Soccer and the FIFA World CupBy: Seora Kerr, 2007
History of SoccerSoccer is a sport that many cultures have played throughout history. Different forms of soccer have been played around the globe for centuries.
Early forms of SoccerThe earliest form of soccer can be traced back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C. in China. Another form of soccer also came from Japan. The Greeks and Romans also played forms of soccer.
Soccers Voyage to EnglandHistorians propose that the Romans took a form of soccer with them to England.In England, through many years, soccer transformed into the game we know today.It slowly began to spread in popularity all throughout Europe and into South America.
The Creation ProcessDifferent organizations were made to hold national and international soccer tournaments. Of these organizations, the FIFA was formed and began recruiting more and more countries to be part of their association. Without a doubt, the FIFA became the most successful soccer association, and still is to this day!
FIFAFIFA..What does it mean?Fdration Internationale de Football Association - FrenchInternational Federation of Association Football - English
FIFAa little moreFIFAWhat is it? FIFA is an international association of soccer that currently oversees many international soccer tournaments, most notably, the World Cup. FIFA is currently the largest sport governing body association and the second largest international organization in the world.
International Soccer beginsBefore the formation of the FIFA, the first ever international soccer match was played in England and Scotland in 1872. Soccer, at that time was a stage sport and was not normally seen outside of Great Britian. As soccer began to spread in popularity, an organization called FIFA began in 1904. This association was comprised of 7 European countries.
Off to a slow startAt first, FIFA was very unsuccessful at advancing the popularity of soccer internationally. People did not take soccer seriously because it was not viewed as a competitive sport, like the many others. It actually took them 26 years to come up with a plan for their first international tournament, which we know now as the World Cup.
Soccer at the OlympicsBefore the World Cup competition was created, soccer was held as a demonstration sport at the Olympics in 1900, 1904 and the Summer Olympics in 1906. In 1908, soccer finally became an official competition at the Olympics. It was considered by the majority a show instead of a real sport. England won the soccer event in both 1908 and 1912.
Unpopular with the GringosIn the early 1900s, soccer was becoming a little more popular around the world, except in the United States. Because of the unpopularity of soccer in the U.S.A., the decision was made to eliminate soccer from the 1932 Olympics. Because of this decision, FIFA decided it was time to make a move. The organization then made a decision that would change the future of soccer worldwide.
It was 1930 when FIFA decided to try and change the role soccer played on the world. From the very beginning of the association, the president of FIFA at the time, Jules Rimet, wanted soccer to be more than just a fun sport viewed at the Olympics. He wanted the world to view soccer as a competitive sport, full of excitement and pleasure. The members of the FIFA organized an international soccer competition called the World Cup that would hold its first competition in Uruguay.
World CupFrom the very first competition in Uruguay, the World Cup has grown in popularity and prestige. Today, the World Cup holds the entire world under its spell.
FIFA The FIFA World Cup consists of mens national soccer teams belonging to the FIFA organization.
World Cup ChampionshipsThe championship has been held every 4 years since the first tournament in 1930 excluding the years 1942 and 1946, due to World War II.
Talk about PopularNo other sporting event captures the worlds attention like the World Cup. The World Cup Finals, is the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world, with an estimated 1.1 billion people watching the tournament in 2002.
World Cup in FranceIn Frances 1998 tournament, 37 billion viewers watched and 2.7 million flocked to watch the 64 matches held there.
The ProcessThe manner in which FIFA determines which national teams will compete in the tournament is quite complicated. Only 32 national teams compete in the World Cup tournament. To determine the participating teams, there are qualifying rounds that each nation must compete in. The qualification process takes about 3 years and they normally begin soon after the Finals have taken place.
The ProcessThe whole competition takes approximately a month from start to finish and takes place in the host nation or nations.
Victorious BrazilThere have been 18 tournaments in all and only 7 nations have won the title! Brazil has the most successful World Cup team, having 5 wins under their belt!
Cup HoldersThe current cup holders, Italy, have won the competition 4 times and Germany has won it 3 times. Uruguay has won one title and Argentina, two titles. England and France both have one title.
U.S.A.Guess what? The United States has never won! Poor Gringos!
2006 World CupThe most recent World Cup Finals were held from June 9th and July 9th in 2006. The host nation was Germany, and as mentioned earlier, Italy won the title. They competed against France in the Finals. The competition was won by a penalty shootout 5-3 after the match finished with a score of 1-1.
World Cup-2010The next World Cup will be held in South Africa in 2010.
World Cup for Women!!
Since 1991, FIFA has organized a World Cup for women, known as the FIFA Womens World Cup. They also play every 4 years and the process of qualification is much the same as the mens.
FIFA todayAfter all these years, and many changes the FIFA has seen, the main focus of the FIFA World Cup remains the samethe glistening golden trophy, which is the embodiment of every footballers dream.