|Motto||For the Game. For the World.|
|Formation||May 21, 1904|
|Membership||208 national associations|
|Official languages||English, German, French, Spanish, Italian|
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (French for International Federation of Association Football), commonly known by its acronym, FIFA (usually pronounced /fifə/ or /fifæ/), is the international governing body of association football. Its headquarters are in Zürich, Switzerland, and its current president is Sepp Blatter. FIFA is responsible for the organization and governance of football's major international tournaments, most notably the FIFA World Cup, held since 1930.
FIFA has 208 member associations, which is 16 more than the United Nations and 3 more than the International Olympic Committee, though 5 fewer than the International Association of Athletics Federations.
The need for a single body to oversee the worldwide game became apparent at the beginning of the 20th century with the increasing popularity of international fixtures. FIFA was founded in Paris on May 21, 1904 — the French name and acronym persist to this day, even outside French-speaking countries. Its first president was Robert Guérin.
FIFA presided over its first international competition in 1906, but this met with little approval or success. This, in combination with economic factors, led to the swift replacement of Guérin with Daniel Burley Woolfall from England, by now a member association. The next tournament staged, the football competition for the 1908 Olympics in London was more successful, despite the presence of professional footballers, contrary to the founding principles of FIFA.
FIFA, however, floundered during World War I, with many players sent off to war and the possibility of travel for international fixtures severely limited. Post-war, following the death of Woolfall, the organisation was run by Dutchman Carl Hirschmann. It was saved from extinction, but at the cost of the withdrawal of the Home Nations (of the United Kingdom), who cited an unwillingness to participate in international competitions with their recent World War enemies. The Home Nations later resumed their membership.
Laws of the Game
The laws that govern football, known officially as the Laws of the Game, are not solely the responsibility of FIFA; they are maintained by a body called the International Football Association Board (IFAB). FIFA has members on its board (four representatives); the other four are provided by the football associations of the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, in recognition of their unique contribution to the creation and history of the game. Changes to the Laws of the Game must be agreed by at least six of the eight delegates.
FIFA is an association established under the Laws of Switzerland. Its headquarters are in Zurich.
FIFA's supreme body is the FIFA Congress, an assembly made up of a representative from each affiliated national federation. The Congress assembles in ordinary session now once every year, and extraordinary sessions have been held once a year since 1998 & now as and when requested. Only the Congress can pass changes to FIFA's by-laws.
Congress elects the President of FIFA, its secretary-general and the other members of FIFA's Executive Committee. The President and secretary-general are the main officeholders of FIFA, and are in charge of its daily administration, carried out by the General Secretariat, with its staff of approximately 280 members.
FIFA's Executive Committee, chaired by the President, is the main decision making body of the organization in the intervals of Congress. FIFA's worldwide organizational structure also consists of several other bodies, under authority of the Executive Committee or created by Congress as Standing Committees. Among those bodies are the Finance Committee, the Disciplinary Committee, the Referee's Committee, etc.
Aside from its worldwide institutions (presidency, Executive Board, Congress, etc.) FIFA has created confederations which oversee the game in the different continents and regions of the world. National federations, and not the continental Confederations, are members of FIFA. The continental Confederations are provided for in FIFA's by-laws. National federations must claim membership to both FIFA and the confederation in which their nation is geographically resident for their teams to qualify for entry to FIFA's competitions (with a few geographic exceptions listed below):
- AFC - Asian Football Confederation in Asia and Australia
- CAF - Confédération Africaine de Football in Africa
- CONCACAF - Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football in North America and Central America
- CONMEBOL - Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol in South America
- OFC - Oceania Football Confederation in Oceania
- UEFA - Union Européenne de Football Association in Europe.
Nations straddling the traditional boundary between Europe and Asia have generally had their choice of confederation. As a result, a number of transcontinental nations including Russia, Turkey, Cyprus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have chosen to become part of UEFA despite the bulk of their land area being in Asia. Israel, although lying entirely within Asia, joined UEFA in 1994, after decades of its football teams being boycotted by many Arab and predominantly Muslim AFC countries. Kazakhstan moved from AFC to UEFA in 2002. Australia was the latest to move from OFC to AFC in January 2006.
