Tales from an author

#Euro 2016 – and the third competition in 1968

Euro 2016 continues to fascinate us. Continuing a series of posts, I look back to 1968, a year in which Italy won the European title. Here is some material adapted from my recent book about international football – which provides a year-by-year chronicle of events on Planet Football.


Africa Cup of Nations 1968 (Ethiopia)
Final January 21, Addis Ababa Congo-Kinshasa 1 Ghana 0
Congo-Kinshasa was an alternative name at that time for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country was officially named Zaire between 1971 and 1997, during which time it appeared in the 1974 World Cup finals.

Asian Cup 1968 (Iran)
Winners Iran (8 points from 4 games)
Runners-up Burma (5 points from 4 games)
Iran took the title, winning all four of their matches in the finals. Burma were runners-up in what remains the only appearance for Burma / Myanamar – the country was officially re-named in 1989 – in the Asian finals.

The 1970 World Cup qualifiers began with Austria beating Cyprus 7-1 (May 19, Vienna). The relevant qualifying group was to be won by West Germany, who beat Cyprus 12-0 during 1969, with Gerd Muller scoring four goals, while Scotland finished as runners-up.

Italy won an undistinguished European Championship finals, as host nation. After eliminating the Soviet Union on the toss of a coin, the Italians needed a replay to beat Yugoslavia in the Final. England took third place, ahead of the Soviet Union, after a Semi Final defeat by Yugoslavia, in which Alan Mullery became the first England player to be sent off – fully 96 years after England played their first international in 1872.

European Championship 1968 (Italy)
Semi Finals
Italy 0 Soviet Union 0 After Extra Time
Italy won on the toss of a coin
Yugoslavia 1 England 0

Third Place Match
England 2 Soviet Union 0

Final June 8, Rome
Italy 1 Yugoslavia 1 After Extra Time
Final Replay June 10, Rome
Italy 2 Yugoslavia 0

Olympic Football 1968 (Mexico)
Final October 26, Mexico City Hungary 4 Bulgaria 1
Bronze Medal Match Japan 2 Mexico 0
Hungary won the Olympic football, for the third time, and Japan became the first Asian team to win a medal in this competition.


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