How Snow Impacted the First Ever World Cup

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Soccer’s biggest stars are in the midst of the first winter World Cup, but they certainly haven’t experienced typical winter weather.

The quadrennial tournament was moved to November and December instead of June and July because of Qatar’s climate. The Middle Eastern nation experiences triple-digit temperatures throughout the late spring and early summer months, while late fall offers more tolerable conditions for players and supporters.

Wintry weather might not be a factor in Qatar, but Mother Nature has brought unexpected snow to the tournament before. Let’s go back almost a full century to revisit the head-scratching scene.

Who hosted the first World Cup?

Uruguay hosted the inaugural World Cup in 1930. All three stadiums for the event were located in Montevideo, at the southern edge of the country.

Does it snow in Uruguay?

Snow is extremely rare in Uruguay.

Colder conditions were to be expected at the 1930 World Cup compared to the average temperature in Uruguay. With the country being in the southern hemisphere, July and August are winter months.

When did it snow at the 1930 World Cup?

France and Mexico’s match at Estadio Pocitos on July 13, 1930, was historic on several fronts.

It was the first ever match in World Cup history and saw the first ever goal in World Cup history. The snow merely added to the momentous moment.

While the match was a landmark event, the players’ celebration didn’t really match the occasion.

“We were playing [against] Mexico and it was snowing, since it was winter in the southern hemisphere,” France’s Lucien Laurent, who scored the historic opening goal in that match, said. “One of my teammates centered the ball and I followed its path carefully, taking it on the volley with my right foot. Everyone was pleased, but we didn’t all roll around on the ground – nobody realized that history was being made. A quick handshake and we got on with the game.

“And no bonus either; we were all amateurs in those days, right to the end.”

Who won the 1930 World Cup?

Uruguay wound up winning the first World Cup on home soil, defeating Argentina 4-2 in the final. 

France went on to lose its next two matches against Argentina and Chile following the opening win, while Mexico went winless across three group stage games.

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