Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics
Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics on a stamp of the Netherlands
Tournament details
Host countryNetherlands
Dates27 May – 13 June 1928
Teams17 (from 5 confederations)
Venue(s)2 (in 1 host city)
Final positions
Champions Uruguay (2nd title)
Runners-up Argentina
Third place Italy
Fourth place Egypt
Tournament statistics
Matches played22
Goals scored128 (5.82 per match)
Top scorer(s)Argentina Domingo Tarasconi
(11 goals)

Football was one of the tournaments at the 1928 Summer Olympics. It was won by Uruguay against Argentina, and was the last Olympic football tournament before the inception of the FIFA World Cup, which was held for the first time in 1930.[1]


Olympic Stadium Het Nederlandsch Sportpark
(Oude Stadion)
Capacity: 33,005 Capacity: 29,787


Until 1928, the Olympic football tournament had represented the World Championship of football (the 1920 (14), 1924 (22) and 1928 tournaments (17) all had greater participation than that of the first World Cup in 1930).[citation needed]

This presented a significant problem for the governing body, FIFA, since the tournament, though organised and run by FIFA, was an event subject to the ethical foundation that underpinned the Olympic movement.

At the time, all Olympic competitors had to maintain an amateur status, whereas professionalism was dominant in football. Increasingly, FIFA had sought to appease those nations that required concessions in order that players could participate in the Olympics. This required there to be an acceptance that irregular payment could be made to players by national associations: the so-called 'broken time payments' by which loss of pay and expenses would be met.

On 17 February 1928, the four 'home' associations of the United Kingdom, voted unanimously to withdraw from FIFA in opposition to the manner in which the governing body was seeking to dictate on such matters and, as was noted 'that (the four Associations) be free to conduct their affairs in the way their long experience has shown them to be desirable'.[2]

Henri Delaunay, President of the French Football Federation felt that FIFA needed to organise an international tournament outside of the Olympics. In 1926 he stated, at the FIFA Conference: 'Today international football can no longer be held within the confines of the Olympics; and many countries where professionalism is now recognised and organised cannot any longer be represented there by their best players'.[3] The day before the tournament began, on 26 May 1928 the FIFA congress in Amsterdam presided over by Jules Rimet, voted that a new FIFA World Cup tournament be organised in 1930 and be open to all member nations. Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain and Uruguay would all lodge applications to host the event.


Main article: Football at the 1928 Summer Olympics – Men's team squads

The Egyptian squad

By 1926, three years had passed since the British Associations had asked FIFA to accept their definition of what an amateur player was; FIFA had refused. The Rome Convention was called to try to coax the British and Danes back into the fold; it proved only to distance them. Switzerland, a nation that favoured broken time payments suggested: It is not allowed to pay compensation for broken time, except in some well-circumscribed cases, to be fixed by each National Association. This challenge to the centralised authority of FIFA was disputed by the Football Association. In 1927 FIFA asked the Olympic committee to accept the concept of broken time payments as an overriding condition for the competing members. The British Associations consequently withdrew from the Olympiad and a few months later withdrew from FIFA (Association Football (1960))

Uruguay were considered to be the strongest side with the Argentinians shading the advantage between the two. Upon returning home in 1924 Uruguay had ceded to a request to play a disbelieving Argentina in a two staged contest; Argentinian fans hurling missiles at Jose Leandro Andrade to the extent that he had with adopt a position deep in-field. The Argentinians won.[4] Uruguay, the defending Olympic champions, once again sent a side made up, predominantly, by the personnel of their two biggest clubs: Nacional and, to a lesser degree, Peñarol.

The Europeans

The competition was more competitive than the 1924 edition. Ten European nations (17 in all) had made the journey to the Netherlands for the competition. The Italians had been defeated only twice in three years. The Italian coach, Augusto Rangone, had been a beneficiary of the national federation's decision in 1923 to permit subsidies to cover player's lost wages. For two years his forward line had remained comparatively the same: Adolfo Baloncieri, Virgilio Levratto; even the loss of the Argentinian-Italian Julio Libonatti before the tournament was made good by the inclusion of Angelo Schiavio. Spain had been defeated once since the last Olympic Games. After the first game, however, they lost their experienced captain Pedro Vallana.

Final tournament

Uruguay immediately dispatched the hosts, the Netherlands, 2–0 in front of 40,000 people with none of the controversy that had surrounded their previous encounter at the 1924 Summer Olympics. The game was controlled by Jean Langenus, a performance which was recognised. Meanwhile, the Argentinians had little difficulty against the United States winning 11–2. Elsewhere Germany were defeated by the Uruguayans 4–1. In another quarter-final the Italians encountered Spain. In the first game they reached a tie with the Spanish fighting back from a half time deficit to force a replay. In the replay three days later the Azzurri scored four without response before the break. Rangone kept faith in a largely unchanged team. Spain, on the other hand, had gambled by making five changes to Italy's two. Portugal, after wins over Chile (4–2) and Kingdom of SCS (2–1)[5] lost to Egypt 2–1. The African side advanced to a semi-final tie against Argentina.


