This Day in History: 2022-11-30
COUNTRIES UNDERWHELMED BY PROSPECT OF NATIONS CUP (1958)
The Nations Cup, the original name for the European Championships, was the brainchild of French Football Federation secretary Henri Delaunay. In 1958 UEFA asked for countries to enter the new tournament, which would be staged in 1960, but the response wasn’t exactly enthusiastic. The four home nations – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland -collectively rejected the offer and the 1954 World Cup winners West Germany, and the 1934 and 1938 winners Italy, did so too. There were initial fears that the qualifying tournament wouldn’t get the 16 countries it needed to function properly, but some late entries saved the day.
Despite his best efforts Henri Delaunay couldn’t persuade the home nations to adopt his plan fora pan-European tournament.