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1994 FIFA World Cup

15th FIFA World Cup, hosted by the United States

Top 10 1994 FIFA World Cup related articles

1994 FIFA World Cup
World Cup USA '94
1994 FIFA World Cup official logo
Tournament details
Host countryUnited States
DatesJune 17 – July 17
Teams24 (from 5 confederations)
Venue(s)9 (in 9 host cities)
Final positions
Champions  Brazil (4th title)
Runners-up  Italy
Third place  Sweden
Fourth place  Bulgaria
Tournament statistics
Matches played52
Goals scored141 (2.71 per match)
Attendance3,597,042 (69,174 per match)
Top scorer(s) Hristo Stoichkov
Oleg Salenko
(6 goals each)
Best player(s) Romário
Best young player Marc Overmars
Best goalkeeper Michel Preud'homme
Fair play award  Brazil
1990
1998

The 1994 FIFA World Cup was the 15th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national soccer teams. It was hosted by the United States and took place from June 17 to July 17, 1994, at nine venues across the country. The United States was chosen as the host by FIFA on July 4, 1988. Despite soccer's relative lack of popularity in the host nation, the tournament was the most financially successful in World Cup history; it broke tournament records with overall attendance of 3,587,538 and an average of 68,991 per match,[1] marks that stood unbroken as of 2018[2] despite the expansion of the competition from 24 to 32 teams starting with the 1998 World Cup.[3]

Brazil won the tournament after beating Italy 3–2 in a penalty shoot-out at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California near Los Angeles, after the game had ended 0–0 after extra time. It was the first World Cup final to be decided on penalties. The victory made Brazil the first nation to win four World Cup titles. There were three new entrants in the tournament: Greece, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia plus Russia, following the breakup of the Soviet Union, and for the first time since 1938, a unified Germany took part in the tournament.

1994 FIFA World Cup Intro articles: 7

Background and preparations

Striker, the official mascot of the tournament.

Three nations bid for host duties: United States, Brazil, and Morocco.[4] The vote was held in Zurich on July 4, 1988, and only took one round with the United States bid receiving a little over half of the votes by the Exco members.[4] FIFA hoped that by staging the world's most prestigious tournament there, it would lead to a growth of interest in the sport. An inspection committee also found that the proposed Brazilian stadiums were deficient, while the Moroccan bid relied on the construction of nine new stadiums. Conversely, all the proposed stadiums in the United States were already built and fully functioning; US Soccer spent $500 million preparing and organizing the tournament, far less than the billions other countries previously had spent and subsequently would spend on preparing for this tournament.[5] The U.S. bid was seen as the favorite and was prepared in response to losing the right to be the replacement host for the 1986 tournament following Colombia's withdrawal.[6]

One condition FIFA imposed was the creation of a professional soccer league—Major League Soccer was founded in 1993 and began operating in 1996. There was some initial controversy about awarding the World Cup to a country where soccer was not a nationally popular sport, and at the time, in 1988, the U.S. no longer had a professional league; the North American Soccer League, established in the 1960s, had folded in 1984 after attendance faded. The success of the 1984 Summer Olympics, particularly the soccer tournament, also contributed to FIFA's decision.

Mascot

The official mascot of this World Cup was Striker, the World Cup Pup, a dog wearing a red, white and blue soccer uniform with a ball.[7] Striker was designed by the Warner Bros. animation team.[8] A dog was picked as the mascot because dogs are a common pet in the United States.[8]

Sponsorship

The sponsors of the 1994 FIFA World Cup are divided into two categories: FIFA World Cup Sponsors and USA supporters.

FIFA World Cup sponsors USA supporters

The official game ball was the Adidas Questra.

