FIFA World Cup 1986
Colombia were originally chosen to host the 1986 tournament but in 1982 they withdrew, stating that they could not afford to proceed under the terms that FIFA demanded. A new bidding process was set up and Mexico were successful (Canada and the United States also submitted bids).
Several changes were made to the format: once again there were 24 finalists (the reigning champions and hosts qualified automatically as usual) divided into six groups of four. The top two teams from each group qualified for the second round as did the four third placed teams with the best record (points, goal difference, goals scored). The second group stage was dropped and instead the 16 qualified teams played through a knock out competition to the final.
Because of scandals in the previous two World Cups, the final round of group games were now played simultaneously.
The tournament saw the first appearance of the Mexican Wave, a phenomenon that continues to appear around the world at large sporting events whenever the spectators are bored.