FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World CupThe FIFA World Cup, which is often referred to as the World Cup, is an international football competition. Senior menís national football teams, which are members of the FIFA, play against each other once every four year. The tournament is one of the biggest international competitions in the world. This article will address the history of the World Cup as well as the qualification and selection process.


The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, more commonly known as FIFA, was founded in 1904. In this same year, the organization tried to organize an international football tournament. The countries that were allowed to participate were those outside the Olympic framework. This first attempt of organizing an international football competition in 1906. However, in the history of FIFA this competition was considered to be a great failure. The first international competition was initiated by the British Football Association, also known as the FA. The event which was organized in 1908 in London was an event in which amateur football clubs could attend. This same competition was organized four years later in Stockholm since it was considered to be a success. However, since this competition only allowed for amateur teams to participate, Sir Thomas Lipton organized a competition in 1909 in Turin. This tournament, which was called the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy, was an event which allowed individual clubs to participate. Each individual club would not be a national team, but it would represent a particular nation. The Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy is often referred to as being the first World Cup. This is also due to the fact because some of the most prestigious professional clubs attended. For example, teams from Switzerland, Germany and Italy participated in the competition. However, the FA did not want to be associated with the tournament and it is for this reason that they did not send any of their teams to represent England. A couple of years later in 1914, FIFA recognized this tournament as being the world football championship for amateurs. From this moment onwards, the organization took the responsibility of managing the tournament in the future. FIFA organized various competitions from 1914. In 1928, the FIFA Congress decided to organize a large-scale event which later became known as the first actual FIFA World Cup. In 1930, the inaugural World Cup tournament was help in Uruguay.


Teams winning the World Cup between 1930 and 1970 would be awarded the Jules Rimet Trophy. While it was commonly known as being the World Cup trophy or the Coup du Monde, in 1946 it was renamed. Jules Rimet was the FIFA president who was responsible for organizing the first FIFA World Cup. In 1970, it was the third time that Brazil won the international football competition. Since they won the tournament for the third time, it was decided that they could keep the trophy permanently. However, a couple of years later the trophy was stolen. The trophy has never been found after that and it is speculated that those who stole the trophy melted it down. After it was decided that Brazil could keep the trophy permanently, a new trophy was designed. This trophy is referred to as the FIFA World Cup Trophy. In the process of deciding with which new trophy to go with, a total of 53 models were presented. The FIFA Committee eventually decided to go for the model which was designed by the Italian designer called Silvio Gazzaniga. The new trophy is 36 cm high and weighs a little bit more than 6 kilograms. Moreover, three-quarters of the trophy is made of 18 carat gold. The base of the trophy is made up of two layers of malachite and in the bottom of the trophy the name of the winning team is engraved. This has been done since 1974. The winning teams do not get to keep the trophy permanently. They get to keep it until the post-match celebration is finished. Instead, the winners receive a gold-plated replica of the trophy instead of the solid gold one. The winners of the competition also receive a medal. Both the players, coaches and the managers of the top three teams receive medals. The winners receive a golden medal, the runners-up receive a silver medal and the third-place receive a bronze medal.

Qualification process

The second World Cup was held in 1934. From this moment onwards, various qualifying tournaments were held as a lead up to the final tournament. By organizing qualifying tournaments, there would eventually be less participants at the final tournament. The qualifying tournaments were held in the six FIFA continental zones. These zones are Europe, Oceania, Africa, Asia, South America and North and Central America and the Caribbean. These qualifying tournaments are each overseen by the confederations which are responsible for the particular region. However, FIFA does decide the number of teams which get to play in the final tournament. They award a number of places to each continental zone. The number of places awarded usually depend on the strength of the teams of the confederation. Thus, since the European confederation has a strong number of national teams, they usually get to send a high number of teams to the final tournament. Per confederation it depends when the qualifying process starts. However, usually the process starts about three years before the final tournament. The qualifying process often can last up to two years. There is not one single qualification process for each confederation. It is usually the case that one of two places are awarded to those teams which win the intercontinental play-offs. Since the World Cup which was held in 1938, host countries which host the final tournament are automatically qualified for the final tournament. While it was also the case that defending champions between 1938 and 2002 would also be automatically qualified to participate in the final tournament, this was changed in 2006. Thus, this means that every teams has to go through the qualification process, except the country that is hosting the World Cup for that specific year.

Selection process

The way in which it is decided where FIFA World Cups are held has received a lot of criticism over the years. The locations have been controversial since it has always been the case that South American and European teams were the strongest teams in the competition. However, in the past it was not always possible to hold competitions in these areas since travelling between the two areas meant over three weeks of travel by boat. For example, due to the fact that the first World Cup was held in Uruguay, only four European national teams could compete in the international football competition. The following competitions were both held in Europe which caused controversy. The South American national teams believed that it was only fair to alternate between the two continents in order for all countries to be able to participate in the competition. It was for this reason that both Uruguay and Argentina did not participate in the 1938 World Cup. Since 1958, the competition was held between host countries in Europe and the Americas. This was decided in an attempt to avoid controversy. This pattern continued up until 1998. From 2002, this pattern was broadened to Asia as well where the competition was held in both Japan and South Korea. This was a new development in the World Cup since it was not only the first time that a tournament was held outside the Americas and Europe, but it was also the case that the tournament was held in multiple countries. The tournament in 2010 which was held in South Africa was the first tournament which was held in Africa. Nowadays, it is the case that host countries are chosen by the Executive Committee of FIFA. Once a country has been chosen to host the tournament, a group of FIFA representatives visits the country and identifies whether the country fulfills the requirements to host the competition.

2015 corruption case

One of the most recent news headlines regarding the organization are in relation to the 2015 FIFA corruption case. Criminal charges of bribery, fraud and money laundering have been associated with FIFA officials. It is estimated that the officials have been taking bribes of over 150 million dollars for a period of 24 years. In May 2015, the US Justice Department found 14 people guilty of money laundering, racketeering and wiring money. After the FIFA officials were found guilty, more arrests have been made between May and December 2015. While the case was still ongoing, FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced that he would relinquish his position from February 2016. In 2015, more officials admitted that they had been bribed in order to promote the World Cups which were held in 1998 and 2010. Furthermore, in December 2015 two FIFA vice-presidents were arrested as well. They were both arrested on the suspicion of bribery. They were arrested in Switzerland, in Zurich. This is the same place as where the other FIFA officials had been arrested in May. Shortly after their arrest, the US Department of Justice announced an additional 16 indictments against those who were suspected of fraud.


Up until today, the finals of the World Cup have only been won by teams which are from Europe and South America. The winning national teams are both parts of either UEFA or CONMEBOL, which are the confederations of Europe and South America respectively. European national football teams have won a total of eleven World Cup titles, while South American football clubs have won a total of nine titles. Only two teams have ever reached the semi-finals of the competition which were not part of the two aforementioned confederations. The first team which reached the semi-final was the United States of America in 1930. South Korea reached the semi-final of the World Cup in 2002. Some African teams have also made it relatively far. In 1990, Cameroon reached the quarter-finals of the competition as well as Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010. Oceanian teams have not been very strong throughout the competition. Only Australia managed to make it to the second round of the competition in 2006. Germany, Spain, Brazil and Argentina are the only teams which won a World Cup outside their own confederation. Germany was the first European team to win a World Cup in the Americas in 2014. Spain won the World Cup in 2010, which was held in South Africa. European football clubs have won more World Cups compared to South American teams. Europe is currently ahead by two competitions.


Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 1404x
Added: 25-12-2016 18:31
Last modified: 31-01-2017 22:52

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