DAA Daily

World Cup History

By Salam Batha, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint

The FIFA World Cup, also known as the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the members of FIFA, the sport’s global governing body. The world cup is the men’s national team tournament that determines the sport’s world champion. Every tournament draws billions of television viewers, making it the most popular sporting event in the world. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is expected to be watched by 5 billion people worldwide, according to FIFA President Gianni Infantino. The 2018 World Cup in Russia drew a record-breaking 3.5 billion viewers on television. The World Cup is held every four years to allow enough time for qualification tournaments and national team playoffs. Furthermore, four years gives the host country enough time to plan the tournament’s logistics and how to best accommodate an influx of millions of fans. The 22nd edition of the FIFA men’s World Cup will take place in November and December of 2022, a significant break from the established tradition of playing in June and July to coincide with the European club off-season. The tournament was ultimately moved due to the extreme temperatures in host nation Qatar.

Germany has played the most World Cup games as compared to any other country, but the most FIFA World Cups have been won by Brazil – 5. Netherlands is the most successful team to have never won the World Cup, with 3 runner-up finishes and once placed fourth. The most appearances in a World Cup is by Lothar Matthaeus of Germany, who played 25 matches. Tore Keller of Sweden is the oldest player to score a hat-trick at a World Cup. He was 33 when he achieved this feat in a game against Cuba in the 1938 edition. The fastest goal was scored by Hakan Sükür of Turkey, when he netted a goal just 11 seconds into a game against South Korea in the 2002 tournament. The World Cup trophy went missing for 7 days at the start of the 1966 tournament. In the 1950 edition, India was disqualified for wanting to play bare feet. Ironically, this has been the only time they qualified for a World Cup. Norman Whiteside of Northern Ireland was the World Cup’s youngest player ever. When he faced Yugoslavia in 1982, the young player had just turned 17 years and 41 days old. The first World Cup match was held on 13th July 1930. France played Mexico in Montevideo, Uruguay. France won 4-1.

Since the World Cup’s inception in 1930, two trophies have been used: the Jules Rimet Trophy from 1930 to 1970 and the FIFA World Cup Trophy from 1974 to the present. It is one of the most expensive sporting trophies in history, the first one ever made was valued at 20 million dollars. The other trophies received by the countries are a replica of the original trophy. The current World Cup trophy weighs 6.175kg and stands 36.8cm tall and 12.5cm wide. It is made of 18 carat gold and is hollow (750 fineness). This equates to 4,927 grams of pure gold. The base is adorned with green malachite, a particularly lovely gemstone. In the short term, hosting the World Cup event boosts the construction and tourism sectors, but foreign investment results tend to be long-term. Initially, it was calculated that the 2022 FIFA World Cup could make Qatar $20 billion, but this figure was revised to $17 billion recently. The World Cup winner will receive a $50 million cash prize. In total, the world champions will earn $62 million in prize money alone. However, FIFA also pays the clubs $209 million to send their players to the tournament.

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