What is FIFA in soccer?
History of FIFA
FIFA, or the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, was founded in 1904 in Sweden, and its headquarters are based in Zurich. It was originally created as a governing body for a combination of soccer teams from France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. It has since grown to include 211 different national associations and their related teams.
FIFA itself is divided into six conferences: Africa, Asia, Europe, North/Central American and the Caribbean, and South America. These different conferences have their own tournaments, along with a combined tournament known as the FIFA World Cup. Both Men's and Women's teams have their own tournaments.
FIFA's mission is to bring attention to the game of football/soccer and to make it available globally. It is considered a governing body in the world of soccer and aims to bring soccer to as many people as it can.
What Does FIFA Do?
While FIFA is not in charge of determining the actual rules implemented in the game, they do organize many tournaments and maintain the promotion of those tournaments. It began organizing Olympic level competitions in the 1920s, with earlier attempts being unsuccessful due to lack of participation and advertisement.
Along with organizing tournaments, FIFA is also in charge of upholding the rules of the game set by the International Football Association Board and making sure that updates to these rules are followed and understood.
FIFA Congress is a legislative group that acts as a system of checks within the governing body. They create amendments to the rules created and make sure that the game is constantly updated and developed. They are also in charge of electing a FIFA president every four years.
The Executive Committee:
There is also a committee within FIFA called the executive committee which is overseen by the president. They oversee discipline, finance, and referees. This committee also includes a group who advise the executive on carrying out certain developments in the game. It also holds a General Secretariat who is the administrative power of the committee.
FIFA World Cup
The first FIFA World Cup was hosted in 1930 in Uruguay and continued every four years. The Women's World Cup began later in 1991, and now the competitions alternate every two years. The competition is aimed at connecting nations together through the sport. It also uses this platform to promote inclusiveness within the sport, and ultimately development. Several times, FIFA has decided to disallow teams from competing due to poor team management or government interference. Their main goal is to create an inclusive fair environment for nations to compete in.
Before the competitions, teams go through three years of qualification to be considered for entry. Host nations are the only teams who have a guaranteed spot in the competition. Teams from each of the six FIFA confederations are included in the tournament, with a specific number coming from each. This number changes annually based on the Committee's decision. Ultimately, 32 teams make it to the beginning of the tournament and are able to play at least three games before the higher scoring teams move on to further rounds.
The winning team is titled the World Cup Champion team, and they receive the trophy pictured below. Reaching the finals of the competition can earn teams approximately $9.5 million. In 2018, the winning team earned $38 million, while the second place team earned $28 million.