Organization of World Cup 1962

The preparations for the World Cup were initiated immediately, especially due to the support given by the President of Chile Jorge Alessandri, who took office in 1958. Plans to modernize a large part of the country, especially in terms of transport and telecommunications, were advancing rapidly. However, everything changed on May 21 and 22 of 1960 with the Valdivia earthquake that affected all the cities south of Talca causing nearly 2 000 deaths and two million affected. Dittborn thought that the dream of his World Cup had ended and decided to approach President Alessandri to return the money that the Government had lent for the realization of the tournament. To avoid cancellation, several football federations collaborated with the Organizing Committee and FIFA gave a donation of $ 20,000.

The earthquake forced the complete modification of the World Cup schedule. The cities of Talca, Concepción, Talcahuano and Valdivia were discarded as venues, while Antofagasta and Valparaíso desist from being because their stadiums could not be self-financed, a condition that the Federation had to impose due to the lack of resources. However, the Municipality of Viña del Mar and the Board of Advancement of Arica manage to remodel their sports venues, while the American copper company Braden Copper Company, owner of the El Teniente mine, allows the use of its stadium in Rancagua. With three seats plus the capital, the World Cup could be held, bringing together in each of the stadiums the matches of each group.

Braden Stadium of Rancagua.

For the Cup there was again a mark of participants, 56. With the implementation of the average of goals, the qualifying system was saved parties of repechage that extended it unnecessarily. France and Sweden, who had been on the podium of the previous world, marked the surprise by not qualifying, while again not classifying teams from Asia and Africa. The organizers chose the northern city of Arica, thinking about the sure classification of Peru that would come with its fans because of its proximity to the border with that country, but finally it was Colombia, which eliminated Peru against all odds.

On January 18, 1962, the World Cup draw was held at the Hotel Carrera. Chile made the most difficult group by having to face Germany Federal, Italy, (two previous champions) and Switzerland. After the death of Pinto in 1957, Dittborn died suddenly on April 28 due to acute pancreatitis. In his honor, the local team wore a black ribbon under his shield while Carlos and Juan Dittborn, the organizer’s sons, were in charge of raising the flag on the opening day of the tournament.

It had an outstanding impact on the nascent Chilean television, since the three existing channels – Channel 9, Channel 13 and UCV Television – made large investments to acquire mobile equipment and broadcast some live matches, together with improving the quality of their broadcasts and mass media said means of communication.

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