Football at the 1936 Summer Olympics

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Men's football
at the Games of the XI Olympiad
Venues Berlin Poststadion
Berlin Mommsenstadion
Berlin Hertha-BSC Platz
Dates Aug 3-15
Competitors  from 16 nations
1st Italy Italy
2nd Austria Austria
3rd Norway Norway
← 1928
1948 →

The 1936 Olympic football tournament, won by Italy, has come to share an affinity with the political backdrop against which it was being played. In terms of the history of association football, however, the tournament suffered as a reaction to the development of the FIFA World Cup.[citation needed]

The introduction of the first FIFA World Cup in 1930 (which had, in itself lead to the absence of a football tournament from the 1932 Games programme) led to a devaluation in the strength of each subsequent Olympic football tournament.[citation needed] Competing nations would from now on only be permitted to play their best players if those players were amateur or (where national associations were assisted by interested states to traverse such a rule) where professional players were state-sponsored.[citation needed]

The reinstatement of Olympic football was ensured in 1936 because the German organisers were confident that such a competition would be justified by the income it would generate.[citation needed] The fear that any failure by the host side would result in a loss of income had been a matter of contention despite the fact that going into the competition Germany were one of the favourites[citation needed] (They had only lost at home once in three years[citation needed]). In the event, the early failure of the national side did nothing to deter the supporters, as the bronze and gold medal games were watched by a combined total of 195,000 people.[citation needed]


The Italian side, victors in the 1934 FIFA World Cup and managed by Vittorio Pozzo were favourites.[citation needed]



Gold Silver Bronze
Bruno Venturini
Alfredo Foni
Pietro Rava
Giuseppe Baldo
Achille Piccini
Ugo Locatelli
Annibale Frossi
Libero Marchini
Luigi Scarabello
Carlo Biagi
Giulio Cappelli
Sergio Bertoni
Alfonso Negro
Francesco Gabriotti
Franz Fuchsberger
Max Hofmeister
Eduard Kainberger
Karl Kainberger
Martin Kargl
Josef Kitzmüller
Anton Krenn
Ernst Künz
Adolf Laudon
Franz Mandl
Klement Steinmetz
Karl Wahlmüller
Walter Werginz
Henry Johansen
Fredrik Horn
Nils Eriksen
Frithjof Ulleberg
Jørgen Juve
Rolf Holmberg
Sverre Hansen
Magnar Isaksen
Alf Martinsen
Reidar Kvammen
Arne Brustad
Øivind Holmsen
Odd Frantzen
Magdalon Monsen

Final tournament

Peruvian goalkeeper Juan Valdivieso reaches out for the football during match between Austria and Peru.

The competition began in dramatic circumstances. The Italians, winners against the Austrians at the 1934 World Cup now found the Olympic side, with ten changes, a completely different proposition. The Azzurri included players such as Alfredo Foni, Pietro Rava and Ugo Locatelli, who would all play in their World Cup victory in Paris. That they eventually prevailed was due to two incidents: the first when their bespectacled forward Frossi scored, the second when Weingartner, the German referee, was literally restrained from sending off Archille Piccini after fouling two Americans. Italian players held both his arms and covered his mouth in protest. Piccini stayed on the park, Italy won.[1]

This was something more than Sweden managed in their tie with the Empire of Japan the next day in Berlin. Two-nil up within 45 minutes, their demise was shockingly recorded by the legendary Swedish commentator, Sven Jerring, calling “Japanese, Japanese, Japanese” (Japaner, japaner, japaner…) as they ran out as winners 3–2. It marked the first time an Asian side had participated in either the World Cup or Olympic Games football competition and the first time an Asian side emerged victorious. Their neighbours, China, lost 0–2 to Great Britain on the next day. Otherwise there were thumping wins for Peru and the hosts, 9–0 versus Luxembourg.

First round

August 3, 1936
Italy  1–0  United States
Frossi Goal 58' Report
Berlin Poststadion

Referee: Carl Weingartner (GER)

Attendance: 9.000

August 3, 1936
Norway  4–0  Turkey
Martinsen Goal 30' Goal 70'
Brustad Goal 53'
Kvammen Goal 80'
Berlin Mommsenstadion

Referee: Giuseppe Scarpi (ITA)

Attendance: 8.000

August 4, 1936
Empire of Japan  3–2  Sweden
Kamo Goal 49'
Ukon Goal 62'
Matsunaga Goal 85'
Report Persson Goal 24' Goal 37'
Berlin Hertha-BSC-Platz

Referee: Wilhelm Peters (GER)

