|Copa Mundial de 1984|
Logo for the 1984 World Cup
|Teams||24 (from 4 confederations)|
|Venue(s)||7 (host cities: Santiago, Valparaiso, Sucre, Arica, Puerto Montt, Concepcion, Valdivia)|
|Top scorer(s)||Diego Maradona|
The 1984 FISA World Cup was held in the summer of 1984 in Chile. In a highly politicized and tense atmosphere, the Argentinean national team swept the tournament, not losing or drawing a single game, and defeated host nation and archrival Chile in front of a record crowd - and Chile's senior communist leadership - at "El Estadio de la Revolución" in Santiago.
Due to the ongoing conflict in nearby Brazil, the Chilean government's nominal allegiance with the besieged Brazilian dictator Hugo Savala, and the high-stakes Cold War standoff that pervaded the 1980's, the 1984 World Cup was seen as one of the most highly-politicized sporting events in history. The American and Colombian national teams boycotted the tournament, the Brazilian national team was harassed by Argentinean fans and players during their match in the quarterfinals, and the Chilean government took a massive propaganda hit when the Argentineans defeated the heavily-favored Chileans on their home turf in the final match 3-0, a reversal of the Chilean World Cup victory on Argentinean soil in 1936.
Due to the unpopularity of the communists in Chile at the time, and the various domestic and foreign forces working against the government, the success of the World Cup was seen as critical to the survival of the incumbent regime. The dilapidated state of Chilean stadiums, a bus driver strike during the first week of the tournament, riots in the streets and the loss to traditional enemy Argentina was a cripply public relations blow to the Communist Party both home and abroad. With the gradual decline in French support in the mid-1980's for Brazil came a similar decline in support for Chile, which French diplomats regarded as a "lost cause," and the Chilean government fell in 1989. A popular saying in Chile is "Soccer could have saved the communists," referring to the devastating blow the World Cup dealt the communists.