History of FIFA

What is the first thought to strike your mind while talking about football? Most definitely it is FIFA and the World Cup. Isn’t it? FIFA was established more than a century ago and has been enjoyed as a universal sport phenomenon since then. Despite the crooked reputation; the game has the power to hook millions of viewers from across the globe on their television screens. 

The inaugural year of the World Cup, in 1930, was a great success with 517 million live audiences on an average, and the number exceeded to 1.1 billion during the 90-minute contest between France and Croatia in 2018. Moreover, it is predicted that the spectators of the forthcoming 2022 matches would be insane. However, before the fore sighting, let’s look back at the FIFA World Cup history – when and why is it established? How is it related to World Cup? Who created it? And a lot more. Just keep reading till the end, so you don’t miss any important detail about your favorite sport.

What is FIFA? 

If we translate FIFA in English, then the abbreviation stands for International Federation of Association Football, while in French, it refers to as Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 

FIFA is basically a private association, and it is described as a governing body of football association, beach soccer and futsal. It is ranked as one of the largest and oldest NGOs present internationally. On 21 May 1904, FIFA was established in Paris with around 211 members. The headquarters of this association is present in Zürich, Switzerland, with around 37 council members. 

How FIFA Started?

In 1872, the first official match was held between two teams, England and Scotland at the Hamilton Crescent. However, it finished off with a 0-0 draw. On the same year, England won over the Scots with 4-2 at The Oval. It was followed by The Scottish Football Association – the second national football organization in the World. Earlier, the only governing body around the globe was the Football Association. 

As the love for football spread and the number of inter-nation matches increased; the need of a firm global governing body raised. The initial role of the association was to reflect upon the role of British in the history of football. However, the Home Nations Football Association rejected the idea, and it was led by Lord Kinnaird – the president of Football Association of that time. As a result, the continental Europe’s nation decided to unite the football governance of Denmark, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Sweden and Spain on May 21, 1904. While, Germany shook hands with the federation on the very same day through the telegram. And that’s how FIFA was established in Paris. 

Objectives of FIFA’S Establishment 

As mentioned earlier, in the start of the 20th century, when the sudden requirement of creating a single body to supervise association football emerged; FIFA (Fédération internationale de Football Association) was born in the headquarters of USFSA (Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques). The main purpose of FIFA’S establishment was to:

  • Spread football throughout the globe.
  • Make sure that the game is accessible to every interested player in the world.
  • FIFA organized and promoted several international tournaments, such as the men’s World Cup in the 1930 and The women’s World Cup in 1991. 
  • It is associated to International Olympic Committee as well and also known as the board member of International Football Association, which sets the ruling of the game

Affect Of The World War On Football 

In 1914, as the World War I was declared; Association Football was affected badly.

  • A majority of players were sent off to be a part of the war.
  • Competitions were suspended in several countries. 
  • Many great athletes died during the war.
  • Harrogate Town – the English club, had to play their first ever match on September 5, 1914. However, it never happened because of the outbreak of war.
  • The competitive football was dismissed in England from 1915 to 1919.
  • The FA Cup and Football League were also suspended and regional league competitions were held to replace them. However, the participation in these matches was not counted in the official records of the players.
  • Although Football League continued in Scotland, but the Scottish Cup was not played for the next five years.
  • In 1918, Woolfall died, and FIFA nearly collapsed due to the loss. Hirschmann appeared as a hope at that time and summoned an assembly in Brussels in 1919.
  • British Associations, however, didn’t show any interest in re-establishing any relationship with former enemies and chose to boycott FIFA until World War II ends.

Finally, in 1924, FIFA organized Olympics Games football tournaments with more than 60,000 viewers watching the finale between Switzerland and Uruguay. 

Post War Expansion

Later in 1946, four British nations came back and then on May 10, 1947, a match between the Rest of Europe XI and Great Britain was held at Hampden Park, Glasgow. This Match of the Century was won by the Britain with 6-1 score before 135,000 viewers. 

  • The proceeds from the competition was bestowed to FIFA, so they can re-launch the federation after World War II.
  • It led to the first post-war World Cup by FIFA, which was held in Brazil in 1950.
  • FIFA continued to grow since then. 

