The XI Soccer World Cup was held in Argentina, between June 1 and 25, 1978.
The government of president Juan Domingo Perón decided in 1974 to leave the organization of the world cup under the orbit of the Ministry of Social Welfare in charge of José López Rega, creating the Commission of Support to the World-wide one.
After the coup d’etat against the constitutional government of President María Estela Martínez de Perón, the civic-military dictatorship that took power replaced the World Support Commission by the Autarchic World ’78.
The EAM ’78 was initially directed by General Omar Actis, who was assassinated shortly after its creation, suspecting that the crime was ordered by the Navy, as part of the internal struggle in the Military Junta. Actis was formally replaced by General (R) Antonio Merlo, but who really happened to direct the organization was Rear Admiral Carlos Lacoste. The formal structure of the EAM ’78, at the time of the competition was: president, Brigadier General (R) Antonio Luis Merlo; the Vice President, Rear Admiral Carlos Alberto Lacoste; and management: Planning and management control, headed by Fernando Victorio Victoria; of Communication, by Alberto Horacio Calloni; of Infrastructure, by Norman Azcoitía; of Economy and Finance, by Raúl Veiga; of Press, Promotion and Public Relations, by Carlos Alberto Lacoste and of Special Affairs, by Walter César Ragalli.
The World Operations Center ’78 was in charge of Julio Dante Giacchio. The Cordoba sub-office was chaired by Carlos B. Chasseing; Mar del Plata by Carlos Menozzi; Mendoza by Francisco Navarro Hinojosa and Rosario by Augusto Félix Christi
In total the World Cup cost the Argentine State between 520 and 700 million dollars, although the exact amount has not been established because the final settlement was not made.
Three new stadiums were built, in addition to the remodeling of the Monumental de Núñez and the Amalfitani de Liniers, in the city of Buenos Aires; as well as the Gigante de Arroyito, in the city of Rosario, Santa Fe.
In addition, a color television model plant was built from scratch in Av. Figueroa Alcorta corner Tagle. This was called “Centro de Producción Buenos Aires”, but in the broadcasts it identified itself with the name “Argentina 78 Televisora” or “A78 TV”. The transmission was made in colors to the whole world, however in Argentina itself it was seen in black and white. After the World Cup, the plant was delivered to Channel 7 of Buenos Aires, which was renamed ATC (Argentina Televisora Color).
Then, in Spain, for the 1982 World Cup it was spent about a quarter.9 The figure would only be matched in Italy in 1990. The expenses of World 78 were suspected of political and business corruption, and were the subject of several investigations 10 13 According to the then Argentine finance secretary Juan Alemann “any private company would have built it for 20% of what it cost”.
In 1972, 8 sub-branches were pre-selected, with the 6 that were in 1978 plus La Plata and Tucumán. The city of the diagonals promised a “Unique Stadium” but for 1974 it was discarded by internal bids. Note apart, the Ciudad de La Plata Stadium was finished in 2003. In the case of Tucumán, an ambitious 70,000 spectator stadium was promised in Horco Molle, similar to the current Racing Club de Avellaneda stadium, with the roof included. In 1974 the Tucumán sub-office was “frozen” and in 1975 it was canceled, given the intensity of the actions of the guerrilla and the Armed Forces in the province. Finally, the cities chosen to host the World Cup matches were: Buenos Aires, Rosario, Córdoba, Mar del Plata and Mendoza. For this, it was invested in improving the infrastructure of the existing stadiums and the construction of three new stadiums according to the requirements of FIFA. The Monumental and the José Amalfitani were remodeled in Buenos Aires, and the Arroyito Giant in Rosario.The stadiums were built by Chateau Carreras (later renamed Mario Alberto Kempes), City of Mendoza and José María Minella.