The inaugural FIFA World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay between thirteen teams, mostly South American and at three venues from just one host city. A far cry from modern tournaments.
The three stadiums varied massively in scale with the Eastadio Pocitos having a capacity of just 1000, Estadio Gran Parque Central having 20,000 and the Estadio Centenario having a 90,000 capacity. At the time Estadio Centenario was the largest football stadium outside the British Isles and was built specifically for the tournament and descrbed by then FIFA president Jules Rimet as a “temple of football”.
Rushed construction and issues with the Uruguay rainy season meant that the stadium was not actually ready until five days into the tournament.
The FA famously rejected an invitation to attend and with two months before the start of the tournament no European team had officially entered. After the intervention of Jules Rimet four Eurpean teams were shipped to Uruguay: Belgium, France, Romania and Yugoslavia.
A golden trophy known as “The Goddess of Victory” was commissioned by French sculptor Abel Lafleur and the hosts Uruguay lifted it in front of the 93,000 who had packed out the stadium of the final after beating Argentina 4-2.