|Dates||28 August – 5 September 1920|
|Teams||15 (from 2 confederations)|
|Venue(s)||4 (in 3 host cities)|
|Champions||Belgium (1st title)|
|Goals scored||70 (4.12 per match)|
|Attendance||150,600 (8,859 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Herbert Carlsson |
|Football at the|
1920 Summer Olympics
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.
As these were the first Olympics after World War I, football teams representing the Central Powers were not invited (Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey). The English Football Association had withdrawn from FIFA – together with the associations of the other UK nations (Scotland, Ireland and Wales) – after rejection of their demand that the federations of Germany, Austria and Hungary be excluded from that organisation. FIFA nevertheless accepted the entry of a Great Britain team, representing the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, judging that countries entering the Olympic Games in other sports should not be excluded from the football tournament. As in the two preceding Olympic football tournaments, all Great Britain players were from England.
Britain had won the 1908 and 1912 gold medals but were beaten by Norway 1–3 in the first round and thus eliminated from the 1920 tournament. (The Norway national football team 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 match and gold medals were won by host Belgium against Czechoslovakia, which participated in an international competition for the first time. With the score 2–0, the Czechoslovaks walked off to protest the officiating, and were subsequently disqualified.
With Czechoslovakia disqualified, the tournament was rearranged to determine silver and bronze medalists. Since Belgium had received a first-round bye, the beaten quarter-finalists (Italy, Norway, Spain and Sweden) faced each other to determine who would play the Netherlands, the semifinal loser to Belgium and now assured of a medal.
The tournament ended with Belgium winning the Gold medal match, while the Netherlands won the bronze.
|Olympisch Stadion||Stadion Broodstraat|
|Capacity: 35,000||Capacity: Not known|
|Jules Ottenstadion||Stade Joseph Marien|
|Capacity: Not known||Capacity: Not known|
Main article: Football at the 1920 Summer Olympics – Men's team squads
15 teams entered the competition, which was organized on a knockout basis, but Switzerland withdrew on the morning before the first round due to internal dissent, meaning France were given a first-round forfeit.
As such, 12 teams entered the first round, with the winners joining host Belgium in the quarter-finals.
Norway defeated Great Britain in the first round, considered by Elo as one of the greatest football upsets of all time.
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, after their first-round bye, beat Spain and the Netherlands to qualify for the final.
The final was abandoned in the 39th minute and Belgium were awarded the gold medal after Czechoslovakia walked off to protest the performance of the English referee, John Lewis and his linesmen.
A form of the Bergvall System was used to determine second and third places. Firstly, the beaten quarter-finalists played off, and Spain emerged triumphant, overcoming Sweden 2-1 and Italy 2-0.
Under the original format, Spain would have played off against the 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 bye.
Therefore, Spain advanced straight to the silver medal match against the Netherlands, who had been beaten by Belgium in their semi-final. Spain won 3–1.
This match was not part of the tournament, but was organised after both teams were eliminated. Some sources erroneously refer to this as an eighth-place match or as part of the silver and bronze medal tournament.
|Czechoslovakia||7–0||Kingdom of SCS|
|Vanik 20', 46', 79'
Janda 34', 50', 75'
|Gundersen 13', 51'
|J. Bulder 30'
Groosjohan 47', 85'
|Olsson 4', 79'
Karlsson 15', 20', 21', 51', 85'
|Groosjohan 10', 57'
J. Bulder 44', 88' (pen.)
De Natris 115'
|Report||Karlsson 16', 32'
Janda 17', 66', 77'
|Report||Brezzi 33' (pen.)|
|Coppée 11', 52', 55'||Report||Arrate 62' (pen.)|
|Mazal 18', 75', 87'
Van Hege 55'
The final was highly controversial, and is the only time as of 2021 that an international final has been abandoned. Belgium were awarded the gold medal by default after Czechoslovakia walked off the field in the 39th minute (with Belgium leading 2-0) to protest the officiating after Czechoslovak left-back Karel Steiner was ejected for assaulting Robert Coppée.
The Czechoslovaks were also 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 Czechoslovaks (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 Czechoslovaks immediately protested the result of the final,[note 1] but their protest was dismissed, and the Czechoslovak team was disqualified from the tournament.
|Coppée 6' (pen.)
The original format had a knockout tournament between the four teams eliminated during the quarter-finals, with the winner of that tournament playing off against the teams beaten in the main tournament by gold medalists Belgium, and the winners of these matches playing off for silver and bronze medals.
However, since Czechoslovakia had been disqualified and Belgium had received a first-round bye, the third round was scratched and Spain automatically advanced to the silver and bronze medal match against the Netherlands.
|First round||Second round||Silver/Bronze medal match|
|Italy||2–1[note 2] (a.e.t.)||Norway|
|Sesúmaga 43', 72'||Report|
|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
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Association football at the 1920 Summer Olympics.|