Source 1

Extract from confidential report to London from the British Embassy in Montevideo, 1966. Catalogue ref: FO 953/2334


British Embassy, Montevideo

27 July 1966

(ID 1801/92/66)




Dear Department,

La Copa Mondial or The Twist in Willie’s Tale


7. The Residence, Chancery and Consulate were now bombarded by anonymous telephone calls, often of an extremely abusive nature, asking, among other things, how much we had paid the German referree. There have been about 300 calls in all. Groups gathered outside the residence (empty except for the servants), pulled the street-bell out of its socket and threatened the servants: however, the Montevideo Police responded quickly and courteously to a request to station two policement outside (normally done only on special occasions) and this averted further damage.


9. It would be comforting to say that the only moral of the story is, never let a South American team lose a football game. But unfortunately the net result has been to raise doubts in the minds of many normally friendly people as to whether the traditional British “fair play” really exists now, and whether Association Football in Europe has sunk to the meretricious level of professional boxing in the United States. In a country where one of the regular moves of an aspiring politician is to get onto the board of a football team, (several Ministers still retain such posts), this matters more than it would elsewhere. It has (however unfairly), been a bad week for Anglo-Uruguayan relations.


Yours ever,

A.B. Blackwood

Information Officer.


« Return to World Cup 1966

1. Read Source 1. This is a confidential report to London from the British Embassy in Montevideo.

  • How did the Uruguayan public react to their country’s quarter-final defeat?
  • Do you think this is important enough for the British government in London to need to know all about it?
  • What evidence does the writer give that football is very important in Uruguayan politics?
  • What harm does the writer think has been done to Anglo-Uruguayan relations?