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Football at the 1920 Summer Olympics

Men's football
at the Games of the VII Olympiad
Venue Olympisch Stadion
Date August 28–September 5
Competitors 190 from 14 nations
Gold medal 
Silver medal 
Bronze medal 

The football at the 1920 Summer Olympics, was one of the 154 events at the 1920 Summer Olympics, held in Antwerp. It was the fifth time football was on the Olympic schedule. The tournament was contested by 14 teams, with host country Belgium winning the gold medal. Spain won silver, while the Netherlands won the bronze medal.


  • Squads 1
  • Tournament 2
  • Results 3
    • First round 3.1
    • Quarter-finals 3.2
    • Semi-finals 3.3
    • Gold medal match 3.4
    • Consolation round 3.5
      • Second place tournament first round 3.5.1
      • Second place tournament second round 3.5.2
      • Second place final 3.5.3
    • Eighth-place match 3.6
  • Goalscorers 4
  • Medalists 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7



Hosts and tournament winners Belgium before the final.

14 teams entered the competition which was organized on a knockout basis. 12 teams entered the first round, with the 6 winners joining the host nation (Belgium) and France, in the quarter-finals.

Perhaps the most far-reaching of the results was that which saw Norway defeat Great Britain in the first round. The British delegation were concerned with the rise in 'professional' opponents within the international game. As Bernard Joy in Association Football (1960) was to write: "Out of pocket expenses were paid far in excess of the reimbursement for hotels and travelling. ... [Payments] for time lost from work, were made for playing and training, and teams were taken off for intense preparation together. Whatever the reason or excuse, thinly-veiled professionalism was rampant." Ironically Norway were not a professional side. The complaint was, however, clearly addressed at a growing trend within the game.

Czechoslovakia, participating in their first international tournament, cruised to the final, inflicting heavy defeats on Yugoslavia (who played their first ever international match in the competition), Norway, and France. Belgium beat a talented Spain and then the Netherlands on their way to the final. Belgium won the gold medal by default after Czechoslovakia walked off in protest during the final, unhappy with the performance of the English referee, John Lewis.[1] The Bergvall System[2] was used to determine second and third places. The beaten quarter-finalists played-off, Spain emerged triumphant overcoming Sweden 2-1 and Italy 2-0. Ordinarily, Spain would then have played the beaten finalists, but Czechoslovakia had been disqualified from the tournament. Spain thus advanced straight to the silver medal match against the Netherlands, beaten in the semi-finals by gold medallists Belgium. Spain won 3-1.


First round

August 28, 1920
Czechoslovakia  7–0  Yugoslavia
Vanik  20'46'79'
Janda  34'50'75'
Sedláček  43'
Stadion Broodstraat, Antwerp
Attendance: 600
Referee: Raphael Van Praag (BEL)

August 28, 1920
Spain  1–0  Denmark
Arabolaza  54' Report
La Butte, Brussels
Attendance: 3,000
Referee: Willem Eymers (NED)

August 28, 1920
Italy  2–1  Egypt
Baloncieri  25'
Brezzi  57'
Report Osman  30'
Jules Ottenstadion, Ghent
Attendance: 2,000
Referee: Paul Putz (BEL)

August 28, 1920
Norway  3–1  Great Britain
Gundersen  13'51'
Wilhelms  63'
Report Nicholas  25'
Olympic Stadium, Antwerp
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Johannes Mutters (NED)

August 28, 1920
Netherlands  3–0  Luxembourg
J. Bulder  30'
Groosjohan  47'85'
La Butte, Brussels
Attendance: 3,000
Referee: Georges Hubrecht (BEL)

August 28, 1920
Sweden  9–0  Greece
Olsson  4'79'
Karlsson  15'20'21'51'85'
Wicksell  25'
Dahl  31'
Olympic Stadium, Antwerp
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Charles Barette (BEL)


August 29, 1920
Netherlands  5–4 (a.e.t.)  Sweden
Groosjohan  10'57'
J. Bulder  44'88' (pen.)
De Natris  115'
Report Karlsson  16'32'
Olsson  20'
Dahl  72'
Stadion Broodstraat, Antwerp
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Josef Fanta (TCH)

August 29, 1920
Czechoslovakia  4–0  Norway
Vanik  8'
Janda  17'66'77'
La Butte, Brussels
Attendance: 4,000
Referee: Charles Barette (BEL)

