FIFA World Cup 1974
The 1974 tournament, held in West Germany, was the first in which the new World Cup Trophy, designed by the Italian sculptor, Silvio Gazzinaga, was awarded to the winner. Hosting rights had been agreed in London in July 1966 when the 1978 and 1982 tournaments were also decided. Spain supported the German bid and in return, West Germany allowed the Spanish to bid for the 1982 competition unopposed.
England, France and Spain failed to qualify while the Soviet Union refused to play Chile in an intercontinental play-off after the Estadio Nacional in Santiago was used to torture and execute political prisoners following the military coup of 1973. The FIFA president refused to sanction of change of venue and as a result the Soviets were disqualified.
Instead of a knock out stage, eight teams from the initial group stage advanced to a second group phase: the two group winners then met in the final while the runners-up contested the third place match. For the first time, squad numbers were worn on team shorts.
At the FIFA Congress held on the eve of the competition, the incumbent president, Sir Stanley Rous, was defeated by João Havelange who had campaigned vigorously to attract the support of the African federations who were increasingly unhappy with the dominant position of the European nations and Rous' support for apartheid South Africa. Havelange would transform FIFA and the World Cup during his presidency.