FIFA (Federation International de Football Association), founded in 1904 is the international governing body of Association football. They also govern futsal and beach soccer. FIFA though is not in charge of making the rules. They are saddled with the responsibility of organizing the biggest sporting event in the world, the FIFA world cup, and all other football world cups, both age-related and for the females. These would be the FIFA U-17 world cup and FIFA U-20 world cup (for males and females under the ages of 17 and 20)
The first world was hosted by Uruguay in 1930 and was also won by them, the tournament consisted of 13 teams. 4 years later the team number rose to 16 and it stayed that way until 1982 when they became 24. France 98′ saw the number of teams rising to 32 with 5 confederations, and it has stayed like that till now. Gianni Infantino FIFA president has proposed raising the number of teams to 48, the FIFA council has agreed to this. So by 2026, 48 teams will be expected at the world cup.
The most successful team at the world cup is Brazil, they have won the trophy 5 times, followed by Germany, who has won it 4 times.
The most successful team at FIFA U-17 world cup is Nigeria, ironically, they are yet to get to the semifinal of the FIFA World Cup. Brazil also is second on this list.
Fun Fact #1; Player loses Shorts
A penalty shootout was underway. Italy’s Guissepe Meazza’s stepped up to the ball. Midway through the kick, for some inexplicable reason, his shorts fell! The whole stadium erupted in guffaws and laughter. He scored the penalty, meanwhile, the Brazilian goalkeeper couldn’t stop laughing. This was in 1938, and it was the Semi-Final match between Brazil and Italy. Italy won the match and went on to win the world cup, Guissepe Meazza had the last laugh, and he laughed loudest.
Some more Facts/History
Only one player has won the world cup three times, his mother named him Edson Arantes Nascimento, but for some reason, the world calls him Pele. He won it in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
Only two teams have won the world cup, back to back, the Samba Boys of Brazil (1958 and 1962) and the Azurris of Italy (1934 and 1938).
Only one coach has won the trophy back to back, and that’s the Italian Coach, Vittorio Pozzo, he led the Italians to victory in 1934 and 1938.
Since the inception of the world cup in 1934, no country has won the world cup with a foreign coach. Only one country has been to every single world cup; that’s Brazil.
There’ve have been 20 FIFA world cups till date, hosted by a total of 16 countries. 79 countries have taken part in the world cup but only 8 countries have won it. Some on multiple occasions. What happened to the other countries, did they come to just complete the numbers?
Fun Fact #2: Tale of Ironies
England and Spain have the best football league in the world, with clubs from these countries being the most successful in European club competitions. But they have both won the world cup just once, with England winning it in 1966 and Spain in 2010.
Fun Fact #3: Cursed or What?!
Brazil has hosted the world cup twice, yet they have never won the trophy on home soil. Instead, they’ve suffered shocking losses sometimes at home. The latest was in the 2010 world cup, where they lost 7-1 to Germany in front of a home crowd. And then in 1950 when they hosted for the first time, they lost the final in front of a home crowd of over 150 thousand people. Despite being the better team by far and needing only a draw to win the tournament.
More Facts and History
The first president of FIFA was Rober Guerin. FIFA presidents are some of the longest-serving presidents in the world, Sepp Blatter was president from 1998 till 2015 when he was ousted on charges of corruption. After spending 17 years in the oval office, next is Havelange and the father of them all is Jules Rimet. He was president from 1921 to 1954, spending 33 years in the office. His achievement includes him organizing the first world cup.
The acronym FIFA is in French, and it is used in all parts of the world, including none french speaking countries. Meanwhile, FIFA has four official languages viz English, French, German and Spanish.
Goal line technology was first used in FIFA 2014 world cup, and VAR technology (video assistant referee) will be used for the first time in the 2018 World cup.
The youngest player at a world cup competition is Norman Whiteside from Northern Ireland, he was just 17 years and 41 days. Here comes a fun fact. He was grounded by his family on his return from the tournament because he didn’t send back a message to tell them he had arrived safely at the tournament.
The youngest player to score at the world cup is Pele, this was in 1958. He was 17 days and 239 years old.
And the oldest player to score at the world cup is Roger Miller who did this while he was 42 years and 39 days. The Cameroonian is also the oldest player to participate in a world cup game. This was in the 1994 world cup.
Lothar Matthaus was the first FIFA footballer of the year, this was in 1990 and he is the only German to have won it. George Weah, the new president of Liberia is the first African to win the FIFA footballer of the year, this was in 1995. And he’s the only African to have won it to date. Lothar Matthaus also has played in the most world cup games, he has 25 games to his name.
Fun Fact #4: World Cup Heist
The first world cup trophy also known as the Jules Rimet trophy was first stolen in 1966. It was found 7 days later by David Corbett and his dog Pickles. All in time for the opening ceremony. Naturally, Mr Corbett was thought to be a suspect, but he had an alibi, no not pickles, someone else. Pickles became a celebrity, as he was used in some movies and then David Corbett also receive a reward of #6000, about double the value of the trophy. This happened in England.
The second time the trophy was stolen was in Brazil, this was in 1983. Brazil had won the trophy in 1970 and got the trophy in perpetuity as a reward for winning it for the third time. the cup was stolen from the Brazilian confederation building. The trophy was never recovered. A replica though has been presented to the Brazillian football confederation.
No country can win the world cup in perpetuity now, the winners get a gold plated bronze replica.
Fun Fact #5: Visa Free Zone
The 2018 FIFA World Cup scheduled to hold in Russia will be the 21st tournament. Now here comes the fun fact, no Visas will be needed for those attending the world cup in Russia. All you need is a fan id to access the country during this period, irrespective of your nationality. At at the stadiums along with your Ticket you’d also need your Fan id. If you don’t have a ticket by now, then you probably shouldn’t bother looking for one. Ticket sales through official portals ended on 31st of January. About 1 million tickets have been sold.