There were a total of 57 qualifying matches for the 1954 FIFA World Cup™, including a play-off between Turkey and Spain in Rome that was eventually decided by drawing lots to see which team would progress.

Spain had won their first game 4-1 in Madrid, but Turkey sprang a surprise by winning the second 1-0 in Istanbul. As there was no provision for goal difference settling the issue at the time, a decider had to be played in Italy.

The teams were level at full-time so lots were drawn and a 14-year-old Roman boy called Luigi Franco Gemma, whose father worked at the stadium, picked out the unseeded Turks.

During the finals in Switzerland, Turkey beat the Koreans 7-0, but went out after losing twice to Germany by scores of 4-1 and 7-2.