FIFA, otherwise known as the Federation Internationale de Football Association, is the world’s top soccer governing body. Founded in May 21, 1904 in Paris, France, FIFA is responsible for supervising international competitions (such as the World Cup) and safeguarding the sport against negative imagery and its rules against abuse. The founding members were the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Also, that same day, the German Association declared its intention of affiliating through a telegram. England originally snubbed FIFA, feeling that soccer was an English game and should be governed by the English Football Association. England joined FIFA in 1906. The first tournament FIFA staged was the association football competition for the 1908 Olympics in London.
Membership of FIFA expanded beyond Europe with the application of South Africa in 1908, Argentina and Chile in 1912, and Canada and the United States in 1913. During World War I, with many players sent off to war and the possibility of travel for international fixtures severely limited, the organisation’s survival was in doubt. It was saved from extinction, but at the cost of the withdrawal of the Home Nations (of the United Kingdom), who cited an unwillingness to participate in international competitions with their recent World War enemies. The Home Nations later resumed their membership.
The first World Cup competition came about in 1930 in Uruguay. Now based in Zurich, Switzerland, FIFA implements development programs to promote soccer throughout the world. To date, FIFA has 205 member national associations. Helping FIFA in coordinating with the various national associations are six trusted confederations scattered all over the world. Soccer fans are some of the loudest, most enthusiastic of any sports fans. The world’s largest stadiums are dedicated to the sport of soccer. FIFA recorded more than a billion fans worldwide accessed information about the world cup 2014 through its digital platforms.