Football at the 1948 Summer Olympics

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Football at the 1948 Summer Olympics
Tournament details
Host country Great Britain
Dates 26 July – 13 August
Teams 18 (from 5 confederations)
Venue(s) 13 (in 13 host cities)
Final positions
Champions  Sweden (1st title)
Runners-up  Yugoslavia
Third place  Denmark
Tournament statistics
Matches played 18
Goals scored 102 (5.67 per match)
Top scorer(s) Sweden Gunnar Nordahl
Denmark John Hansen (7 goals)

The 1948 Olympic Games title was won by Sweden, managed by Englishman George Raynor.


Sweden, whose Football Association forbade professionalism within domestic football, ran out as winners and only used 12 players throughout the entire tournament.


Final tournament[edit]

The Sweden team that won the Gold Medal.

This began on 26 July 1948 with a preliminary round of two matches: Luxembourg defeating Afghanistan 6–0 and the Netherlands beating Ireland 3–1, with Faas Wilkes scoring two goals for the Dutch. In the first round, which began five days later, the Netherlands played Great Britain at Highbury, Britain prevailing 4–3 after extra time. In goal for Britain was Ronnie Simpson, who would go on to become the oldest Scottish international debutant in history and one of the Lisbon Lions.

12-panel brown leather football on a plinth of hardwood, with a brass panel inscribed with the names of the victorious team members, photographed through the glass of a display case
The final match ball.

Yugoslavia (victors over Luxembourg) and Sweden (3–0 winners against Austria) also went through. France did well to eliminate India, most of whose players ignored the need to wear boots.

Sweden's play at White Hart Lane attracted much attention even then. Their forward line contained three exceptional players; one of them Gunnar Gren scored a brace in an easy win. There were two goals, as well, for future FIFA World Cup star Zeljko Cajkovski in Yugoslavia's 6–1 rout of Luxembourg, although they were behind at half-time. There were future World Cup stars also on parade in South Korea's 5–3 defeat of Mexico and the United States's 9–0 defeat at the hands of Italy. Walter Bahr, Ed Souza, Charlie Colombo and John Souza would, later, find some sort of fame as members of the American team that would beat England at the 1950 FIFA World Cup.

In the quarter-finals, Sweden flourished against the South Koreans and were similarly dominant against the Danes in the semi-final. In the second semi-final, Great Britain played Yugoslavia at Wembley Stadium going out by 3 goals to 1.

3–1 was also the score in the final, Gunnar Nordahl and Gunnar Gren's goals proving too much for the Yugoslavians.

Preliminary round[edit]

26 July 1948
Luxembourg  6–0  Afghanistan
Gales Goal Goal
Schammel Goal
Kettel Goal
Paulus Goal Goal
Goldstone Ground, Brighton
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: A.C. Williams (Great Britain)

26 July 1948
Netherlands  3–1  Republic of Ireland
Wilkes Goal 1' Goal 74'
Roosenburg Goal 11'
Report O'Kelly Goal 52'
Fratton Park, Portsmouth
Attendance: 8,000
Referee: George Reader (Great Britain)

First round[edit]

31 July 1948
Yugoslavia  6–1  Luxembourg
Stanković Goal 57'
Mihajlović Goal 61'
Željko Čajkovski Goal 65' Goal 70'
Mitić Goal 74'
Bobek Goal 87'
Report Schammel Goal 10'
Craven Cottage, Fulham
Attendance: 7,000
Referee: Karel van der Meer (Netherlands)

31 July 1948
Denmark  3–1 (aet)  Egypt
K. Hansen Goal 82' Goal 95'
Pløger Goal 119' (pen.)
Report El Guindy Goal 83'
Selhurst Park, South Norwood
Attendance: 12,000
Referee: Stanley Boardman (Great Britain)

31 July 1948
Great Britain  4–3 (aet)  Netherlands
McBain Goal 22'
Hardisty Goal 58'
Kelleher Goal 77'
McIlvenny Goal 111'
Report Appel Goal 20' Goal 63'
Wilkes Goal 81'
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury
Attendance: 21,000
Referee: Vald Laursen (Denmark)

31 July 1948
France  2–1  India
Courbin Goal 30'
Persillon Goal 89'
Report Raman Goal 70'
Lynn Road Stadium, Ilford
Attendance: 17,000
Referee: Gunnar Dahlner (Sweden)

2 August 1948
Turkey  4–0  China
Kılıç Goal 18'61'
Saygun Goal 72'
Küçükandonyadis Goal 87'
Green Pond Road, Walthamstow
Attendance: 3,000
Referee: Johann Beck (Austria)

2 August 1948
Sweden  3–0  Austria
G. Nordahl Goal 2' Goal 10'
Rosen Goal 71'
White Hart Lane, Tottenham
Attendance: 9,514
Referee: William Ling (Great Britain)

2 August 1948
South Korea  5–3  Mexico
Choi Song-Gon Goal 13'
Bai Chon-Go Goal 30'
Chung Kook-Chin Goal 63'66'
Chung Nam-Sik Goal 87'
Report Cárdenas Goal 23'
Figueroa Goal 85'
Ruiz Goal 89'
Champion Hill, Dulwich
Attendance: 6,500
Referee: Leo Lemesic (Yugoslavia)

