enjoy every bit of it.
Brazil’s First World Cup Draws
In the centre of Rio de Janeiro, the then capital of Brazil, the Conference Hall of Itamaraty Palace was the venue chosen for the delegations from 14 countries to attend the draws for the group stage of the fourth FIFA World Cup.
On the afternoon of 22 May 1950, a significant proportion of a planet that was still nursing the wounds left by the Second World War turned its attentions to the silver globe that contained 12 numbered balls.
Each one represented one of the teams involved in the draws. Some had come through qualification rounds, like the European, Asian and Central American nations, while others had been invited, as was the case of the South American countries.
Brazil, England, Italy and Uruguay had been nominated as seeds by the Brazilian Sports Confederation, and confirmed by FIFA’s Organising Committee, and as such would not be among the balls that would be drawn.
The seeds would be placed in four different groups, which when the tournament kicked off were comprised as follows: two contained four teams, one three and a fourth group with just two teams.
The balls were numbered as follows: (1) Bolivia; (2) Chile, (3) Spain; (4) United States of America; (5) France (6) India; (7) Yugoslavia; (8) Mexico; (9) Paraguay; (10) Sweden; (11) Switzerland and (12) a team to be defined.
The 12th team vacancy was caused by the fact that Turkey, who had successfully negotiated European qualification, had dropped out of the World Cup. Portugal were invited to take their place, but also dropped out of the competition.
As well as diplomatic representatives of 14 teams, the Bolivians did not attend the draw, journalists, photographers and radio reporters were also present in the Itamaraty hall.
They were all anxious to report on the fate of their teams and spoke loudly in several languages, making for a wonderfully bizarre confusion.
Silence fell when the Brazilian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raul Fernandes, pulled the lever of the draw globe, and the first ball rolled out.
“Number seven” was shouted out loud, and the first opponents of Brazil, the seeded team in Group 1, were known. It was Yugoslavia.
Shortly afterwards, the next announcement from the minister: “Number three for Group 2.” It was Spain, who had been drawn in England’s group.
The balls continued to be taken out of the main globe until the draw was complete:
Group 1: Brazil, Yugoslavia, Mexico and Switzerland
Group 2: England, Spain, USA and Chile
Group 3: Italy, Sweden, Paraguay and India
Group 4: Uruguay, France, Bolivia and a team to be defined.
That was the result of the first group draw for a FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, which would begin one month and two days later.
The groups would subsequently be modified. After Turkey and Portugal had both dropped out, India followed suit. Their players refused to take part in the tournament because they were forbidden from playing barefoot.
France also dropped out in protest of an itinerary that would have involved a journey of 3,500km between one match and the next one.