Soccer is among the most well-known sports around the world. There is also The World Cup that, as you may know, is a huge thing, and many people travel to see it. The many fans who can’t travel watch at home just to see their favorite team compete and win.
So how did this massive tournament start and how does FIFA manage it? What does FIFA even stand for? All that and more will be covered here so, read on.
What Is FIFA?
I am sure many of you know about FIFA since it governs the prestigious World Cup, but did you know what it means? FIFA stands for “Fédération Internationale de Football Association”. It is a famous football organization with 211 affiliated associations.
They are the governing body of the football association, beach soccer, and futsal. They are also the ones who oversee all major association football tournaments as well as advertising of all international football games.
The non-profit organization's objective is to make sure that the sport is accessible to everyone. They also advocate integrity and fairness in every game.
Brief History of FIFA
The organization was born in 1904 to unite all soccer associations at that time. Due to all the international games popping-up, they believed there needed to be a governing body. When it was established, it had seven national members: France, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain.
The first president of the FIFA organization was Robert Guerin who was a French journalist. The current president of the association is Gianni Infantino, who was appointed in 2016. Since then, the organization has become more prominent as it has more than 200 affiliated associations.
The first soccer game hosted by the FIFA organization happened in July 1930 in Uruguay. It was the first FIFA World Cup and thirteen teams participated in the tournament.
At that time, all affiliated associations were invited to participate in the game. Since only eleven teams participated rather than 16, FIFA did not do any qualification and this was the only World Cup that didn’t require qualification. Among many countries that participated, America showed interest in the tournament and even joined in the game, making it a successful match.
Three stadiums were used in the games which are Estadio Centenario, Estadio Gran Parque Central, and Estadio Pocitos. For the first two matches, the teams who won came from France and the United States. However, the team that won the first FIFA World Cup tournament was the Uruguay team.
As of now, 17 countries have hosted the well-known competition. France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, and Brazil hosted the tournament twice. The others did it once, like Switzerland, Uruguay, England, Argentina, United States, South Korea, Japan, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Chile, and Russia.
The next World Cup host is Qatar in 2022.
What Countries Are Not Allowed in FIFA?
There are 211 football teams in the FIFA organization, and these teams are divided into six different continental confederations. The team's confederation depends on what continent they belong to.
However, there are some exceptions, for example, Australia, Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. These places are part of the Asian Football Confederation even though they aren't really in Asia.
FIFA also allows dependent territories to join the organization like Anguilla in the UK, Puerto Rico in the US, Hongkong in China, and 16 dependent territories.
Although many independent countries and dependent territories join the organization, there are still places that are not a part of the FIFA organization. For example, Monaco, UK, and Vatican City in Europe are not part of FIFA. In Oceania, Kiribati, Micronesia, Palau, Tuvalu, Nauru, and the Marshall Islands are also not part of FIFA.
Other areas are not recognized as independent countries and dependent territories with national teams, and hence are not members of the FIFA organization. Some may have full or associate participation in another confederation that is connected to FIFA.
Why Is Soccer The Best Sport In The World?
Soccer or football is one of the best sports anyone can play. There are at least 260 million players who play soccer around the world. You can even say that its popularity is one reason why many people choose to play the sport.
Besides that, soccer is not expensive, and you just need to buy soccer cleats, a shin guard, a jersey and shorts, and a ball. You also don't need to have a super athletic body with this sport. However, you may need to have a fit body to play and run around the field.
Since soccer is famous internationally, you have a chance to play all over the world. Players who want to be professional can also join camps to train hard and enhance their skills.
Besides being famous, each professional player playing the game is paid well. They are paid by the club they belong to and their sponsors.
All About Soccer
As you may know, soccer is a team sport, and each team has 11 players competing against 11 players of the opposing team. It also has one goalkeeper, a center-back, sweeper, wingback, winger, forward, fullback, striker, Centre-midfielder, attacking midfielder, and a defensive midfielder.
The ball used in the game is made from synthetic leather and is 27 to 28 inches in circumference.
The game's goal is that each team must try to score. Each player will run around kicking the ball to the home goal while the opposing team will try to stop them and take the ball to attack.
If you’re wondering how big is a soccer field, you can imagine a rectangular field that is 50 to 100 yards wide and 100 to 130 yards long. This is where the 2 competing teams play soccer for 90 minutes, divided into 2 segments of 45 minutes each.
Soccer is a very popular sport and many are raving about it, especially the World Cup. Many are familiar with and follow FIFA since it's the prestigious tournament's governing body. As of now, many are waiting for the next tournament that will happen in Qatar in 2022.