1994 FIFA World Cup Background and preparations articles: 32

Venues

The games were played in nine cities across the United States. All stadiums had a capacity of at least 53,000, and their usual tenants were professional or college American football teams.[12] Other considered venues in Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Seattle and Tampa were not used, as well as venues in smaller towns such as Annapolis, Maryland; Columbus, Ohio; Corvallis, Oregon; and New Haven, Connecticut.[13] Several modern venues, including Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami and Candlestick Park in San Francisco were rejected because of conflicts with Major League Baseball, so Stanford Stadium, 20 miles (32 km) southeast of San Francisco was used,[14][15] and the Citrus Bowl in Orlando was picked over Miami's two submitted venues (the Orange Bowl, the other Miami venue, required major renovations to meet tournament standards).[16] The venue used most was the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, with eight games, among them one round of 16 match, a semi-final, the third-place game, and the final. Giants Stadium near New York hosted seven matches including a semi-final; Boston (Foxborough), San Francisco (Stanford) and Dallas hosted six matches each and Chicago, Washington and Orlando each hosted five matches. The least used was the Pontiac Silverdome near Detroit, the first indoor stadium used in a World Cup, with four group stage games. The Pontiac Silverdome was also the only venue of the nine used that did not host any knockout round matches.

Because of the large area of the continental United States, the match locations were often far apart. Some teams in Groups A and B had to travel from Los Angeles or San Francisco all the way to Detroit and back again, covering 2,300 miles (3,700 km) and three time zones one way. The teams in Groups C and D only played in Foxborough (Boston), Chicago and Dallas – a trip from Boston to Dallas is 2,000 miles (3,200 km), but only covers two time zones; Chicago is in the same time zone as Dallas but is still 1,000 miles (1,600 km) away from both Dallas and Boston. The teams in Groups E and F had it a bit easier – they played exclusively in East Rutherford (New York City), Washington and Orlando, which while far apart are at least all in the same time zone. A few teams, such as Cameroon and Italy, did not have to travel great distances to cities to play matches.

The variety of climate in different cities all over the United States also sometimes made playing conditions challenging. Aside from the oceanic coolness of Boston (Foxborough), the Mediterranean climate of San Francisco (Stanford) and occasionally the coolness of Chicago, as they had been in Mexico in 1970 and 1986 most matches were played in hot and/or humid conditions, thanks to nearly all of the matches being scheduled to be played during the day instead of at night in order to suit a time difference compromise for television in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East; this had always been done every time a World Cup was held in the Americas. Although playing in the mostly dry heat and smoggy conditions of Los Angeles (Pasadena) and the mixture of heat and humidity of Washington and New York City (East Rutherford) proved to be difficult, the cities with the most oppressive conditions were the southern cities of Orlando and Dallas in Florida and Texas, respectively, because of the combination of heat and extreme humidity.[17] The Floridian tropical climate of Orlando meant all matches there were played in temperatures of 95 °F (35 °C) or above with humidity at 70% or more (the temperature there during the group stage match between Mexico and Ireland was 105 °F (41 °C)) thanks to the mid-day start times.[18] Dallas was not much different: in the semi-arid heat of a Texas summer, temperatures exceeded 100 °F (38 °C) during mid-day, when matches there were staged in the open-type Cotton Bowl meant that conditions were just as oppressive there as they were in Orlando.[19] Detroit also proved to be difficult: the Pontiac Silverdome did not have a working cooling system and because it was an interior dome-shaped stadium, the air could not escape through circulation, so temperatures inside the stadium would climb past 90 °F (32 °C) with 40% humidity. United States midfielder Thomas Dooley described the Silverdome as "the worst place I have ever played at".[20]

Pasadena, California
(Los Angeles)
Stanford, California
(San Francisco)
Pontiac, Michigan
(Detroit)
East Rutherford, New Jersey
(New York/New Jersey)
Rose Bowl Stanford Stadium Pontiac Silverdome Giants Stadium
Capacity: 94,194 Capacity: 84,147 Capacity: 77,557 Capacity: 76,322
Dallas
Cotton Bowl
Capacity: 64,000
Chicago Orlando Foxborough, Massachusetts
(Boston)
Washington, D.C.
Soldier Field Citrus Bowl Foxboro Stadium Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
Capacity: 63,160 Capacity: 62,387 Capacity: 54,456 Capacity: 53,121

