Association football at the 1956 Summer Olympics – Men's qualification

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The men's qualification for association football tournament at the 1956 Summer Olympics was the first time the qualifying round was done on a home-and-away basis.


The final tournament had 16 spots reserved with 28 countries initially showing interest in the tournament.

Automatic qualification was granted to  Australia (host),  Poland,  Turkey, and  Germany (originally as West Germany).

  • Europe: 4 places, contested by 8 teams (including Israel).
  • Africa: 1 place, contested by 2 teams.
  • Asia: 6 places, contested by 12 teams.
  • Americas: 1 place, contested by 2 teams.


Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Bulgaria  5–3  Great Britain 2–0 3–3
Yugoslavia  w/o1  Romania
Hungary  w/o2  East Germany
Soviet Union  7-1  Israel 5-0 2-1

1 Romania withdrew.
2 East and West Germany competed together at the 1956 Olympics, thus the East German football team withdrew. However, a solely West German football team was fielded instead of a combined one.


Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Ethiopia  3-9  Egypt 1-4 2-5


Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
South Vietnam  9-5  Cambodia 5-2 4-3
Iran  w/d1  Afghanistan
India  bye2  Thailand
Japan  2-23  South Korea 2-0 0-2
China PR  w/o4  Philippines
Indonesia  w/o5  Republic of China

1 Both teams withdrew.
2 Both teams were awarded byes.
3 Both matches were played in Japan. Japan advanced on drawing of lots.
4 Philippines withdrew.
5 Republic of China withdrew.


Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
United States  w/o1  Mexico

1 Mexico withdrew.

Before the official draw for the final tournament on September 1, 1956, Poland withdrew and was replaced by  Great Britain. After the draw Hungary withdrew as well. Its place was offered to South Korea, however they declined as well. The People's Republic of China and Egypt withdrew their whole Olympic teams in protest. South Vietnam and Turkey also withdrew.

Qualifying Matches[edit]

Bulgaria 2–0 Great Britain
Great Britain 3–3 Bulgaria

Both Bulgaria and Great Britain advanced.

Soviet Union 5–0 Israel
Tatushin Goal 2'
Ivanov Goal 26'71'
Simonyan Goal 45'78'
Report (ru)
Attendance: 54,000
Israel 1–2 Soviet Union
Stelmach Goal 64' Report (ru) Goal 59' Tatushin
Goal 79' Ilyin
Attendance: 60,000
Referee: Francesco Liverani[1] (Italy)

Soviet Union advanced.

Ethiopia 1–4 Egypt
Goal Goal 3'31' El-Fanagily
Goal 54' Ad-Diba
Goal 60' Adam

South Vietnam 5–2 Cambodia
Cambodia 3–4 South Vietnam

Japan 2–0 South Korea
Uchino Goal 54'
Iwabuchi Goal 77'
Attendance: 10,000
Japan 0–2 South Korea
Report Goal 58' ?
Goal 64' ?
Attendance: 20,000

Japan advanced by the drawing of lots.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Guinness Record of World Soccer, by Guy Oliver (1st ed., Guinness Publishing, 1992)
  • The Times newspaper, various dates


External links[edit]