Thursday, June 12, 2014

GOAL! The Kickoff and History of the World Cup

Posted by Museum Intern Hannah Bothner

The first match of the 2014 World Cup between Brazil and Croatia will be held at 3:00 p.m. today in Brazil. The World Cup is one of the most viewed sporting events worldwide and has a long and interesting history.

World Cup trophy used from 1930 to 1970, named the Jules Rimet Trophy
 after the president of the committee that created the World Cup.
It was stolen in 1970 and melted by those who stole it.

The FIFA association formed a special committee in the 1920s to create a world soccer event of their own. FIFA was established in 1904 and stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association. The special committee announced plans to hold a world championship at the FIFA congress in May of 1928. First, they needed to select a host country. Several countries petitioned to host, but eventually the committee chose Uruguay. FIFA held the first World Cup game on July 18, 1930. Uruguay won the tournament, defeating Argentina in the final game. 

1930 Uruguay National Team

Strangely, Uruguay refused to enter the following 1934 tournament and defend its title at the next World Cup event. Uruguay was still outraged at many European countries refusal to participate in the previous tournament. At the time, Europe was in the middle of an economic crisis, participating in the tournament would have meant a long trip across the ocean and the sacrifice of Europe’s best players for a couple of months. Only four European nations were convinced to participate: France, Belgium, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Because of this, Uruguay refused to travel in 1934. 

One of two balls used in the final game of the 1930 World Cup.

The World Cup turned out to be a success and has continued to be held every four years since 1930, with the exception of a twelve year break due to World War II. The 1950 World Cup was held in Brazil as it was the only candidate after such great devastation after the war.

This year, Spain will fight to defend their 2010 championship title. Although the World Cup has been played 19 times, only eight different national teams have won. Brazil has the most titles with five.  The United States has never won the World Cup. The tournament spans about a month; the final game will not be played until July 13 as it takes a while to narrow down all of the qualifying teams. 

This ball is signed by Pele and is displayed at the Museum of World Treasures.

Interested in soccer? Visit the Museum of World Treasures to see this ball signed by Pele, a famous player. He competed in the World Cup on the Brazilian national team four times and is a three time World Cup champion. Contact the Museum for more information at 316.263.1311

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