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Football at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games:

Men's Football

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Host City: Ciudad de México, Mexico
Venue(s): Aztec Stadium, Ciudad de México; Cuauhtémoc Stadium, Puebla; Jalisco Stadium, Guadalajara; León Stadium, León
Date Started: October 13, 1968
Date Finished: October 26, 1968
Format: Round-robin pools advance teams to single-elimination tournament of eight teams.

Gold: HUN Hungary
Silver: BUL Bulgaria
Bronze: JPN Japan


New regulations meant that all non-amateurs were barred from competing, as well as players who had been active at a World Cup tournament. This was mostly of consequence for the Eastern European teams, which all played with state sponsored amateurs, and title defender Hungary had to leave several of their star players at home. When the draw for the tournament was published, Morocco withdrew its team, refusing to play against Israel. They were replaced by Ghana. The Israeli team was unlucky to be eliminated in the quarter-finals. Following a 1-1 draw after overtime with Bulgaria, lots were drawn to decide the winner, as had been the case in the 1960 Olympic semi-final. Bulgaria proceeded to eliminate the home team in the semi-finals. Hungary meanwhile defeated the tournament's surprise, the Japanese squad that eventually took home the bronze medal.

The final was a disgrace to football. The Hungarians were leading by 2-1 when Bulgaria's [Dimitrov] was sent off for a tackle from behind. A second expulsion soon followed, when [Ivkov] committed a rough offense. This angered [Khristov], who shot the ball towards Mexican referee De Leo. While De Leo could not see the offender, the linesman was paying attention. Khristov was also removed from play, leaving the Bulgarians with only eight. Hungary easily won the match 4-1, although they did not finish unscathed either, [Juhász] following the three Bulgarians into the dressing rooms before the final whistle.

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Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal G YC RC
1 Hungary HUN Gold 18 0 1
2 Bulgaria BUL Silver 16 0 3
3 Japan JPN Bronze 9 0 0
4 Mexico MEX 10 0 0
5T France FRA 9 0 0
5T Guatemala GUA 6 0 3
5T Spain ESP 4 0 0
5T Israel ISR 9 0 1
9T Colombia COL 4 0 0
9T Brazil BRA 4 0 2
9T Ghana GHA 6 0 2
9T Czechoslovakia TCH 10 0 1
13T Guinea GUI 4 0 1
13T Nigeria NGR 4 0 0
13T El Salvador ESA 2 0 1
13T Thailand THA 1 0 1