Attendance: 5.000

August 4, 1936
Germany  9–0  Luxembourg
Urban Goal 16' Goal 54' Goal 75'
Simetsreiter Goal 32' Goal 48' Goal 74'
Gauchel Goal 49' Goal 89'
Elbern Goal 76'
Berlin Poststadion

Referee: Pál von Hertzka (HUN)

Attendance: 12.000

August 5, 1936
Poland  3–0  Hungary
Gad Goal 12' Goal 27'
Wodarz Goal 88'
Berlin Poststadion

Referee: Raffaele Scorzoni (ITA)

Attendance: 5.000

August 5, 1936
Austria  3–1  Egypt
Steinmetz Goal 4' Goal 65'
Laudon Goal 7'
Report Sakr Goal 85'
Berlin Mommsenstadion

Referee: Arthur James Jewell (GBR)

Attendance: 6.000

August 6, 1936
Peru  7–3  Finland
Fernández Goal 17' Goal 33' Goal 47' Goal 49' Goal 70'
Villanueva Goal 21' Goal 67'
Report Kanerva Goal 42' (pen.)
Grönlund Goal 75'
Larvo Goal 80'
Berlin Hertha-BSC-Platz

Referee: Rinaldo Barlassina (ITA)

Attendance: 2.500

August 6, 1936
Great Britain  2–0  China
Dodds Goal 55'
Finch Goal 65'
Mommsenstadion, Berlin
Attendance: 8,000
Referee: Helmut Fink (GER)

Quarter finals

The Italian squad that won the Gold Medal.
A ball of the competitions is on display at the German Leather Museum.

Italy, now finding their feet against Japan, (and having made but one change to their team) made no mistake in their tie, winning as comprehensively as they had struggled against the Americans. Pozzo’s decision to include Biagi bore instant fruit, Baigi scoring 4 goals.

The same day at the Poststadion, Berlin before a crowd that included Goebbels, Göring, Hess and Hitler, Germany were knocked out 2–0 by Norway. Goebbels wrote: 'The Führer is very excited, I can barely contain myself. A real bath of nerves.' There was no real surprise to the result to those outside the higher ranks of the Third Reich. Norway, went onto give Italy a tricky tie in the first round of the 1938 FIFA World Cup. But Germany lost 2–0 and Hitler, who had never seen a football match before, and had originally planned to watch the rowing, left early in a huff.[3] The following day at the Hertha Platz, Austria played Peru in an astonishing game leading to a huge political row not out of keeping with the times. See Peru v Austria (1936).

The match was highly contested, and the game went into overtime when the Peruvians tied the Austrians after being two goals behind. Peru scored 5 goals during overtime, of which 3 were nullified by the referee, and won by the final score of 4–2.[4][5] The Austrians demanded a rematch on the grounds that Peruvian fans had stormed the field, and because the field did not meet the requirements for a football game.[5][6] Austria further claimed that the Peruvian players had manhandled the Austrian players and that spectators, one holding a revolver, had "swarmed down on the field."[7] Peru was notified of this situation, and they attempted to go to the assigned meeting but were delayed by a German parade.[5] At the end, the Peruvian defense was never heard, and the Olympic Committee and FIFA sided with the Austrians. The rematch was scheduled to be taken under close grounds on August 10, and later re-scheduled to be taken on August 11.[6][7]

As a sign of protest against these actions, which the Peruvians deemed as insulting and discriminatory, the complete Olympic delegations of Peru and Colombia left Germany.[8][9] Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Mexico expressed their solidarity with Peru.[7] Michael Dasso, a member of the Peruvian Olympic Committee, stated: "We've no faith in European athletics. We have come here and found a bunch of merchants."[10] The game was awarded to Austria by default.[7] In Peru, angry crowds protested against the decisions of the Olympic Committee by tearing down an Olympic flag, throwing stones at the German consulate, refusing to load German vessels in the docks of Callao, and listening to inflammatory speeches which included President Oscar Benavides Larrea's mention of "the crafty Berlin decision."[7] To this day, it is not known with certainty what exactly happened at Germany, but it is popularly believed that Adolf Hitler and the Nazi authorities might have had some involvement in this situation.[9]

The last of the quarter-finals had all of the excitement but none of the fall-out; Poland, assisted by their forward, Hubert Gad, played out a nine-goal party to defeat the British side; at one time they were 5–1 to the better. The Casual's Bernard Joy scored two as Britain fought back gamely but they ran out of time. Prior to the Games Daniel Pettit received a letter from the Football Association which dealt mostly with the uniform he would wear. As he explained to the academic Rachel Cutler there was a handwritten PS that said: 'As there is a month to go before we leave for Berlin kindly take some exercise.' The obedient Petit ran around his local park. [3]