August 29, 1920
France  3–1  Italy
Boyer  10'
Nicolas  14'
Bard  54'
Report Brezzi  33' (pen.)
Olympic Stadium, Antwerp
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: Henri Christophe (BEL)

August 29, 1920
Belgium  3–1  Spain
Coppée  11'52'55' Report Arrate  62' (pen.)
Olympic Stadium, Antwerp
Attendance: 18,000
Referee: Johannes Mutters (NED)


August 31, 1920
Czechoslovakia  4–1  France
Mazal  18'75'87'
Steiner  70'
Report Boyer  79'
Olympic Stadium, Antwerp
Attendance: 12,000
Referee: Johannes Mutters (NED)

August 31, 1920
Belgium  3–0  Netherlands
Larnoe  46'
Van Hege  55'
Bragard  85'
Olympic Stadium, Antwerp
Attendance: 22,000
Referee: John Lewis (GBR)

Gold medal match

Herbert Carlsson (Sweden), topscorer of the tournament with 7 goals.

The final was highly controversial and remains the only occasion in which an international final has had to have been abandoned. Belgium was awarded the gold medal by default after Czechoslovakia walked off the field in the 40th minute of the final when Czech left-back Karel Steiner was ejected.

They 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 28th minute that Henri Larnoe had converted.

The Czechs protested the result of the final. Their protests, translated from the original French, were as follows:

1. We were allocated an English linesman, which is in contradiction with the rules which state that each participating nation has the right to one of both linesman. This violation of the rules was prejudicial to us during the game, because the English linesman was not impartial and this is why we seek the cancellation of the match. Immediately after the game we brought this notice to the attention of M. Rodolphe Seeldrayers.

2. The majority of the decisions of the referee Mr. Lewis were wrong and it was obvious that it gave the public the wrong impression about our game. Also both Belgian goals were the result of incorrect decisions of the referee and we seek a rigorous investigation on that point.

3. During the match, Belgian soldiers were introduced to the crowd until they circled the pitch and because of their provocative presence our players were unable to play their normal game. As a result of the very regrettable incident at the end of the match when there was a pitch invasion lead by the soldiers and our national flag was insulted we will not participate until we have received an apology from the (Belgian) soldiers.[3]

Czechoslovakia's protests were dismissed, and they were disqualified from the tournament.

September 2, 1920
Belgium  2–0  Czechoslovakia
Coppée  6' (pen.)
Larnoe  30'
Not reported[4]
Olympic Stadium, Antwerp
Attendance: 35,000
Referee: John Lewis (GBR)

Consolation round

Second place tournament first round

August 31, 1920
Italy  2–1  Norway
Sardi  46'
Badini  96'
Report Andersen  41'
Stadion Broodstraat, Antwerp
Attendance: 500
Referee: Louis Fourgous (FRA)

September 1, 1920
Spain  2–1  Sweden
Belauste  51'
Acedo  53'
Report Dahl  28'
Stadion Broodstraat, Antwerp
Attendance: 1,500
Referee: Giovanni Mauro (ITA)

Second place tournament second round

September 2, 1920
Spain  2–0  Italy
Sesúmaga  43'72' Report
Olympic Stadium, Antwerp
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: Paul Putz (BEL)

Second place final

September 5, 1920
Spain  3–1  Netherlands
Sesúmaga  7'35'
Pichichi  72'
Report Groosjohan  68'
Olympic Stadium, Antwerp
Attendance: 14,000
Referee: Paul Putz (BEL)

Eighth-place match

September 2, 1920
Egypt  4–2  Yugoslavia
Abaza  ??'??'
Allouba  ??'
Hegazi  ??'
Report Dubravčić  ??'
Ružić  ??'
Olympic Stadium, Antwerp
Attendance: 500
Referee: Rafael van Praag (NED)


7 goals
6 goals
5 goals
4 goals
3 goals
2 goals
1 goal


Gold Silver Bronze

Coach: Raoul Daufresne


Coach: Francisco Bru



  1. ^ "VII. Olympiad Antwerp 1920 Football Tournament". Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  2. ^
  3. ^'1920%20Czechoslovakia%20football'
  4. ^ FIFA has not released the report of this game. On the official website it says that the game was abandoned and there is no official result. Follow the link: [2]

External links

  • Olympic Football Tournament Antwerp 1920,
  • RSSSF - 1920 Olympic Games
  • Article about the 1920 Olympic football tournament
  • 1920 Antwerp's Olympic Football Tournament
  • The VII Summer Games - Football
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