FIFA World Cup 1954
Switzerland was chosen to host the 1954 competition at the 1946 FIFA Congress: there were no other bids.
Three German teams were permitted to compete in the qualifying competition: West Germany beat Saarland (a French protectorate at the time) but East Germany had cancelled all international football after an uprising in 1953.
The format for the competition was the most idiosyncratic so far. The 16 teams were drawn into four groups of four. Each group contained two seeded teams and two unseeded: only four matches were scheduled for each group, pitting the seeded teams against the unseeded ones. If scores were level after 90 minutes, 30 minutes extra-time woud be played and the match would only be considered a draw if the scores were still level after that. If the top two teams were level on points, lots would be drawn to determine their final places but if the second and third teams were tied on points, a play-off would be arranged. The final group matches started ten minutes apart so that the teams that kicked-off later would know the result of the other game before the final whistle.
Players wore their squad numbers on the back of their shirts for the first time.