1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy. The tournament was won by West Germany, for the third time. 22 teams qualified from this process, along with host nation Italy and defending champions Argentina. Costa Rica, Ireland and the UAE made their first appearances in the finals.
About 1990 FIFA World Cup in brief
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy. The tournament was won by West Germany, for the third time. 22 teams qualified from this process, along with host nation Italy and defending champions Argentina. Costa Rica, Ireland and the UAE made their first appearances in the finals. It is widely regarded as one of the poorest World Cups in terms of the games. It generated an average 2. 2 goals per game – a record low that still stands – and a then-record 16 red cards, including the first ever dismissal in a final. The vote to choose the hosts of the 1990 tournament was held on 19 May 1984 in Zürich, Switzerland. Here, the FIFA Executive Committee chose Italy ahead of the only rival bid, the USSR, by 11 votes to 5. This awarding made Italy only the second nation to host two World Cup tournaments, after Mexico had also achieved this with their 1986 staging. At the time it was the most watched World Cup in history in non-unique viewers, but was bettered by the 1994 and 2002 World Cups. It was the first World Cup to be officially recorded and transmitted in HDTV by the Italian broadcaster RAI in association with Japan’s NHK. The official match ball was the Adidas Etrusco Unico. This was the last tournament to feature a team from West German, with the country being reunified with East Germany a few months later in October, as well as teams from the Eastern Bloc prior to the end of the Cold War in 1991. Three teams made their debuts, as this was the only World Cup of Costa Rica and the Republic of Ireland, and the only date to feature the United Arab Emirates.
The remaining place was decided by a play-off between a CONMEBOL team from the OFC and a CONCACAF team from Mexico. Both Mexico and Chile were disqualified during the qualification process for fielding an overage player in a youth tournament, which caused the match to be abandoned. The former was also banned from the 1994 qualifiers for this offence for two years, while the latter were also banned for one year for the same offence in the 1994 World Cup. The final was held at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, in a rematch of the previous final four years earlier. Italy finished third and England fourth, after both lost their semi-finals in penalty shootouts. The Soviet boycott of the 1984 Olympic Games, announced on the eve of the World Cup decision, was speculated to have been a major factor behind Italy winning the vote so decisively, although this was denied by the FIFA President João Havelange. Italy had previously had the event in 1934, where they had won their first championship. The tournament also produced some of the best remembered moments and stories, such as the emergence of African nations, in addition to what has become the World World Cup soundtrack: \”Nessun dorma\”. It was also the last time the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia teams made last appearances. Due to rejected entries and withdrawals, 103 participated in the qualifying stages.