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The Fédération Internationale de Football Association or most commonly known as FIFA is the international ruling body of not only association football but also beach soccer and futsal. Its mission is to maintain first-class standards in soccer and ensure the constant development of the sport. That aside, FIFA is also in charge of the IFAB*-maintained Laws of the Game.
Founded in 1904 in Paris, it started by bringing together the soccer governing bodies of:
The British countries were initially left out but soon joined in too some year later. Today, FIFA counts 208 member countries.
The first FIFA president was Robert Guerin, who was called to face several challenges in organising a tournament. However, things got better during the years of the next president, Daniel Burley Woolfall. Nevertheless, FIFA’s hardships were far from over, when the World War I broke out, which affected the international soccer.
*International Football Association Board
Organising Soccer Olympic Games
Shortly after the end of WWI, FIFA bounced back and started organizing Olympic Games soccer tournaments with impressive success at a time when soccer was abandoned from the Games. In fact, FIFA organized its own championship in 1928, which was hosted in Uruguay – the country that had won the previous two Olympic Games.
The FIFA World Cup Tournament
Held in July 13, 1930, the first World Cup tournament was the talk of the town and had participants from four European members. Four years later, the second World Cup was held in Italy. Since then, FIFA has been organizing one tournament every four years with an exception during the WWII, where the tournament was skipped twice. However, the body kept receiving new members from across the globe.
New ideas for further development and improvements emerged with every new president, which have helped make the body’s popularity increase dramatically over the years.
Women’s World Cup
Besides the World Cup, which comprises a major international soccer tournament with millions of fans the world over, FIFA’s next most important soccer tournament is the Women’s World Cup, which started in 1991. At first, FIFA wanted to test the waters and see if a global women’s World Cup was possible. For that reason, FIFA hosted an invitational tournament in China, in 1988. With a total of 12 national teams taking part, the competition was deemed with great success, which made FIFA approve the establishment of an official World Cup.
The FIFA eWorld Cup
Also referred to as the FIFA Interactive World Cup, it is an eSports tournament held by both FIFA and EA Sports and gives football fans the opportunity to win the Best FIFA Player title by fighting for it online. The first eWorld Cup took place in Switzerland in 2004 and it has grown enormously since then (over 2.4 million players signing up for each tournament). No wonder it appeared in the Guinness World Records in 2010! Five years later, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players competed against each other for the first time in the history of the competition.