19 October 1908

19Oct08

The first game of the Olympic Games football tournament took place at White City Stadium, London on this day 100 years ago in front of an attendance of around 2,000. There had originally been eight entries but Hungary and Bohemia both withdrew before the competition started. The Official Olympic Report states this was due to ‘political trouble in the Balkans’ although the English newspapers attributed their absence to a lack of finance; France B replaced Bohemia in the fixtures.

The opening game was a rather one-sided affair, Denmark defeating France B by a 9-0 margin. The Danes impressed the Daily Mail correspondent who wrote, “They are clever alike with foot and head, they are fast, and they have been taught the game very thoroughly. The man who impressed me most was their outside right, who is possessed of great pace and centres excellently. The half-back line, too, is very strong in attack, though its powers of defence were not very severely tested.”

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