- Belgium won gold on home soil 100 years ago today
- We look back at a wild and crazy Men’s Olympic Football Tournament
- To this day it’s Belgium’s greatest international achievement
After an eight-year hiatus due to World War I, football returned to the global arena in Belgium in 1920 as the Olympic flag and its famous five rings was hoisted for the first time.
Slowly but surely the football tournament was expanding as 14 countries participated, including a non-European nation for the first time: Egypt. The Egyptians were joined by the hosts, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Yugoslavia.
Egypt were defeated by Italy in the opening round, 2-1. But what made bigger headlines at that same stage was the surprising elimination of Great Britain, who had won the title twice, 3-1 by Norway. There was another shock in the form of Spain, playing in their first-ever official international, defeating two-time silver medallists Denmark 1-0 with future goalkeeping star Ricardo Zamora shining.