Friday, February 3

1930, When FIFA World Cup had Chloroform, Kidnappings, Funerals, Broken Legs and More…

The 1930 World Cup was absolutely mental. The refs wore suits, the Bolivians played in berets, and the Romanian team was selected by the King… and that’s the tame stuff.

From premature funerals to managers knocked out with chloroform, here’s a short history of the madness.

The tournament was hosted by Uruguay, and the European sides sailed together across the Atlantic aboard a Scottish steamship.

They trained on the top deck, and stopped off in Rio to pick up the Brazilians. Jules Rimet himself travelled with them, with the trophy in his suitcase.

Egypt, the only African representatives, were supposed to join but set off late and missed the boat. The Pharoahs telegraphed in their apologies, leaving the tournament with an awkward 13 teams.

When the football kicked off, Argentina quickly established themselves as the badboys.

Police had to intervene after a violent scrap in their game against Chile, but it was their 6-1 semi final win over the USA where things really got ugly.

Mass Brawls, Broken Legs, Broken Teeth all in One game.

A first half horror tackle left one of their opponents with a broken leg, and the game descended into a mass brawl.

An Argentine player knocked four teeth out of an American’s mouth, and another ended up in hospital with injuries to his stomach.

In possibly the most slapstick moment in World Cup history, the American manager rushed on to the field to confront the ref, tripped and smashed a bottle of chloroform in his pocket. The fumes knocked him unconscious and he had to be stretchered off.

Here he is being revived…

15000 Argentina Fans starting a Riot

The final saw hosts Uruguay take on their hated neighbours Argentina, and more than 15,000 Argentine fans headed to Montevideo on board a steamship.

But the ship got lost in heavy fog, and they arrived a day late to the news their team had lost, kicking off riots.

During the trip home, Romanian midfielder Alfred Eisenbeisser Feraru fell ill, and was taken off to hospital when the boat stopped in Genoa.

The team continued their journey, but when they arrived back in Bucharest without him, a rumour spread that he had died.

Even his distraught mother was convinced, and she made funeral arrangements, only for Feraru to walk through the door on the day on the day of the wake.

She fainted on the spot.

Still, it wasn’t all bad…

Feraru recovered to compete for Romania in both figure skating and bobsleigh at the next Olympics. What a time to be alive…

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