Thursday, July 02, 2009

The mysterious 1930 bronze match

I was just looking at some information on USA in the world cups and came across a mystery which I would like to hear if someone knows more about.
The USA made it to the semifinal of the very first World Cup in 1930, in Uruguay, where they were destroyed 6-1 by Argentina. The other semifinal was between Uruguay and Yugoslavia, with Uruguay also winning 6-1.
Now, according to official information, there was no game for third place, which was thus shared between the USA and Yugoslavia. However, according to a 1984 FIFA bulletin (which I have not been able to find, but have found some references to, notably from RSSSF), there was a match for bronze, which Yugoslavia won 3-1!

How can there be no information on this? What about some notice in a Uruguayan newspaper from the time, or, even better, some of the players that played back then? Of course, most have probably passed away, but some of them became great players and passed away at an advanced age, and might be able to tell something? I found that Aleksandar Tirnanic was the young star of the Yugoslav time and coached Yugoslavia in the World Cups of 1954 and 1958, and only passed away in 1992. Bane Sekulic passed away in 1968, but coached Switzerland, Red Star Belgrade and Juventus, while Blagoje Marjanovic passed away in 1984.
Of the US players there is even more information, as there has been controversy on whether they were actually legit to play, as many were important Scottish and English players. The point nevertheless is: don't any of these people or their descendants have any information on this forgotten match?

I would love to hear if anyone has any information!


El Erik said...

I have been trying to look more at this, and in another place found someone who said the match was never played because the Yugoslavs were unhappy about bad referees from earlier in the tournament.

Unknown said...

Yugoslavia had a small boy with them who went on to live until 2000's. You can find hik in team photo before the game againts Uruguay. Based on his story and movie recently made in Serbia (former Kingdom of Yugoslavia) USA playes a non-official match angaints Yugoslavia after world cup had ended. In the movie USA players and Yugoslavian players befriended so they agreed that they play a friendly match and decide who is third.

Anonymous said...

Yugoslavian players was unhappy like El Erik said and they didnt wanted to play that match. I watched whole film about Yugoslavian footballers. If u wannt to watch to see what happened film have two parts before world cup is called Montevideo Bog te video, second part was when they have trip in Uruguay it's called Montevideo Vidimo se.