Even though FIFA was formed as early as 1904, it took them almost three
decades to start a true international competition. The Olympic tournament
had been the only tournament so far with world wide participation, but
that was for amateurs only. However, more and more nations had adopted
professionalism and "shamateurism" was creeping into the amateur game.
This was apparent at the Paris Olympics in 1924, when the very "professional"
Uruguay team became the first South American nation to win the title.
FIFA and the International Olympic Committee were at loggerheads over who
should control the Olympic soccer tournament. FIFA announced they were
the highest footballing authority and so should run a tournament claiming
to be the biggest soccer event in the world. With many top nations withdrawing
from the Olympics in 1928, among them Denmark and England, FIFA made a
decision. They accepted the resolution of Henri Delaunay, secretary of
the French FA since 1919 until his death in 1956, that a World Cup competition
would be organized immediately. The acceptance of his proposal came two
years after he had announced to the footballing authorities: "International
football can no longer be held within the confines of the Olympics and
many countries where professionalism is now recognized and organized cannot
any longer be represented there by their best players." His resolution
was passed by 25 votes to 5.
FIFA duly announced its plan to run its own competition, open to all affiliated
countries. They did not immediately give name to the competition, but the
world's press were quick to give it their own title. "World Cup", "World
Soccer Championship" and "La Coupe de Monde" were favourite descriptions.
Another was the "Jules Rimet Cup". Eventually that was how the World Cup
officially became known, thus honouring the man who had done so much for
FIFA in drumming up support amongst member nations.
By May 1929, FIFA still had not finalized plans for the first championship,
although they had announced it would take place in 1930. The host nation
had not been selected and as talks dragged on, it was apparent that finance
was to be the biggest problem in running such a tournament, particularly
if it was to be a true world championship.
Rodolfe Seeldrayers, the FIFA vice-president, proposed that the country
give the honour of staging the first tournament should make funds available
for (in the following order of priority) transport and accommodation expenses
for referees, FIFA members and the teams. This was clearly going to be
an expensive proposition for any national FA to undertake, but there were
some willing takers. Holland, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay
had all put their names forward, but Sweden and Holland soon withdrew and
lent their support to Italy's claim. The South American nations stood by
Uruguay, and the rest of the European candidates soon withdrew of various
So it was all left to Uruguay, the only remaining nominee. At last the
dream was about to be realized, the date was set and the host country selected.
It was a case of "Uruguay, here we come".
The French sculptor Abel Lafleur was honoured to design the first World
Cup trophy, the Jules Rimet Cup. It was a gold statuette weighing about
3,8 kilograms and was about 35 centimeters tall, representing an allegorical
winged victory on an octagonal base. This famous trophy was first stolen
at an exhibition in London prior to the 1966 World Cup, but it was found
by a dog named Pickles under some bushes outside London shortly after.
In 1930 they said the first nation to win it three times would keep it
forever. When Brazil won their third title in Mexico 1970, they won permanent
possesion of it. In 1983 it was stolen again, and to this day it has not
The present trophy, the FIFA World Cup, weighs about 5 kilograms and is
36 centimeters tall. It was introduced to the 1974 World Cup and is made
of solid gold and malachite. It is made by the Italian sculptor Silvio
Gazzaniga. He described his creation thus: "The lines spring out from the
base, rising in spirals, stretching out to receive the world. From the
remarkable dynamic tensions of the compact body of the sculpture rise the
figures of two athletes at the stirring moment of victory".
This trophy cannot be won outright as the regulations state that it shall
remain FIFA's own possession. The World Cup winners retain it until the
next tournament and are awarded a replica, gold-plated rather than solid
Info on how
the World Cup was founded and about the trophy as well.
on every match in every tournament.
Interesting columns about the past, present and future of the World Cup.
with appearances in the World Cup. Detailed info on every country.
of many of the most influential players in history.
An A-Z collection
of strange and different stories in World Cup history.
A big collection
of various statistics and records.
since it was introduced in 1966.
knowledge about the WC. Three different levels. No prizes, just for fun.
lots of stuff. For instance Best Goals, Best Players and Best Matches.
of links to other soccer sites with World Cup connection.
and buttons for you to link to us if you want.
A little information
on who keeps this site available.