Round of 16Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
30 May – Amsterdam (Olympic)
 Uruguay 2
3 June – Amsterdam (Olympic)
 Netherlands 0
 Uruguay 4
28 May – Amsterdam (Olympic)
 Germany 1
 Germany 4
7 June – Amsterdam (Olympic)
  Switzerland 0
 Uruguay 3
29 May – Amsterdam (Olympic)
 Italy 4
1 and 4 June – Amsterdam (Olympic)
 France 3
 Italy (rematch)1 (7)
30 May – Amsterdam (Sportpark)
 Spain 1 (1)
 Spain 7
10 and 13 June – Amsterdam (Olympic)
 Mexico 1
 Uruguay (rematch)1 (2)
28 May – Amsterdam (Olympic)
 Argentina 1 (1)
 Egypt 7
4 June – Amsterdam (Olympic)
 Turkey 1
 Egypt 2
29 May – Amsterdam (Sportpark)
 Portugal 2
6 June – Amsterdam (Olympic)
 Kingdom of SCS 1
 Egypt 0
27 May – Amsterdam (Olympic)
 Argentina 6 Third place
 Argentina 11
2 June – Amsterdam (Olympic)9 June – Amsterdam (Olympic)
 United States 2
 Argentina 6  Italy 11
29 May – Amsterdam (Olympic)
 Belgium3  Egypt 3
 Belgium 5
 Luxembourg 3

Preliminary round

Portugal 4–2 Chile
Vítor Silva 38'
Pepe 40', 50'
Mota 63'
Report Saavedra 14'
Carbonell 30'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 2,309
Referee: Youssuf Mohamed (EGY)

First round

Belgium 5–3 Luxembourg
R. Braine 9', 72'
Versijp 20'
Moeschal 23', 67'
Report Schutz 31'
Weisgerber 42'
Theissen 44'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 5,834
Referee: Lorenzo Martínez (ARG)

Germany 4–0  Switzerland
Hofmann 17', 75', 85'
Hornauer 42'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 16,158
Referee: Willem Eymers (NED)

Egypt 7–1 Turkey
El-Hassany 20' (pen.)
Riad 27'
Mokhtar 46', 50', 63'
El-Sayed Hooda 53'
El-Zobeir 86'
Report Refet 71'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 2,744
Referee: Marcel Slawick (FRA)

Italy 4–3 France
Rosetti 19'
Levratto 39'
Banchero 43'
Baloncieri 60'
Report Brouzes 15', 17'
Dauphin 61'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 2,509
Referee: Henri Christophe (BEL)

Portugal 2–1 Kingdom of SCS
Vítor Silva 25'
Augusto Silva 90'
Report Bonačić 40'
Het Nederlandsch Sportpark, Amsterdam
Attendance: 1,226
Referee: Alfred Birlem (GER)

Argentina 11–2 United States
Ferreira 9', 29'
Tarasconi 24', 63', 66', 89'
Orsi 41', 73'
Cherro 47', 49', 57'
Report Kuntner 55'
Caroll 75'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 3,848
Referee: Paul Ruoff (SUI)

Spain 7–1 Mexico
Regueiro 13', 27'
Yermo 43', 63', 85'
Marculeta 66'
Mariscal 70'
Report Carreño 76'
Het Nederlandsch Sportpark, Amsterdam
Attendance: 2,344
Referee: Gabor Boronkay (HUN)

Netherlands 0–2 Uruguay
Report Scarone 20'
Urdinarán 86'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 27,730
Referee: Jan Langenus (BEL)


Italy 1–1 Spain
Baloncieri 63' Report Zaldua 11'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 3,388
Referee: Domingo Lombardi (URU)
Italy 7–1 Spain
Magnozzi 14'
Schiavo 15'
Baloncieri 18'
Bernardini 40'
Rivolta 72'
Levratto 76', 77'
Report Yermo 47'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 4,770
Referee: Hans Boekman (NED)

Argentina 6–3 Belgium
Tarasconi 1', 10', 75', 89'
Ferreira 4'
Orsi 81'
Report R. Braine 24'
Vanhalme 28'
Moeschal 53'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 16,399
Referee: Gamma Malcher (ITA)

Uruguay 4–1 Germany
Petrone 35', 39', 84'
Castro 63'
Report Hofmann 81'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 25,131
Referee: Youssuf Mohamed (EGY)

Egypt 2–1 Portugal
Mokhtar 15'
Riad 48'
Report Vítor Silva 76'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 3,448
Referee: Giovanni Mauro (ITA)


This meant that in the semi-final Italy played Uruguay. The Italians selected Giampiero Combi in goal, Angelo Schiavio, in attack. Both would be crowned World champions at the 1934 FIFA World Cup. In this game the Uruguayans stormed to a convincing lead by the break; Levratto's goal in the second half flattered the Italians because Uruguay ran out comfortable winners by the odd goal in 5; José Pedro Cea, Héctor Scarone scoring for the Celestes.