2 August 1948
Italy  9–0  United States
Pernigo Goal 2'57'88'90'
Stellin Goal 25' (pen.)
Turconi Goal 46'
Cavigioli Goal 72'87'
Caprile Goal 90'
Griffin Park, Brentford
Attendance: 20,000
Referee: Charles de la Salle (France)


5 August 1948
Yugoslavia  3–1  Turkey
Željko Čajkovski Goal 21'
Bobek Goal 60'
Wölfl Goal 80'
Report Gulesin Goal 33'
Lynn Road Stadium, Ilford
Attendance: 8,000
Referee: Victor Sdez (France)

5 August 1948
Sweden  12–0  South Korea
Liedholm Goal 11'62'
G. Nordahl Goal 25'40'78'80'
Gren Goal 27'
Carlsson Goal 61'64'82'
Rosén Goal 72'85'
Selhurst Park, South Norwood
Attendance: 7,110
Referee: Giuseppe Carpani (Italy)

5 August 1948
Great Britain  1–0  France
Hardisty Goal 29' Report
Craven Cottage, Fulham
Attendance: 25,000
Referee: Karel van der Meer (Netherlands)

5 August 1948
Denmark  5–3  Italy
John Hansen Goal 30'53'74'82'
Pløger Goal 84'
Report Cavigioli Goal 49'
Caprile Goal 67'
Pernigo Goal 81'
Arsenal Stadium, Highbury
Attendance: 25,000
Referee: William Ling (Great Britain)


10 August 1948
Sweden  4–2  Denmark
Carlsson Goal 18' Goal 42'
Rosén Goal 31' Goal 37'
Report Seebach Goal 3'
John Hansen Goal 77'
Empire Stadium, Wembley
Attendance: 20,000
Referee: Stanley Boardman (Great Britain)

11 August 1948
Great Britain  1–3  Yugoslavia
Donovan Goal 20' Report Bobek Goal 19'
Wölfl Goal 24'
Mitić Goal 48'
Empire Stadium, Wembley
Attendance: 40,000
Referee: Karel van der Meer (Netherlands)

Bronze medal match[edit]

13 August 1948
Great Britain  3–5  Denmark
Aitken Goal 5'
Hardisty Goal 33'
Amor Goal 63' (pen.)
Report Præst Goal 12'49'
John Hansen Goal 16'77'
J. Sørensen Goal 41'
Empire Stadium, Wembley
Attendance: 50,000
Referee: Karel van der Meer (Netherlands)

Gold medal match[edit]

13 August 1948
Sweden  3–1  Yugoslavia
Gren Goal 24' Goal 67' (pen.)
G. Nordahl Goal 48'
Report Bobek Goal 42'
Empire Stadium, Wembley
Attendance: 60,000
Referee: William Ling (Great Britain)


  Preliminary round First round Quarter-finals Semi-finals Finals
    Yugoslavia 6  
      Luxembourg 1  
  Luxembourg 6
  Afghanistan 0  
    Yugoslavia 3  
    Turkey 1  
    Turkey 4
      China 0  
    Yugoslavia 5  
    Great Britain 3  
    Great Britain (aet) 4
      Netherlands 3  
  Netherlands 3
  Republic of Ireland 1  
    Great Britain 1
    France 0  
    France 2
      India 1  
  Yugoslavia 1
  Sweden 3
    Sweden 3  
      Austria 0  
    Sweden 12  
    South Korea 0  
    South Korea 5
      Mexico 3  
    Sweden 4
    Denmark 2  
    Denmark (aet) 3
      Egypt 2  
    Denmark 5       
    Italy 3         
    Italy 9
      United States 0  


Gold Silver Bronze
 Sweden  Yugoslavia  Denmark
Torsten Lindberg
Karl Svensson
Knut Nordahl
Erik Nilsson
Birger Rosengren
Bertil Nordahl
Sune Andersson
Gunnar Gren
Gunnar Nordahl
Henry Carlsson
Nils Liedholm
Börje Leander
Franjo Šoštarić
Miroslav Brozović
Branko Stanković
Zlatko Čajkovski
Miodrag Jovanović
Aleksandar Atanacković
Prvoslav Mihajlović
Rajko Mitić
Franjo Wölfl
Stjepan Bobek
Željko Čajkovski
Kosta Tomašević
Ljubomir Lovrić
Zvonimir Cimermančić
Bernard Vukas
Knud Bastrup-Birk
Hans Colberg
Edvin Hansen
John Hansen
Jørgen W. Hansen
Karl Aage Hansen
Erik Kuld Jensen
Ivan Jensen
Ove Jensen
Hans Viggo Jensen
Per Knudsen
Knud Lundberg
Eigil Nielsen
Knud Børge Overgaard
Poul Petersen
Axel Pilmark
Johannes Pløger
Carl Aage Præst
Holger Seebach
Erling Sørensen
Jørgen Leschly Sørensen
Dion Ørnvold



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

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°33′20″N 0°16′47″W / 51.5556°N 0.2797°W / 51.5556; -0.2797