World Cup Tales: The Story Of The First World Cup, 1930

It should come as no great surprise to any seasoned FIFA watchers that the entire history of the organisation has been about its politicking, and still less that this has frequently extended itself into the hosting of its showpiece tournament, the World Cup. When we go back as far as to look at the formation of the organisation, we see one that was at its very formation unilateralist and was riven from its very early days with divisions between nations from different parts of the world. So, how did FIFA and the World Cup come to be, and how was it that an organisation that was largely based in Europe came to hold the first major tournament under its own complete control in a country of just three million people in South America? FIFA first came together in May 1904, with representatives from France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland (the Football Association joined in 1905, but the lack of British involvement in FIFA’s set-up is in itself telling) signing an accord that they – and only they – would hold the right to host international football competitions. After an unsuccessful attempt at holding a tournament in Switzerland in 1906, football appeared as an full event for the first time at the 1908 Olympic Games under the watchful eye of the FA, but even before the outbreak...

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