In celebration of the 2014 Fifa World Cup, we’re going to take a peek inside the locker rooms of the international tournament and talk about the history of the competition and the sport.
The first Fifa World Cup was held in 1930. This one had only 13 teams participating, and was held in Uruguay. That host team hold the title of being the winners of the first ever tournament. There were seven teams from South America, two from North America, and four from Europe.
The current structure allows for 32 teams from around the world, and this was instated in 1998. The qualifying teams are divided up by continents as follows:
Africa: 5 places
Europe: 13 places
Asia: 4 or 5 places
South America: 4 or 5 places
North and central America; Caribbean: 3 or 4 places
Oceania: 0 or 1 places
It’s interesting to note that the WC has not run consecutively every four years since it began; during the Second World War, two concurrent tournaments were cancelled, namely 1942 and 1946, and the following one commenced in 1950, in Brazil.
The current hosts hold five titles, which makes them the country that has won the most number of times, while the team to have won the second most number of times is Italy, with four wins. Brazil is also the only team that has played in every single tournament.
The competition is said to be the most watched sport in the world; the 2010 South African WC was broadcast to 204 countries on 245 channels, and the average number of spectators at the matches was almost 50, 000. Public viewing places have also become increasingly popular, with more than 6 million people attending these around the world in 2010.
The next two competitions will be held in Russia and Qatar.
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