1994 FIFA World Cup Venues articles: 48

Participating teams and officials

Qualification

Three teams, one African, one Asian, and one European, made their debuts at the 1994 tournament. Nigeria qualified from the African zone alongside Cameroon and Morocco as CAF was granted three spots as a result of the strong performances by African teams in 1990. In the Asian zone, Saudi Arabia qualified for the first time by topping the final round group ahead of South Korea as both edged out Japan, who were close to making their own World Cup debut, but were denied by Iraq in what became known as the "Agony of Doha". The Japanese would not have to wait long though, debuting in the 1998 tournament. In the European zone, Greece made their first World Cup appearance after topping a group from which Russia also qualified, competing independently for the first time after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The defending champions West Germany were united with their East German counterparts, representing the unified Germany for the first time since the 1938 World Cup. Norway qualified for the first time since 1938, Bolivia for the first time since 1950, and Switzerland for the first time since 1966. Norway's 56-year gap between appearances in the final tournament equaled Egypt's record in the previous tournament as the longest. Mexico had its first successful qualification campaign since 1978, failing to qualify in 1982, qualifying as hosts in 1986 and being banned for the Cachirules scandal in 1990.

The qualification campaigns of both Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were affected by political events. The nation of Czechoslovakia dissolved in 1993, completing its qualifying group under the name "Representation of Czechs and Slovaks" (RCS), but failed to qualify for the finals, having been edged out by Romania and Belgium in Group 4. Yugoslavia (which was supposed to play in Group 5) was suspended from international competition in 1992 as part of United Nations sanctions against the country as a result of the Yugoslav Wars. The sanctions were not lifted until 1994, by which time it was no longer possible for the team to qualify. Chile's suspension from the 1990 FIFA World Cup, following the forced interruption of their qualification game against Brazil, extended to the 1994 qualifiers as well.

This was the first World Cup since World War II in which none of the Home Nations of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales qualified (they withdrew their FIFA memberships between 1928–1946, during the first three tournaments), with England (finishing third behind Norway and Netherlands in Group 2) missing out after having finished fourth in the 1990 tournament, and Scotland (who finished fourth in Group 1) failing to qualify for the first time since 1970. France, who had been already designated as hosts of the 1998 tournament, also missed out following surprise home losses to Israel and Bulgaria. This was the second World Cup in a row for which France had failed to qualify, and the last one to date to not feature England, France, and Japan. Other notable absentees were 1990 Round of 16 participants Uruguay, UEFA Euro 1992 champions Denmark, Poland, Portugal and Hungary.

List of qualified teams

The following 24 teams, shown with final pre-tournament rankings,[21] qualified for the final tournamentː

Squads

Teams were selected following usual FIFA rules with 22 players. Greece, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Spain were the only countries that had all their players coming from domestic teams, while the Republic of Ireland and Nigeria had no players from domestic teams. Saudi Arabia was the only team with no players from European teams.

Seeding and draw

The composition of the four pots was based on the FIFA World Ranking (established in 1993) and on the qualified teams' results in the three previous World Cups. The teams' pre-tournament rankings[22] are shown in parenthesis. The principle of the draw was that each group must have at least two European teams, USA and Mexico could not be drawn in the same group, and Brazil and Argentina could not be drawn with another South American team.

Pot 1 (Top 5 plus hosts) Pot 2 (Africa + Americas) Pot 3 (Europe 1–6) Pot 4 (Europe 7–10 + Asia)

The draw for the tournament took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center on December 19, 1993, officiated by general-secretary Sepp Blatter. Teams were drawn by German legend Franz Beckenbauer, heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield and comedian and actor Robin Williams. Numbers for placement in the group were drawn by actor Beau Bridges, Women's World Cup champion Michelle Akers, model Carol Alt, artist Peter Max, racecar driver Mario Andretti and Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics Mary Lou Retton.[23][24]

Referees

1994 FIFA World Cup Participating teams and officials articles: 128