History of the FIFA World Cup: Five things we bet you didn’t know


TNT Five Things | June 12, 2018

The FIFA World Cup 2018 is just around the corner and the excitement is building up. The Northeast Today has five fun facts about the history of the tournament to get you started.

1. The first FIFA World Cup match was played on July 18, 1930 with only thirteen teams.

The first official international football match was played in 1872 in Glasgow between Scotland and England. As football began to increase in popularity, it was contested as an IOC-recognised Olympic sport at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics, as well as at the 1906 Intercalated Games, before becoming an official FIFA-supervised Olympic competition at the 1908 Summer Olympics. In 1928, FIFA made the decision to stage their own international tournament. The first FIFA World Cup, thus, opened at the brand-new Estadio Centenario in Montevideo on 18 July 1930. Only thirteen teams were invited by the organisation.

2. It was at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico that coloured cards — yellow for caution and red for dismissal — were introduced into the game.

Before 1970, referees would have to deal with rough players through their words and actions alone. The idea for two separate cards – one for warning and the other for expulsion, was however thought of in the 1966 World Cup.  An idea came to the head of the referees committee during a drive. He narrated it as, "As I drove down Kensington High Street, the traffic light turned red. I thought, 'Yellow, take it easy; red, stop, you're off'."

3. India qualified for the 1950 FIFA World Cup but refused to play. The Indian team has not qualified since.

In the year 1950, India qualified for the FIFA World Cup which was scheduled to take place in Brazil. One of the major reasons for selection of India was that all their opponents during qualifying stage withdrew from the tournament. India withdrew from the World Cup before the start of the tournament. India was placed in the pool III with Sweden, Italy and Paraguay. It is still unclear as to why India withdrew from the tournament but rumours state that it was the newly-placed rule that disallowed players from playing football barefoot.

4. Only eight nations have won the World Cup; Brazil, Italy, Germany (also as West Germany), Argentina, Uruguay, England, Spain and France.

Germany is the team who have played in the most World Cup Finals, eight in total. The Germans also scored 25 goals on the road to winning the 1954 World Cup, the best attacking performance by a winning team at the World Cup. On the other hand, Brazil (in 1958 and 1962) and Italy (in 1934 and 1938) are the only countries to win the competitions back-to-back. France won the Cup in 1998, Uruguay in 1930 and 1950, England in 1966 while Spain won the trophy in 2010.

5. The FIFA World Cup 2018 will mark the first time Russia has ever hosted this event.

The 2018 World Cup will be Russia's 11th World Cup appearance. Their highest ever finish was 4th place in 1966.


  TNT with inputs from Agencies