In 1928, FIFA decided to host its own international competition besides the Olympics. Uruguay's proposal stood out above five European nations' so FIFA selected them to host the first FIFA World Cup in 1930. 13 teams, 7 from South America, 4 from Europe and 2 from North America participated in the tournament. The final was played between the Uruguay and Argentina to an audience of 93,000 people. Uruguay beat Argentina four - two.
The original world cup trophy
Differences between FIFA and the International Olympic Committee caused FIFA to abandon plans to organize an Olympic Football Tournament for the 1932 Olympic Games.
Italy hosted the FIFA second World Cup in 1934. After qualifying matches, 16 teams made it to the finals. The home team again won the Cup. For the first time, fans unable to attend the event in person could hear the final match on the radio.
The cup for the winning team was called Victory at that time. The cup was made of sterling silver and depicted the Greek Goddess, Nike. The cup's name was changed to the Jules Rimet Cup in 1946 in honor of the founder and first president of FIFA.
France hosted the World Cup in 1938, where Italy won and returned home with the Cup. The outbreak of World War II interrupted the four-year interval schedule of the FIFA World Cup. Competition resumed in 1950, when the Cup was held in Brazil.
The FIFA cup was stolen while on show in London, on March 22nd 1966. - The cup was on show in London that year as England was the host country, the country did not win the cup until 31 of July of that year - Despite a frantic countrywide search, it was to be found one week later, wrapped in newspaper under a garden hedge, by a mongrel dog called Pickles, who was being walked by his owner in South East London. The dog's owner received a £5,000 reward and Pickles was announced a national hero.
Four years later in 1970 the cup was awarded to Brazil for winning their third title, but was stolen in 1983. It was never recovered from this theft.
The FIFA world cup trophy
A new cup was made for the 1974 tournament. Designed by Silvio Gazzaniga, it measures 36 cm high and is made from 18 carat gold with a semi - precious malachite base. This cup depicts two human hands holding the world aloft and is simply called the FIFA World Cup Trophy. Winners of the trophy keep it until the next tournament, when they are then presented with a gold plated replica. The name of each winning team is inscribed on the base of the cup in English.
Between 1975 and 2002, more than 60 associations joined FIFA. As global participation in FIFA increased, so did the number of teams competing in the World Cup. Since it's beginnings in 1930, the World Cup has had 18 tournaments with FIFA now having 208 members from the six continental zones of Africa, Asia, North and Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Oceania and Europe. The contest's expansion grew to 16 teams from 1934 to 1976, 24 teams from 1982 to 1998 and 32 teams from 1998 to 2010.
A growing FIFA organization also considered World Cup host sites beyond Europe and the Americas. In 2002, the World Cup went to Asia as Korea and Japan won the bid to co-host the event, and in 2010, South Africa was the first African country to host.
Two hundred and four countries attempted to qualify for the 2010 world cup tournament, with games being played over a two year period. The World Cup was first televised in 1954. Today the tournament is the most viewed sporting event in the world, with the 2006 tournament having over 700 million viewers from around the world.
For every World Cup a special ball is made for use in the finals.
Abandon- Give up completely
Hedge- A fence or boundary formed by closely growing bushes
Theft- To steal
Replica- An exact copy or model of something
Inscribe- to write or carve
Written by Kanwal Raza