1916 South American Championship

Last updated
1916 South American Championship of Nations
Tournament details
Host countryFlag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Dates2 July – 17 July
Teams4 (from 1 confederation)
Venue(s)2 (in 2 host cities)
Final positions
ChampionsFlag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay (1st title)
Runners-upFlag of Argentina.svg  Argentina
Third placeFlag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg  Brazil
Fourth placeFlag of Chile.svg  Chile
Tournament statistics
Matches played6
Goals scored18 (3 per match)
Top scorer(s) Flag of Uruguay.svg Isabelino Gradín
(3 goals)

The 1916 South American Championship of Nations was the first continental championship for national teams in South America. It was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 2 July to 17 July during Argentina's Independence Centenary commemorations. [1] [2] The tournament was won by Uruguay, who drew with Argentina in the last match of the tournament at Racing Club Stadium. [note 1] [3] [6]

CONMEBOL Copa América, known until 1975 as the South American Football Championship, is a men's international football tournament contested among national teams from CONMEBOL. It is the oldest international continental football competition. The competition determines the continental champion of South America. Since the 1990s, teams from North America and Asia have also been invited to participate.

Buenos Aires Place in Argentina

Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the South American continent's southeastern coast. "Buenos Aires" can be translated as "fair winds" or "good airs", but the former was the meaning intended by the founders in the 16th century, by the use of the original name "Real de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre". The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 15.6 million.

Argentina Federal republic in South America

Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. The sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.



Uruguay, the first South American Champion Uruguay 1916.jpg
Uruguay, the first South American Champion

For a complete list of participating squads see: 1916 South American Championship squads

These are the squads for the countries that played in the 1916 South American Championship. The participating countries were Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. The teams plays in a single round-robin tournament, earning two points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss.


There was no qualifying for the tournament. The participating countries were Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. The teams played a single round-robin tournament, earning two points for a win, one point for a draw, and zero points for a loss.

Argentina national football team mens national association football team representing Argentina

The Argentina national football team represents Argentina in football. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti in Buenos Aires.

Brazil national football team mens national association football team representing Brazil

The Brazil national football team represents Brazil in international men's association football. Brazil is administered by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), the governing body for football in Brazil. They have been a member of FIFA since 1923 and member of CONMEBOL since 1916.

Chile national football team mens national association football team representing Chile

The Chile men's national football team(Selección masculina de fútbol de Chile) represents Chile in major international football competitions and is controlled by the Federación de Fútbol de Chile which was established in 1895. The team is commonly referred to as La Roja. They have appeared in nine World Cup tournaments and were hosts of the 1962 FIFA World Cup where they finished in third place, the highest position the country has ever achieved in the World Cup.


Buenos Aires Avellaneda
Gimnasia y Esgrima Racing
Capacity: 18,000Capacity: 30,000
Estadio geba tribuna 1910.jpg Racing tribunas 1922.jpg

Final round

Each team played one match against each of the other teams. Two (2) points were awarded for a win, one (1) point for a draw and zero (0) points for a defeat.

Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 321061+55
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 312072+54
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg  Brazil 302134−12
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 3012211−91
Uruguay  Flag of Uruguay.svg4–0Flag of Chile.svg  Chile
Piendibene Soccerball shade.svg 44', 75'
Gradín Soccerball shade.svg 55', 70'
Referee: Hugo Gronda (Argentina)

Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg6–1Flag of Chile.svg  Chile
Ohaco Soccerball shade.svg 2', 75'
J.D. Brown Soccerball shade.svg 60' (pen.), 62' (pen.)
Marcovecchio Soccerball shade.svg 67', 81'
Báez Soccerball shade.svg 44'

Brazil  Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg1–1Flag of Chile.svg  Chile
Demósthenes Soccerball shade.svg 29' Salazar Soccerball shade.svg 85'

Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg1–1Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg  Brazil
Laguna Soccerball shade.svg 10' Alencar Soccerball shade.svg 23'
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Carlos Fanta (Chile)

Uruguay  Flag of Uruguay.svg2–1Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg  Brazil
Gradín Soccerball shade.svg 58'
Tognola Soccerball shade.svg 77'
Friedenreich Soccerball shade.svg 8'
Referee: Carlos Fanta (Chile)

Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg0–0 Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay
Referee: Carlos Fanta (Chile)


 1916 South American Championship Champions 
Flag of Uruguay.svg
1st title

Goal scorers

3 goals

2 goals

1 goal


The match between Uruguay and Chile played on 2 July was the first time in history a country fielded black players in an international tournament. Uruguay fielded Isabelino Gradín and Juan Delgado and their racial background became an issue with Chile. Chile complained before and after the match that the Uruguayans were unfairly selecting "Africans".

Isabelino Gradín Uruguayan footballer and sprinter

Isabelino Gradín was a Uruguayan footballer and athlete. He was one of the greatest footballers in the early era of Uruguayan football and is regarded as one of the greatest Uruguayan players before the Uruguayan win at the 1930 FIFA World Cup. He played in the first South American Championship held in Argentina, where Uruguay became the first champions of the tournament, and finished as top scorer. On 2 July of that tournament against Chile, where Uruguay would go on to win 4-0, Gradin and team mate Juan Delgado became the first black players in history to be fielded in an international tournament. Gradin was also part of the Uruguayan winning team of the 1917 South American Championship. He was also a four-time South American athletics champion in the 400 and 200 metres sprint.


  1. The match between Argentina and Uruguay played on 16 July had to be abandoned at 0–0 after only 5 minutes due to a riot within the spectators. The riot spilled over into the field and the clash finished with the wooden tribunes on fire. As the match couldn't be rescheduled in the |Gimnasia y Esgrima Stadium, it was replayed at Racing Club Stadium. The partial result of the match in GEBA was declared null and overtaken by the one in Avellaneda. [3] [4] [5]

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  1. Historia de la selección argentina en la Copa América on Stub Hub magazine, 8 Apr 2019
  2. Copa América: ¿Creación Argentina? by Nicolás Martins Barriga on UNLP website, 2011
  3. 1 2 Chau tablón by Gustavo Ronzano and Oscar Barnade on Clarín, 23 Jul 2005 (archived, 6 Nov 2013)
  4. 1916: once policías para 30 mil hinchas en el primer escándalo del fútbol by Daniel Balmaceda on La Nación, 27 Nov 2018
  5. "Triste epílogo del Campeonato Sudamericano" on La Vanguardia newspaper, 17 Jul 1916
  6. South American Championship 1916 by Martín Tabeira on the RSSSF