Host City: München, West Germany
Venue(s): ESV Stadium, Ingolstadt; Jahn Stadium, Regensburg; Municipal Stadium, Nürnberg; Olympic Stadium, Olympic Park, München; Rosenau Stadium, Augsburg; Three Rivers Stadium, Passau
Date Started: August 27, 1972
Date Finished: September 10, 1972
Format: Round-robin pools advance teams to single-elimination tournament for first four places.
|Bronze:|| Soviet Union
The tournament rules were slightly changed for the 1972 Olympic football tournament, as the quarter-finals were replaced by a second round of round-robin play. Another rule stipulated that should one of the final matches end in a tie after extra time, both teams would receive gold or bronze medals. This rule had a negative effect on play, as the Soviet Union and East Germany were not willing to risk losing their bronze medal in the extra time of their match. The public booed them as they finished the match without attacking.
The final was played between Poland and Hungary, the 1964 and 1968 champions. Poland was coached by Kazimierz Gorski, who also managed the Polish national team. With future stars like Grzegorz Lato, the Poles were considered to be the best team of the tournament. In the final, they trailed Hungary at half-time, but two goals by Kazimierz Dejna turned the match around. Two years later, Gorski led the Polish team to a third place at the World Cup - also in West Germany - with many of the players that took the gold medal in München