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FIFA History

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The Founding of FIFA

FIFA history begins after the first international match outside of England which was played in Paris between France and Belgium, it was decided that an international soccer association was needed.

Because of this, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in Paris on May 21, 1904. Representatives from France, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Denmark were present at the founding meeting and assisted in the organization of FIFA.

Two days after the founding, the first FIFA congress in FIFA history was held.

Robert Guérin from France was voted president, Carl Anton Wilhelm Hirschmann from the Netherlands and Victor E. Schneider from Switzerland were elected vice presidents, and Louis Muhlinghaus from Belgium, having the assistance of Ludvig Sylow from Denmark, was chosen for secretary and treasurer.

During the Wars

After two years Robert Guérin was replaced as president by Daniel Burley Woolfall from England in 1906.

In 1909 FIFA was joined by its first non-European nation (South Africa). This was shortly followed by the joining of Argentina and Chile in 1912 and Canada and the USA in 1913.

Woolfall worked hard to unite the rules of soccer around the world. He was effective as well. Nevertheless, it all started coming apart when he died in 1918. This along with the First World War which had started in 1914 and was just ending in 1918 dealt FIFA a major blow. It almost didn't survive the next few years, but it managed to hang on by a thread.

In 1921 a determined Frenchman named Jules Rimet was elected as president of FIFA. This man was a large part of regaining FIFA's popularity.

After soccer was renounced from the Olympics in 1928, Jules Rimet decided to hold an international tournament, an idea which had been long considered. A few countries offered to host the tournament, and in the end it was decided that it would be held in Uruguay due to its winning the last two Olympics and celebrating its 100th anniversary in 1930.

Therefore, the first World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930 with Uruguay triumphing over Argentina in the final game to become the world champions.

However, Rimet was only able to persuade four teams (France, Romania, Belgium, and Yugoslavia) to made the dangerous voyage across the Atlantic to join the first world cup.

Italy was chosen to host the next world cup in 1934, and followed Uruguay in the act of winning the hosted tournament. Jules Remit was then rewarded with hosting the 1938 world cup in his own country, France.

The next world cup did not happen because an organizer renounced his appointment with the FIFA congress in 1938. Germany would not have been there anyway, for they had quit FIFA until after World War II, saying that they would not be associated with former enemies.

Soccer fans just had to wait until 1946 for the next world cup. By which time World War II had ended.

After the Wars

After the world cup in 1954, Jules Rimet retired at 80 years old. He was replaced by Rodolphe Seeldrayers who died a year later. At this point there were now 85 FIFA members. Seeldrayer was replaced by Arthur Drewry from England. Drewry died in 1961 after 5 years of presidency. He was 70 years old when he died.

The next president of FIFA was Sir Stanley Rous, a British former referee.

FIFA still continued to gain popularity and world cup soccer was played on TV for the first time in FIFA history. Rous managed to bring the world cup's popularity up until it was only second to the Olympics.

In 1974, Rous was replaced by João Havelange from Brazil. Havelange brought many new ideas to FIFA he made a much more commercial organization. He also increased the number of teams in the world cup greatly. Havelange's ideas boosted FIFA in popularity incredibly. He managed to pull in many smaller countries. Soccer spread quickly around the world.

By the time Havelange was replaced in 1998 by Sepp Blatter from Switzerland, FIFA was very popular and had spread a long way.

And now, Sepp Blatter continues to be president of FIFA.

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