The World Cup poster becomes a defining image for the tournament and its era – getting it right is a fine art. Back in 1998 our team of researchers unearthed a few early drafts that didn't quite make it

You might think that a country ruled by a military dictatorship would not be permitted to stage a major international football tournament. Not so. For instance, at the 1978 World Cup held in Argentina, having the capacity to employ enthusiastic young men with guns to work as "security" was seen as a bit of a bonus. However, this first shot at a poster was seen by FIFA bigwigs as a satire on stricter refereeing standards and therefore deemed unsuitable.

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