The FIFA World Cup has come a long way to become what it is today, and its early days deserve just as much attention as its current prime. In this article, we’ll be discussing the interesting history of the FIFA World Cup.
Before the World Cup was founded, the most illustrious football competition was the one that was staged as a part of the Summer Olympics. However, throughout the 1920s, the sport was on the verge of a move to professionalism which was not in sync with the Olympics.
In light of this fact, the governing organization of football known as FIFA began making preparations to host a World Cup. On May 26, 1928, an official declaration was made on the decision to arrange the inaugural event.
Due in large part to the fact that the Olympics do not allow professional athletes to compete, there was a need for an international football event for the top football nations of the world. In response to this necessity, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) held the first football World Cup tournament in Uruguay, Montevideo, in 1930.
Since then, the tournament has been held once every four years, although, following two additional tournaments in 1934 (in Italy) and 1938 (in France), there was an exception of a 12-year break due to the World War.
Despite this, there were already unofficial tournaments similar to the FIFA World Cup being played in the late 1800s, back when there were just a handful of national teams.
A second unofficial “world cup” was organized before 1930 and it was titled the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy which took place in 1909 and 1911. In addition to this, the football tournaments that took place during the Summer Olympics would serve as a measure of which national teams were the best before the year 1930.
However, the Olympic events were only open to amateur teams; and that was the point at which the World Cup started making steps toward becoming the real deal.
95% of all sports fans throughout the world are familiar with the Men’s World Cup, which is evidence that it is the most well-known sporting event on the planet. As was the case with previous World Cups, billions of spectators from more than 200 countries will be watching or streaming the tournament.
Not only are there billions of spectators waiting with bated breath to watch this event, but a significant number of them are also eagerly anticipating placing their bets on the World Cup!
The gigantic athletic event will almost certainly continue to draw massive crowds and plenty of attention from sports bettors. Football accounts for a significant share of the overall market for online sports betting across the world.
This is notably true in European countries like Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. In point of fact, up to 90% of all sports wagers placed with UK bookmakers are on football.
According to research, the total amount bet on the World Cup in 2018 was roughly 136 billion euros. From the 2014 World Cup to the 2018 World Cup, betting activity increased by a staggering 50% all by itself in the United Kingdom.
In point of fact, there was an average turnover of betting tickets worth €2.1 billion for each game in 2018. This year, that number is set to be absolutely destroyed since it is the first opportunity for American fans of football to bet online, after the ruling that legalized sports betting by the Supreme Court in 2018.
In 1930, there were a total of 13 teams competing in the first World Cup. Before the year 1978, there were only 16 teams competing in the competition. Beginning in 1982, there were 24 teams, and in 1998, the field expanded to its present level of 32 participants.
In 2017, a decision was made to increase the number of teams competing in the World Cup to 48 beginning in 2026. The format will include a total of 16 groups, each with 3 different teams.
Nobody else’s national team has done as well in the World Cup as Brazil has. The Selecao have won the event a record five times, the most recent of which was in 2002 when a superb cast of players including Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, and Rivaldo defeated Germany by 2-0 in the finals.
The Germans are in second place on the list of nations who have had the greatest success at the World Cup, having won the tournament on four separate occasions (three times as West Germany and one as a unified nation in 2014). Italy is tied with Germany for the most World Cup titles with four victories. Uruguay was the first team to ever win the Jules Rimet trophy, which they did in 1930. They went on to win another championship in an unexpected manner in 1950. Additionally, Argentina has taken home two championships.