It’s June and everyone is talking about the world cup, so should we
FIFA was founded on the 22nd of May 1904 by football associations of the following countries; France, Belgium, the Netherland, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany.
This international world tournament was first held in 1930 and the decision to do this was made by the then FIFA president Jules Rimet. The first edition organized was contested by just thirteen teams, but the world cup has come a long way since then with great acceptance around the world and its remodeling to currently accommodate 32 teams in the tournament which comes after a two years qualifying round of games , contested by over 200 teams across the globe.
In 1872 Scotland and England played the first international match officially, and this took place in Glasgow even though at the point the game was been played much outside Great Britain.
However in 1900 the sport football had become known and accepted around the world and countries where creating football associations. The first official match to be played outside Great Britain was between Uruguay and Argentina in Montevideo in the year 1902.
With the increasing popularity of the sport, FIFA as an organization tried to organize an international tournament between nations in 1906 and the venue was Switzerland but the official history recognizes this event as a failure.
In 1914 the Olympics was remodeled as a football tournament for amateurs, and thus were responsible for organizing the competition. The first intercontinental football tournament t, the summer Olympics 1920 was won by Belgium while the next two editions (1924 and 1928) were won by Uruguay.
FIFA in 1928 decided to stage her own international event. In LosAngeles where the 1932 summer Olympics took place, there was no plan to include football because it wasn’t a well followed sport in the United States, this was the simple reason why football wasn’t included on the games. This series of events led to the organizing of the very first world cup, and with Uruguay clinching the trophy twice and making preparations for a 50year celebration of itsindependence, they were named the host nation. And looking at were Uruguay was located geographically , most of the national associations involved refused to send their team across the Atlantic Ocean due to the cost the trip. FIFA finally convinceFrance, Belgium, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Romania to participate, a total of 13teams participated 4 from Europe, 2 from NorthAmerica& 7 SouthAmerican teams.
The first two matches in the competition to place at the same time and won by the United State and France, who beat Belgium 3-0 and the latter won Mexico by 4-1. Lucien Laurent of the French team scored the first officially recorded world cup goal while Bert Patenaude scored the first hat trick. In the later stages of the world cup Uruguay beat Argentina by 4goals to 2 in Montevideo to be crowned champions.
1934 saw Italy host the next edition of the world cup with sixteen teams in attendance. Titleholders Uruguay failed to turn up for the tournament, and so did the Bolivians and Paraguay . The implication of this action was that Brazil had a one way ticket to the finals, also in this tournament Egypt became the first African team to compete in the world cup. Italy won the tournament making them the first European to win it.
Europe was the center stage for the 1938 world cup, much to the dismay of SouthAmericans teams who had boycotted the previous edition. In this episode both host nation and title holders were handed automatic qualification, France had hosted the tournament but for the first time the host nation failed to win it, while Italy were crowned champions once again as they beat Hungary in the final. Ernest Willimowski scored for goals for Poland to creating a new record in his team’s 6-5 loss to Brazil.
Due to the World War II the tournament failed to hold and in 1942 there was an official bid to host the tournament from the Germans on the 13 august 1936 during FIFA’s23rd congress and more acts of war from the Europeans the 1942 led to the cancellation of the tournament.
FIFA lacked the resources or man power to host a successful tournament when the hostilities in 1945, a year was just not enough to plan a successful world cup in 1946. The only major tournament that was hosted in 1946 was the South American Championship regarded as the unofficial world cup by a majority of SouthAmericans. And on February 10 1946Argentina beat Brazil to clinch the title.
In 1950 the world cup resumed and Brazil were the host . The British teams participated they had withdrawn from the tournament due to their unwillingness to to compete against teams they had earlier fought against in the war. It also saw the return of Uruguay and some east European teams did not partake due to political reasons. Reigning champions Italy took part despite having them lose a team to the superga air disaster which took place in 1949. Uruguay were surprise winners after a final match against Brazil and for the second time were crowned champions.
The 1958world cup was won by Brazil hosted by Sweden. They became the first team to win a world cup that wasnt hosted by a country from their continent and only four teams have been able to repeat this.
(Brazil 1958, 1970, 1994, 2002, Argentina in 1986 , Spain in 2010 and Germany in 2014) .Wales was able to qualify due to the withdrawal of teams from Asia and Africa and Israel also qualified without playing a qualifying match. FIFA promptly gave a directive that all teams must play qualifying matches to be considered eligible to participate in the tournament. This would cup also brought Pele to lime light.
In 1962Chile held the world cup , an earthquake of 9.5 magnitudes struck , the competition was also rocked with violent tactics . In the final game Brazil beats Czechoslovakia to clinch the second world cup trophy in a row. Colombia’s MarcosColl made history when he scored a goal directly from the corner kick (the only one ever made in a world cup).
England hosted the 1966world cup and here marketing came to the fore a mascot and an official logo was introduced. In a run-up tournament the trophy was stolen but later found about a week later. Apartheid being practiced in South Africa led to their ban, and it remained effective until 1992 when FIFAaccepted the S.A football association. Just one slot for qualifying was allocated by FIFA to Asia, Africa and Oceania and this led to a withdrawal of the African nations. Eventual qualifiers from that zone were North Korea and they also became the first Asian team to reach the quarter finals of the competition, Italy happened to be one of the teams they went past. England came out victors of this tournament.Although amidst claims from FIFA president João Havelange (1974-1998) that the world cup was fixed to enable Germany and England win it. To this day the first player to score a hat trick inthe world cup finals remains Geoff Hurst.While Eusébio Sacristan was the tournaments highest goal scorer with nine goals.
Mexico 1970 saw a football war between Honduras and El Salvador which happened to occur same time with the qualifying stages. Israel was becoming difficult to place during the qualifiers due to politics as they were with Europe. They were later grouped alongside the Asians. The Democratic republic of Korea boycotted this game damning the consequences of automatic disqualification. Trophy holders England had a group stage encounter with Brazil with was worth the hype as Gordon Banks England’s goalie saved a yeast from Pele just as the ball made to cross the line, argued to be the best save ever made . A semi final clash between Italy and West Germany is another memorable event of this tournament as five goals went in during extra time and since had exhausted their number of permitted substitutes had to keep a man with a broken arm on the pitch. Italy won the game by 4 goals to 3 but couldn’t get passed Brazil who became the first country to win the world cup three times.
1974 saw a new trophy being created at the tournament being held in West Germany. Chile played a draw with the Soviets during their first UEFA/CONMEBOL intercontinental playoff and with the Soviets failing to travel to Chile for the return leg, Chile gainedautomatic qualification.East Germany, Australia, Haitiand Zaire all made it to their first tournament. There was also a new format that saw two top teams of four groups being paired into two groups of four teams each with the winners of each group playing against each other in the final. The host West Germany won this competition by beating the Netherland by 2goals to 1.