Argentina hosted the 11th staging of the World Cup in 1978 across six venues and involving 16 finalists. Argentina went on to win their first World Cup and joined Uruguay, Italy, England and West Germany as hosts and champions.
Argentina had suffered a military coup two years before the World Cup which added an unwelcome political dimension that the host was a military dictatorship and some countries considered if they should participate, most notably Holland.
Argentina 1978 and Spain 1982 highlighted an issue that teams in the group stages did not play simultaneously giving certain teams an advantage of knowing how they stood in the group before playing and enabling them to adjust tactics accordingly. FIFA introduced a rule change that stated that the final two group games would be played simultaneously in future World Cups.
The final in Buenos Aires was a hostile affair played between the hosts Argentina and the Netherlands who had reached their second final in a row. The match was played at the El Monumental stadium, a large multi-purpose bowl type stadium with no roof. In the end Argentina won the match after extra time by a 3-1 margin but the Netherlands refused to attend the post-match ceremonies due to what they perceived as illegal game events.
England failed to qualify for the 1978 World Cup however Scotland did, inflicting a famous defeat on the Netherlands in the group stage but went out on goal difference behind the Dutch.