Argentina 6–0 Egypt
Cherro 10'
Ferreira 32', 82'
Tarasconi 37', 54', 61'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 7,887
Referee: Pedro Escartín (ESP)

Uruguay 3–2 Italy
Cea 17'
Campolo 28'
Scarone 31'
Report Baloncieri 9'
Levratto 60'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 15,230
Referee: Willem Eymers (NED)

Bronze medal match

Italy 11–3 Egypt
Schiavo 6', 42', 58'
Baloncieri 14', 52'
Banchero 19', 39', 44'
Magnozzi 72', 80', 88'
Report Riad 12', 16'
El-Ezam 60'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 6,378
Referee: Jan Langenus (BEL)

Gold medal match

(Left): Uruguay and Argentina captains, referee Johannes Mutters and linesmen before the final; (right): A moment of the match

In the final the Uruguayans played Argentina who had trounced Egypt (clearly out of their depth against more sophisticated opposition, they conceded 6 goals to Argentina and 11 to Italy in the bronze medal match).

The final itself was a close-run affair. Both nations had been undefeated in competitive matches against other nations but had traded losses to each other since the last Olympic competition. The interest was immense. The Dutch had received 250,000 requests for tickets from all over Europe.

Once again, there was little in it; the first game finished 1–1 and the tie went to a replay. Uruguay's Scarone converted the winner in the second half of that game.

Uruguay 1–1 (a.e.t.) Argentina
Petrone 23' Report Ferreira 50'
Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam
Attendance: 28,253
Referee: Johannes Mutters (NED)


Uruguay 2–1 Argentina
Figueroa 17'
Scarone 73'
Report Monti 28'

Consolation round

first round

The consolation tournament was ratified by FIFA but, as it was not organized by the Amsterdam Olympic organization, Olympic historians do not consider these matches to be part of the 1928 Summer Olympics.[6]

Netherlands 3–1 Belgium
Ghering 4'
Smeets 6'
Tap 63'
Report P. Braine 85'
Sparta-Stadion Het Kasteel, Rotterdam
Attendance: 20,000
Referee: Gamma Malcher (ITA)

Chile 3–1 Mexico
Subiabre 24', 48', 89' Report Sota 15'
Monnikenhuize, Arnhem
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Johannes Mutters (NED)

Consolation final

Netherlands 2–2 Chile
Ghering 59'
Smeets 66'
Report Bravo 55'
Alfaro 89'
Sparta-Stadion Het Kasteel, Rotterdam
Attendance: 18,000
Referee: Guillermo Comorera (ESP)


Uruguay, winner of the tournament
The Argentina team won the Silver Medal
Gold Silver Bronze
José Andrade
Juan Peregrino Anselmo
Pedro Arispe
Juan Arremón
Venancio Bartibás
Fausto Batignani
René Borjas
Antonio Campolo
Adhemar Canavesi
Héctor Castro
Pedro Cea
Lorenzo Fernández
Roberto Figueroa
Álvaro Gestido
Andrés Mazali
Ángel Melogno
José Nasazzi
Pedro Petrone
Juan Piriz
Héctor Scarone
Domingo Tejera
Santos Urdinarán
Ludovico Bidoglio
Ángel Bossio
Saúl Calandra
Alfredo Carricaberry
Roberto Cherro
Octavio Díaz
Juan Evaristo
Manuel Ferreira
Enrique Gainzarain
Alfredo Helman
Segundo Luna
Ángel Segundo Medici
Luis Monti
Pedro Ochoa
Rodolfo Orlandini
Raimundo Orsi
Fernando Paternoster
Feliciano Perducca
Natalio Perinetti
Domingo Tarasconi
Luis Weihmuller
Adolfo Zumelzú
Elvio Banchero
Virgilio Felice Levratto
Pietro Pastore
Gino Rossetti
Attilio Ferraris
Enrico Rivolta
Felice Gasperi
Alfredo Pitto
Pietro Genovesi
Antonio Janni
Fulvio Bernardini
Silvio Pietroboni
Andrea Viviano
Delfo Bellini
Umberto Caligaris
Virginio Rosetta
Giampiero Combi
Giovanni De Prà
Adolfo Baloncieri
Mario Magnozzi
Angelo Schiavio
Valentino Degani


Top scorer Domingo Tarasconi of Argentina
11 goals
6 goals
4 goals
3 goals
2 goals
1 goal


  1. ^ "Football at the 1928 Amsterdam Summer Games". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  2. ^ Beck, Peter J. (19 August 1999). "BRITISH FOOTBALL AND FIFA, 1928–46: GOING TO WAR OR PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE?". FIFA. Archived from the original on 4 September 2005.
  3. ^ Glanville, Brian (2005). The Story of the World Cup. London: Faber and Faber. p. 15.
  4. ^ "Uruguay 1930". Archived from the original on 15 July 2007.
  5. ^ Miladinovich, Misha. "Yugoslavia National Team List of Results 1920–1929". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Football at the 1928 Amsterdam Summer Games: Men's Football". Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.

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