The story behind FIFA
The Federation Internationale de Football Association is the body governing the world’s favorite game, football. Headquartered in Zurich, it’s the world’s largest and oldest sport governing body. It’s within FIFA’s scope to organize and govern all of football’s major tournaments, the most notable of course being the FIFA World Cup, first held in 1930.
The History Of FIFA
To unite the various national soccer associations, the Federation Internationale de Football Association was founded on May 21, 1904, after the national associations of Denmark, Spain, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Sweden joined hands. The aim was to foster friendship among the national associations, the confederations, the officials, and the players and promote the organizing of soccer matches at multiple levels.
Today, FIFA boasts of as many as 209 members making it no less large than the United Nations. No wonder that it’s one of the world’s most prestigious sports organizations.
What led to FIFA’s formation?
The continuous increase in the number of international games being played from the dawn of the 20th century was behind the setting up of FIFA. Europe’s leading soccer nations realized that it was important to have a governing body to preside over the expanding competitive events. The seven founding members now came together to form the Federation Internationale de Football Association and sowed the seeds of creating what is arguably the world’s most powerful sporting organization.
The French journalist Robert Guerin was its first president, and he continued being so till 1906. The longest-serving president was the legendary Jules Rimet, who remained at the helm of affairs for 33 long years from 1921 to 1954.
The Events That Followed
The first international competition FIFA presided over was held in 1906. However, in terms of success achieved, there wasn’t much to write about. This and certain economic issues saw Guerin being replaced by Daniel Burley Woolfall of England in a swift move. The next major tournament was held in 1908, the Olympics in London, which was quite a success, largely due to the participation of professional players, which was, however, a violation of FIFA’s founding principles.
Football was now spreading everywhere, and FIFA’s membership began to expand as well. South Africa became FIFA’s first non-European member in 1909, followed by the South American giant Argentina and Chile in 1912 and the United States in 1913. While FIFA had helped organize the Olympic soccer events of 1924 and 1928, the body soon felt the urge to organize its own mega sporting event. Since then, there’s been no looking back, and the Football World Cup is today the world’s biggest sporting extravaganza.
The Tough Years of The Wars
Things started looking bad during World War I. Many players had to serve in the war, and the international travel of players was badly hit. After the war and following Woolfall’s death, Dutchman Carl Hirschmann took over the reins. While FIFA was saved from having to wind up, the football associations of the Home Nations, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland withdrew, as they weren’t willing to feature in international competitions where their enemies in the war were participating.
During World War II, FIFA suspended the World Cup, and it was reintroduced only in 1950 in Brazil. The good times were back again, with the Home Nations rejoining FIFA in 1946. By the year 1954, FIFA’s membership had extended to 85 nations.
World’s Favorite Game
Under the governance of FIFA, currently led by its president Gianni Infantino, football has strongly established itself as the world’s favorite game. It’s estimated by FIFA that by the turn of the 21st century itself, football approximately had a whopping 250 million players! It is estimated that the game has a following of an overwhelming 4 billion fans. Would you believe it, more than half of the world’s population aged four and above tuned in to watch the Football World Cup of 2018! Football rules the hearts of sports lovers, making FIFA the most prestigious global sport governing body.
Watch Safely with A VPN
While FIFA has marketed the game aggressively, taking it to every corner of the world, football being so fast is very entertaining indeed. Missing any action is out of the question, which is why it might be heartbreaking to find out that particular games are unavailable in your region. You can use a VPN to cure this sadness. It encrypts your connection to the internet and hides your IP address. Thus, by hiding your IP, you can conceal information about your location. Thus, the previously geo-blocked content will become available.
The future is bright for FIFA and the game of football. The game has been made so popular by FIFA. There’s talk of the World Cup being made a biennial affair soon. Now, that’s big business for FIFA and more engrossing games to look forward to!