Robert Coppée converts a penalty after six minutes of the 1920 Belgium v Czechoslovakia Olympic football final.
There was an early shock as Great Britain, chasing their third successive triumph, were beaten 3-1 by Norway in the opening round. The British delegation were concerned with the rise in 'professional' opponents within the international game, but in fairness Norway were a genuine amateur outfit.
The final was highly controversial and remains the only occasion in which an international final has been abandoned. Belgium was awarded the gold medal by default after Czechoslovakia walked off the field in the 39th minute of the final when their left-back Karel Steiner was sent off.
The Czechs were incensed with the English officials following a dubious second Belgian goal in the 28th minute.
The Czechs protested the result of the final as follows:
1. We were allocated an English linesman, which is in contradiction with the rules which state that each participating nation has the right to one or both linesmen. This violation of the rules was prejudicial to us during the game, because the English linesman was not impartial and this is why we seek the cancellation of the match. Immediately after the game we brought this notice to the attention of M. Rodolphe Seeldrayers.
2. The majority of the decisions of the referee Mr. Lewis were wrong and it was obvious that it gave the public the wrong impression about our game. Also both Belgian goals were the result of incorrect decisions by the referee and we seek a rigorous investigation on that point.
3. During the match, Belgian soldiers were introduced to the crowd until they circled the pitch and because of their provocative presence our players were unable to play their normal game. As a result of the very regrettable incident at the end of the match when there was a pitch invasion lead by the soldiers and our national flag was insulted we will not participate until we have received an apology from the (Belgian) soldiers.
Crowd on the pitch after the abandonment of the game.
September 2nd, 1920
Olympic Stadium, Antwerp
Goals: Coppée (penalty) 6mins, Larnoe 28mins.