Soccer. When Toulouse hosted World Cup matches in a now defunct stadium
By Lucie Fraisse
From November 20 to December 18, 2022, the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup will take place at Qatar.
Toulouse also hosted FIFA World Cup matches. In 1998, when France was the host country of the World Cup, six matches took place at the stadiumincluding a round of 16 between the Netherlands and Yugoslavia.
A World Cup in 1938
We know less: it was not the first time that the Pink City hosted a meeting of the Football World Cup. Fr 1938, France was also the host country of the event. And two matches had taken place at Toulouse.
Meeting between Cuba and Romania
Cuba and Romania have indeed faced each other in the round of 16 of the competition. The meeting was scheduled at the TOEC Sports Parka stadium which was then located at the level of the current rue des Amidonniersnear the basin of filters, where the Chapou university residence stands today.
Match originally scheduled at the Stadium
Originally, the match was to take place at the Stadium, but the construction works of the equipment located on Ramier Island weren’t finished. It will indeed be necessary to wait until 1939 for this sports den to be planned to accommodate up to 40,000 spectators, either partially. And the stands were not fully completed until ten years later.
It is therefore in a much smaller stadium than Cuba and Romania clash on June 5, 1938. If the TOEC sports park can then accommodate 20,000 spectators, they will be barely 8,000 to make the trip to attend the meeting. In a published article by the So foot websitewe learn that the matches of the Cubans are those which recorded the worst attendances during this World Cup 1938.
Cuba’s first and last appearance at the World Cup
For Cuba, this is the first participation in the World Cup – and still the only one to date – while the Romania playing his third world.
In the book Toulouse football club, history from 1937 to the present day by Jean-Louis Bertho and Didier Pitorre, (Universal editions) you can read a quick summary of the meeting
“On June 5, 1938, Toulouse witnessed a football orgy. Under the hot Pentecost sun, the two teams could not decide 3 to 3. It was better that way, the spectacle was so grandiose!”
Same teams, new matches
The meeting ended in a draw, three goals everywhere after extra time.
The two teams will have to face each other again a few days later, on June 9, 1938. And against all odds, Cuba qualifies for the quarter-finals, after a victory by two but one. They will then be eliminated by Sweden, with the score of 8 to 0.
In a film which retraces the main stages of this 1938 World Cup, we see some images of the meeting.
Images of the match on this video, from 13 minutes:
These are the only two matches of this competition that took place in the Pink City for this 1938 World Cup. The final of the competition was held at the Yves du Manoir Olympic Stadium, in Doves (Hauts-de-Seine), in front of more than 45,000 spectators. Italy, who beat France in the quarter-finals, won the world title, beating Hungary 4-2.
A Toulousethe Sports Park which has become Jacques Chapou Stadium after the war, will be destroyed in 1965 to allow the construction of the university city of the same name.
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