FIFA stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association and the first FIFA world cup came into being in 1930 in Uruguay. The commencement of the first FIFA world cup was history in the making. The soccer world cup came into being only after the game met with success in numerous other tournaments across the world.
Soccer Championships – Where it all started
The first soccer match ever recorded in history was between England and Scotland in Glasgow in 1872. This was followed by the British Home Championship that was started in 1888 and at this point in time, the popularity of the sport remained within the United Kingdom only. In the early 19th century, soccer started becoming popular outside the UK and was being played largely as a demonstration sport. This simply meant that there were no medals or awards for the taking. In fact, soccer was introduced in the 1900 as well as 1904 Summer Olympics in France and Canada respectively. Only 3 club teams participated in the tournament during both the Summer Olympics. Soccer was also played in the 1906 Summer Olympics also known as the Intercalated Games in Athens and there was participation from 4 teams including 3 clubs.
Following the 1904 Olympics, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) was formed. The Federation made an attempt to organize an international soccer tournament between countries that were outside of the Olympic framework. This tournament is considered as the first ever step towards modern soccer championships and this was held in Switzerland in 1906. The sad news is that FIFA declared this competition as a complete failure.
Soccer went on to become an official sport in the 1908 Olympics in England and it was only in 1914 that FIFA started recognizing the Olympic soccer tournament as a «world football championship for amateurs.» Following their acceptance, FIFA agreed upon taking the responsibility of the management of the event. This opened the doors for the first international soccer competition in the form of 1920 Olympics. The champions were Belgium followed by Uruguay in the next two Olympics in 1924 and 1928.
The FIFA world cup
The success of soccer in Olympic tournaments made FIFA reconsider their dream of organizing an international championship. With President Jules Rimet heading from the front, the FIFA congress in a meeting at Amsterdam in 1928 decided to organize a world championship. The host country for the first FIFA world cup was named as Uruguay since they were two time Olympic Champions. So in 1930, the first FIFA world cup came into existence. The first soccer world cup saw participation from 13 countries including 7 from South America, 4 from Europe, and 2 from North America.
The first FIFA world cup matches were held simultaneously on 18 July 1930 and the winners were France and USA. Uruguay went on to become the champions by defeating Argentina 4-2 in front of a 93,000 strong home crowd in Montevideo. The FIFA world cup is played once every 4 years with 32 teams participating for the trophy.
The last FIFA world cup (2006) was held in Germany and Italy was crowned as the champions. The next FIFA world cup (2010) is going to be held in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010.