The FIFA World Cup tournament, from humble beginnings to a global competition, has seen it all. Read on to know more on the history and origin of the FIFA World Cup.
FIFA World Cup History
The FIFA World Cup or the Football World Cup is believed to be the world’s most anticipated and biggest sporting extravaganza. However, the tournament organized by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association or FIFA rose to the top of the world’s sporting events from extremely humble beginnings. It was these humble beginnings that helped rocket the event to international ‘stardom’ and success. The FIFA World Cup tournament now sees almost the entire 208 FIFA member nations vie for a spot in the finals. After a number of qualifying matches held all over the world only 32 out of the 200 plus participating nations make it to the Finals. The 32 national teams are then organized into 8 groups that comprise 4 teams each. The teams play against each other in the group stages, and on the basis of points, the top two teams of each group make it to the knockout stage or the ‘Round of 16’. The teams that are successful in surviving the ‘Round of 16’ make it to the quarter finals and the semi-finals. The top two teams, post the quarter-finals and semis, go on to book a berth for themselves in the ‘Final’ of the FIFA World Cup tournament. Go ahead; take a step. Plough through this article to know more on the history and origin of the FIFA World Cup.
History And Origin Of The FIFA World Cup
It all began with the first international football match that was played between England and Scotland in 1872. Football back then wasn’t really played outside of the United Kingdom, but soon began to garner popularity across various parts of the world. The game soon graduated into a showcase sport at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics. It was a sport that was played only for the sake of the game; there were no medals to be won. FIFA, the international football organization, was founded in the same year as the 1904 Summer Olympics. The organization tried putting together a tournament between non-Olympic participating nations, but this tournament failed to gather any attention at the international stage.
Post this tournament, football was recognized as an official sport in the 1908 London Olympics. However, the Olympic matches only consisted of amateur teams and weren’t received too well by the public. This debacle was followed by the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy tournament held in 1909, it saw professional clubs from Italy, Germany, England and Switzerland vie against each other for the Lipton trophy. This tournament is often referred to as the first World Cup tournament.
FIFA then decided to play its part in the international football scene after recognizing the success of football as an amateur Olympic sport. The effort of stitching together the first ever FIFA World Cup tournament was piloted by the then President of FIFA, Jules Rimet. Football’s moment of glory came when the first World Cup tournament was held in 1930 in Uruguay, the host country. Thirteen nations took part in the inaugural event that saw the host country Uruguay emerge ‘Champions of World Football’. Uruguay pulled off this feat by defeating Argentina 4-2 in what was a brilliant finish to the first World Cup tournament. The World Cup tournament was soon in the spotlight and even went on to overshadow football in the Olympics. However, the tournament faced hurdles in the form of South American teams finding it difficult to travel to Europe for the competition. Also, the 1942 and 1946 World Cup tournaments were called off due to World War II.
Post World War II, the World Cup tournament slowly began to crawl back into the hearts of the public. The 1950 World Cup tournament, the first one post World War II, was held in Brazil. The tournament saw the English participating in the same for the first time after their boycott that was the result of political reasons. The Uruguayans went on to clinch the 1950 World Cup tournament trophy after defeating Brazil in a historic final. Between the inception of the World Cup tournament and the 1982 World Cup only around 13-16 teams graced the same. In 1982 FIFA increased the number of participating teams to 24 and this was followed by an increase to 32 in the 1998 World Cup tournament.
Everything said and done, FIFA and the FIFA World Cup have come a long way indeed. The world will now wait to zero in on the results and the Champions of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.