What You Should Know About The FIFA World Cup
The World Cup is an international football competition played by the member countries of FIFA, the international governing body of all football teams worldwide. The championship games have been held every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except during the years of the Second World War (1942 and 1946). The current champion team is Spain, which edged out other teams in the 2010 World Cup.
The current format of the World Cup goes this way: 32 teams compete for the title within the host nation within a period of one month, in tournament called World Cup Finals. Qualifying games are held within the three years before the final games. The pre-qualifying games determine which national teams qualify for the finals.
There have been 19 World Cup final tournaments. The championship has been won by eight different nations. Brazil won the cup five times, Italy four times, former West Germany three times. Argentina and Uruguay two times, and Spain, France, and England one time each.
The competition is one of the world's most anticipated sporting event, with viewers numbering close to one billion people. In the 2006 World that was held in Germany, over 715 million people watched the games. Brazil will host the FIFA next tournament in 2014, followed by Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. You'd be surprised, but more people watch the FIFA games more than the Olympic Games.
Like any other large sports tournament, the World Cup attracts to it many corporate sponsors, including Adidas, McDonalds and Coca Cola, among others. For many of these companies, sponsoring the World Cup positively impacts their brand globally.
But it's not just the sponsors that benefit from the FIFA World Cup. A host country can expect to earn billions of dollars in revenue just by hosting the event. Brazil, for example, is expected to gain more than $11 billion in revenue for hosting the 2014 World Cup. (But this really is just a conservative estimate of projected revenue.)
Since 1966, each FIFA World Cup has had its own logo or mascot. World Cup Willie, the first ever FIFA mascot debuted in the 1966 competition.
For each member county of the FIFA, the final competitions is a unifying force that has its citizens waking up at dawn to watch their team compete with another country's team in a game of kick ball.