In The 1950s and 1960s

Rodolphe William of Belgium replaced Jules Rimet in 1954, but he died after a year. Later, Arthur Drewry (Englishman) enjoyed a short presidency till 1961 before his demise; Sir Stanley Rous replaced him. The new president was a former referee and football continued to spread all over the world during his era. In fact, for the first time in the history, World Cup showed up on the television screens. It would be fair to say that Rous contributed a lot in making the World Cup one of the top international sport events happened globally.

FIFA Controversies 

Things have never been smooth for FIFA in the beginning; the federation went through several trials before reaching the point of fame and success. 

  • FIFA was associated with bribery, vote-rigging and corruption by investigative journalists during the elections when the organization and Sepp Blatter (FIFA President) decided to award World Cup of 2018 and 2022 to Russia and Qatar respectively.
  •  As a result, five corporate executives and nine high-ranked officials were charged for money-laundering, wire fraud and racketeering by the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • Swiss authorities arrested many of these officials on May 27, 2015. Moreover, numerous members were dismissed by ethics committee of FIFA, including Michael Platini and Sepp Blatter. 
  • Later in the early 2017, the reports associated with FIFA President Gianni Infantino became public in which he tried to stop re-elections for chairmen of ethics committee for both, Hans-Joachim Eckert and Cornel Borbély.  

Some of The Competent Presidents of FIFA

  • From 1904 to 1906; Robert Guerin – a French journalist, remained the first president of FIFA. 
  • From 1921 to 1954, Jules Rimet served the federation, and he enjoyed the longest Presidency. In fact, the World Cup trophy is named after him, Rimet.
  • Currently, Gianni Infantino is serving as a president of FIFA. He was selected in 2016 and in 2019, he was re-elected. 

Have a look at the chart below to learn the name of FIFA presidents from the beginning till today. 

President  Presidency Span Nationality 
Robert Guerin  1904 to 1906 France
Daniel Burley Woolfall  1906 to 1918  England 
Cornelis Hirschmann  1918 to 1921 The Netherlands 
Jules Rimet  1921 to 1954 France
Rodolphe Seeldrayers  1954 to 1955 Germany 
Arthur Drewry  1955 to 1961 England 
Sir Stanley Rous  1961 to 1974 England 
Dr João Havelange 1974 to 1998 Brazil
Sepp Blatter  1998 to 2015 Switzerland 
Issa Hayatou 2015 to 2016 Cameroon
Gianni Infantino  2016 to present Italy/Switzerland 


The flag of FIFA features a blue background with the logo of organization in the middle. The recent FIFA flag was appeared at opening of the 2018 FIFA World Cup ceremony happened in Moscow, Russia. Since then, same flag has been seen in all the related matches.

History of FIFA Anthem

FIFA Hymn, also known as FIFA Anthem, is basically an instrumental song that is played before starting any event sponsored by FIFA, such as association football and futsal tournament and matches. 

  • FIFA Anthem was played for the very first time at 1994 World Cup. The song was instrumental without lyrics. It was arranged by Simon Hill and Rob May, while the composition was done by Franz Lambert.
  • The anthem was re-recorded and rearranged in 2004 as an improved version by Gota Yashiki, and it is still used on the playgrounds. The song was played in the FIFA World Cups of 2010 and 2014.

Awards And Recognition 

  • FIFA arranges award ceremony every year to recognize individual achievements and team work since 2016 named as the Best FIFA Football Awards. 
  • The awards were further categorized as The Best FIFA Men’s Player, the Best FIFA Women’s Player, FIFA FIFPro World11 and the Best FIFA Football Coach.
  • FIFA introduced two awards in 2000 as FIFA Player of the Century and FIFA Club of the Century to appreciate the greatest football player and club of the 20th century. 

Final Words

FIFA has done a major contribution in the World of Football for good. However, the journey of this organization was full of hardships and controversies. It went through several trials before reaching to the position it is today! 

The venture was started in the 19th century, but re-launched after the World War I in the 1950s. The main purpose of this federation was to establish a uniform governing body of football that is followed and practiced globally. In the initial years, many officials were suspended and arrested as the result of bribery charges against the association. However, all is well when the end is good. Today, FIFA has earned the much-deserved love from all over the world. 

Are you a football fan? If not, try watching some amazing movies on the subject to develop your interest.

Exit mobile version