FIFA World Cup 1966
England had been selected as host for the eighth finals in 1960 when West Germany and Spain had also bid. At the time the UK was undergoing a social revolution following years of post-war austerity: "Swinging London" was the world centre for fashion and the new wave of pop music while social attitudes were beginning to relax.
FIFA decided to award a single place in the finals to the winners of a play-off that would pit the winners of three African groups against the winner of the Asian zone. The African nations believed that the winner of the their zone should qualify directly and withdrew in protest.
The format for the finals remained unchanged from 1962 with ten teams from Europe, four from South America and one each from Asia and North/Central America.
In the build up to the tournament the Jules Rimet Trophy was stolen from Westminster City Hall were it was on display. It was found six days later under a hedge in south east London by Pickles, a mixed breed collie who briefly became a celebrity in his own right.