Host City: Ciudad de MÃ©xico, Mexico
Venue(s): Aztec Stadium, Ciudad de MÃ©xico; CuauhtÃ©moc Stadium, Puebla; Jalisco Stadium, Guadalajara; LeÃ³n Stadium, LeÃ³n
Date Started: October 13, 1968
Date Finished: October 26, 1968
Format: Round-robin pools advance teams to single-elimination tournament of eight teams.
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, [JuhÃ¡sz] following the three Bulgarians into the dressing rooms before the final whistle.