world cup 1982

The 1982 FIFA World Cup was the twelfth FIFA World Cup and was held in Spain between 13 June and 11 July 1982. The tournament was won by Italy, who claimed their third title defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final in the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid.

Host selection

The hosting rights for the 1974, 1978 and 1982 FIFA World Cup tournaments were awarded at the FIFA Congress in London, England on 6 July 1966.

Italy, Spain and West Germany expressed an interest to bid for the 1982 FIFA World Cup, but following the withdrawl of Italy, West Germany agreed a deal with Spain by which Spain would support West Germany for the 1974 tournament, and in return West Germany would allow Spain to bid for the 1982 World Cup unopposed.

At the 41st FIFA Congress held in Buenos Aires prior to the 1978 FIFA World Cup it was decided to expand the 1982 FIFA World Cup from 16 to 24 teams.

One hundred and nine1 countries entered the qualifying competition.

The hosts, Spain, and the defending champions, West Germany, qualified automatically. Of the remaining 22 places, 13 were allocated to Europe (UEFA), three to South America (CONMEBOL), two to the North and Central American and Caribbean (CONCACAF), two to Africa (CAF) and two place to the Asian (AFC) and Oceania (OFC) qualifiers.


Thirty three European teams entered the 1982 FIFA World Cup with hosts, Spain, qualifying automatically. The remaining 32 teams as well as Israel from the Asian Football Confederation were drawn into 7 groups. Groups 1 to 6 had 5 teams each whereby the group winners and runners-up would qualify. Group 7 had 3 teams where the group winner would qualify.

Wales were drawn in Group 3 alongside the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Iceland and Turkey. This would be Wales' first meeting with Iceland.

Uefa qualifying Group 3

no.datescorescorers (wales)venue 
35702/06/1980Iceland 0-4 WalesWalsh (2), Giles, Flynn (pen)Laugardalsvöllur, ReykjavikWCQ
 03/09/1980Iceland 1-2 USSR Laugardalsvöllur, ReykjavikWCQ
 24/09/1980Turkey 1-3 Iceland Ízmir Atatürk Stadyumu, ÍzmirWCQ
 15/10/1980USSR 5-0 Iceland Central Lenin Stadium, MoscowWCQ
35815/10/1980Wales 4-0 TurkeyFlynn, L James (2), WalshNinian Park, CardiffWCQ
35919/11/1980Wales 1-0 CzechoslovakiaGilesNinian Park, CardiffWCQ
 03/12/1980Czechoslovakia 2-0 Turkey Stadion Evžena Rošického, PragueWCQ
36125/03/1981Turkey 0-1 WalesHarrisMayıs Stadı, AnkaraWCQ
 15/04/1981Turkey 0-3 Czechoslovakia Ali Sami Yen Stadı, IstanbulWCQ
 27/05/1981Czechoslovakia 6-1 Iceland Tehelné pole, BratislavaWCQ
36430/05/1981Wales 0-0 USSR Racecourse Ground, WrexhamWCQ
 09/09/1981Iceland 2-1 Turkey Laugardalsvöllur, ReykjavikWCQ
36509/09/1981Czechoslovakia 2-0 Wales Stadion Evžena Rošického, PragueWCQ
 23/09/1981USSR 4-0 Turkey Central Lenin Stadium, MoscowWCQ
 23/09/1981Iceland 1-1 Czechoslovakia Laugardalsvöllur, ReykjavikWCQ
 07/10/1981Turkey 0-3 USSR Ali Sami Yen Stadı, IstanbulWCQ
36614/10/1981Wales 2-2 IcelandR James, CurtisVetch Field, SwanseaWCQ
 18/11/1981USSR 2-0 Czechoslovakia Dinamo Stadium, TbilisiWCQ
36718/11/1981USSR 3-0 Wales Dinamo Stadium, TbilisiWCQ
 29/11/1981Czechoslovakia 1-1 USSR Tehelné pole, BratislavaWCQ

Group standings

Wales and the 1982 World Cup

Wales, playing their first World Cup qualifying campaign under Mike England, started the 1982 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with two successive 4-0 victories against Iceland and Turkey. The third game saw England give debuts to Kevin Ratcliffe of Everton and Swansea City's Jeremy Charles as Wales ran out 1-0 winners against Czechoslovakia before a 1-0 win over Turkey in Ankara left Wales top of Group 3 at the half way stage.

Although Wales top of the group, the Soviet Union, the group's top seeds, had two games in hand on Wales and a goalless draw against the USSR at The Racecourse kept Wales' hopes alive. Despite being captain in the opening five matches, the game against the Soviet Union proved to be the last of Terry Yorath's 59 caps for Wales.

A loss away in Czechoslovakia which saw Dai Davies concede for the first time in 457 minutes of football in the group, followed by a disastrous 2-2 draw at home to Iceland in a game which was held up for 43 minutes because of floodlight failure at Swansea City's Vetch Field, meant Wales' hopes of qualifying for the 1982 FIFA World Cup was out of their own hands.

Wales' final game was a comprehensive 3-0 defeat in Tblisi against the table topping Soviet Union, but despite the loss Wales could still qualify for the finals if the Soviet Union beat Czechoslovakia in the final match of the group in Bratislava. However a 1-1 draw saw Wales miss out on the 1982 FIFA World Cup on goal difference.

Players used during qualifying

Wales used a total of 21 players during the qualifying campaign with Dai Davies and Peter Nicholas being the only two players to play every minte of every game.

Kevin Ratcliffe and Jeremy Charles made their debut in the match against Czechoslovakia at the Racecourse, Wrexham. Despite being captain in the opening five matches, the game against the Soviet Union proved to be the last of Terry Yorath's 59 caps for Wales.

Jeremy Charles  903220 90 
Alan Curtis     909090
Dai Davies9090909090909090
Gordon Davies80       
Brian Flynn909090909090 90
David Giles9090901515   
Carl Harris10904175759067 
Leighton James9090 90 909090
Robbie James     2890 
Joey Jones9090 9090909085
Steve Lovell       15
John Mahoney      9045
Peter Nicholas9090909090909090
Leighton Phillips909090909073 90
Paul Price9090909090  90
Kevin Ratcliffe  909090909090
Ian Rush      2390
Byron Stevenson15    90  
Mickey Thomas  90 9062 45
Ian Walsh90904958701790 
Terry Yorath7590909090   


1Of the 109 countries who entered Ghana, Iran and Uganda withdrew whilst the Central African Republic were excluded for not paying their entry fee.

22 pts for a win / 1 pt for a draw