August 7, 1936
Italy  8–0  Empire of Japan
Frossi Goal 14' Goal 75' Goal 80'
Biagi Goal 32' Goal 57' Goal 81' Goal 82'
Cappelli Goal 89'
Berlin Mommsenstadion

Referee: Otto Ohlsson (SWE)

Attendance: 8.000

August 7, 1936
Germany  0–2  Norway
Report Isaksen Goal 7' Goal 83'
Berlin Poststadion

Referee: Arthur Willoughby Barton (GBR)

Attendance: 55.000

August 8, 1936
Poland  5–4  Great Britain
Gad Goal 33'
Wodarz Goal 43' Goal 48' Goal 53'
Piec Goal 56'
Report Clements Goal 26'
Shearer Goal 71'
Joy Goal 78' Goal 80'
Berlin Poststadion

Referee: Rudolf Eklow (SWE)

Attendance: 6.000

August 8, 1936
Peru  4–2 (a.e.t.) 1  Austria
Alcalde Goal 75'
Villanueva Goal 81' Goal 117'
Fernández Goal 119'
Report Wergin Goal 23'
Steinmetz Goal 37'
Berlin Hertha-BSC Platz

Referee: Thoralf Kristiansen (NOR)

Attendance: 5.000

1 Due to a pitch invasion, the match was declared null and void, and ordered to be replayed on August 10. Peru objected to the replay decision and withdrew from the tournament.

Semi finals

August 10, 1936
Italy  2–1 (a.e.t.)  Norway
Negro Goal 15'
Frossi Goal 96'
Report Brustad Goal 58'
Berlin Olympic Stadium (Berlin)
Attendance: 95.000
Referee: Pál von Hertzka (HUN)

August 11, 1936
Austria  3–1  Poland
Kainberger Goal 14'
Laudon Goal 55'
Mandl Goal 88'
Report Gad Goal 73'
Berlin Olympic Stadium (Berlin)
Attendance: 82.000
Referee: Arthur Willoughby Barton (GBR)

Bronze medal match

August 13, 1936
Norway  3–2  Poland
Brustad Goal 15' Goal 21' Goal 84' Report Wodarz Goal 5'
Peterek Goal 24' (pen.)
Berlin Olympic Stadium (Berlin)

Referee: Alfred Birlem (GER)

Attendance: 95.000

The Final (Gold medal match)

Italy now overcame Austria in a match refereed by Dr Peco Bauwens; the Austrians having defeated Poland to attend the final. Not that there was much in it; Frossi again scoring for the Azzuri and getting the winner just as extra-time got underway.

August 15, 1936
Italy  2–1 (a.e.t.)  Austria
Frossi Goal 70' Goal 92' Report Kainberger Goal 79'
Berlin Olympic Stadium (Berlin)

Referee: Peco Bauwens (GER)

Attendance: 85.000


Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
3 August – Berlin            
   Italy  1
7 August – Berlin
   United States  0  
   Italy  8
4 August – Berlin
     Japan  0  
   Japan  3
10 August – Berlin
   Sweden  2  
   Italy (AET)  2
3 August – Berlin
     Norway  1  
   Norway  4
7 August – Berlin
   Turkey  0  
   Norway  2
4 August – Berlin
     Germany  0  
   Germany  9
15 August – Berlin
   Luxembourg  0  
   Italy (AET)  2
5 August – Berlin
     Austria  1
   Austria  3
8 August – Berlin
   Egypt  1  
   Austria  2
6 August – Berlin
     Peru  42  
   Peru  7
11 August – Berlin
   Finland  3  
   Austria  3
5 August – Berlin
     Poland  1   Third Place
   Poland  3
8 August – Berlin 13 August – Berlin
   Hungary  0  
   Poland  5    Norway  3
6 August – Berlin
     Great Britain  4      Poland  2
   Great Britain  2
   China  0  
2 Withdrew.


7 goals
6 goals
5 goals
4 goals
3 goals
2 goals
1 goal


  2. English football statistics said that in this game played Daniel Pettit (instead of John Sutcliffe)
  3. 3.0 3.1,,366607,00.html
  4. The forgotten story of ... football, farce and fascism at the 1936 Olympics
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Las épocas doradas del fútbol peruano y las Olimpiadas de 1936" (PDF). (in español). Retrieved 2009-02-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Controversia Berlín 36. Un mito derrumbado" (in español). Retrieved 2009-02-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "Sport: Olympic Games (Concl'd)". 1936-08-24. Retrieved 2010-01-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Las Olimpiadas de Berlín". (in español). Retrieved 2007-08-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Sport: Olympic Games (Concl'd)". Time. 1936-08-24. Retrieved 2010-05-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links