116 Years of FIFA: Here Are Some Facts

Sports | May 21, 2020, Thursday // 15:59|  views


On May 21, 1904, in the French capital, Paris, representatives of the football associations of France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland signed the documents officially establishing the world's largest football association, whose main purpose was the creation of smaller associations to be national representations of the countries of the world. In 2020, 211 national associations are members of FIFA.

The International Football Association is the founder of the largest sporting event in the world - the World Cup. The start of the tournament was set in 1930, and Uruguay was chosen as the host. In the final, Uruguay won 4: 2 over Argentina and became the first world football champion, as well as the first host to win the tournament. 

In the history of the World Cup the most times the title has been won by Brazil - 5 times, and Germany and Italy have been world champions 4 times. Only twice have teams from Brazil, Germany, Italy or Argentina failed to reach the final, as that was the case during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa when Spain faced the Netherlands in the last match and in 2018 in Russia when France defeated Croatia.  

The final of the World Cup in 2002, when Brazil last won the World Cup, was watched by 1.1 billion people, making it the most watched sporting event in history.  

In addition to the European Football Championship, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations - Europe) is also the organizer of the most prestigious football tournament for club teams - the Champions League. All UEFA member states take part in it, the most successful being Spain, whose teams have won the club tournament 18 times.  

Since 1993, the most ardent football fans have been enjoying the computer game FIFA, as it is the only football simulator that has an official license from the International Football Association. The computer game is one of the best-selling titles in the history of gaming, with new versions of the game coming out every year. FIFA 2020 is the 27th edition of the game and to date is played by over 10 million people every month.  

The biggest corruption scandal in the modern history of FIFA took place on December 21, 2015, when the FIFA Ethics Committee decided to remove for eight years from football the President of the International Football Federation (FIFA) Joseph Blatter and the head of the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) Michel Platini, for illegally receiving a transfer of 2 million Swiss francs, which Platini took from Blatter in 2011. 

In 2019, Michel Platini was arrested for questioning on suspicion of corruption related to the selection of Qatar to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

For the last 25 years, football has become the most popular game. It is becoming a topic and factor for many other areas besides sports - society, trade and politics. It is part of the leisure industry, opening new markets for itself and for businesses around the world. 

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