No team from the OFC is offered automatic qualification to the World Cup. In recent World Cup qualifying cycles, the winner of their section had to play a play-off against a CONMEBOL side, a hurdle at which Australia have traditionally fallen. In an effort to improve their national and domestic teams Australia moved to the Asian Federation 2006. This allows Australia to play in Asian tournaments of a much higher standard (as well as being more numerous) such as the AFC Asian Cup and the Asian Champions League.
Australia successfully qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup by winning just such a playoff in a penalty shootout against Uruguay, just a few months after the clearance to move was granted. Initially, the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification cycle was planned to provide the winner of OFC qualifying with a place in the final AFC qualification group, but this was scrapped in favour of a playoff between the OFC winner and an AFC team for a World Cup place.
In total, FIFA recognises 208 national federations and their associated men's national teams as well as 129 women's national teams; see the list of national football teams and their respective country codes. Curiously, FIFA has more member states than the United Nations, as FIFA recognises several non-sovereign entities as distinct nations, most notably the four Home Nations within the United Kingdom. The FIFA World Rankings are updated monthly and rank each team based on their performance in international competitions, qualifiers, and friendly matches. There is also a world ranking for women's football, updated four times a year.
Recognitions and awards
FIFA awards, each year, the title of FIFA World Player of the Year to the most prestigious player of the year, as part of its annual awards ceremony which also recognises team and international football achievements.
Governance and game development
FIFA frequently takes active roles in the running of the sport and developing the game around the world. One of its unique policies is to suspend teams and associated members from international competition when a government interferes in the running of FIFA's associate member organisations or if the associate is not functioning properly.
A recent high-profile suspension was of the Greek Football Federation for political interference. Another recent suspension was on the Kenya Football Federation because it was not running the game in Kenya properly and also of Iraq.
The Asia wing of FIFA, the AFC is soon to force 22 leading associations in Asia to increase transparency, competition, quality training and a proper league structure with relegation, promotion and a 2nd division. Suspension will be imposed on any associate which doesn't co-operate with the reform outlines. Notably, one of the associations being targeted is that of Australia, a country whose professional sport leagues are all organised on the model of franchised teams and closed league membership, a system most commonly identified with North America.
A 2007 FIFA ruling that a player can be registered with a maximum of three clubs, and appear in official matches for a maximum of three, in a year measured from 1 July to 30 June has lead to controversy, especially in those countries whose seasons cross that date barrier, as in the case of two former Ireland internationals.
The Iraq national team was suspended in May 2008, due to government interference with independent national sports authorities. However the decision was overturned by FIFA on May 29, 2008, since the Iraqi government reversed its earlier decision in dissolving the Iraq Football Association.
FIFA altitude ban
FIFA attempted to address the issue of extreme altitude in May 2007, ruling that no future international matches could be played at an altitude over 2500 m (8200 ft).
The FIFA altitude ban would most notably have affected the national teams of Andean countries. Under this proposal, Bolivia would no longer be able to play international matches in La Paz (3,600 m), Ecuador would be unable to play in Quito (2,800 m), and Colombia could no longer play in Bogotá (2,640 m).
However, FIFA soon backed away from the proposal after international condemnation, and under political pressure from the CONMEBOL countries, first extending the maximum altitude to 2,800 m (9,190 ft) in June 2007, which made Bogotá and Quito viable international venues once again, and then waiving the restriction for La Paz in July 2007.
Allegations of financial irregularities
In May 2006 British investigative reporter Andrew Jennings' book Foul (Harper Collins) caused controversy within the football world by detailing an alleged international cash-for-contracts scandal following the collapse of FIFA's marketing partner ISL, and revealed how some football officials have been urged to secretly repay the sweeteners they received. The book also exposed the vote-rigging that went on behind closed doors in the fight for Sepp Blatter's continued control of FIFA.
Nearly simultaneous with the release of Foul was a BBC television expose by Jennings and BBC producer Roger Corke for the BBC news programme Panorama. In this hour-long programme screened on June 11, 2006, Jennings and the Panorama team submit that Sepp Blatter is being investigated by Swiss police over his role in a secret deal to repay more than £1m worth of bribes pocketed by football officials.
All testimonies offered in the Panorama expose were provided through a disguised voice, appearance, or both, save one; Mel Brennan, formerly a lecturer at Towson University in the United States (and from 2001-2003 Head of Special Projects for CONCACAF, a liaison to the e-FIFA project and a FIFA World Cup delegate), became the first high-level football insider to go public with substantial allegations of greed, corruption, nonfeasance and malfeasance by CONCACAF and FIFA leadership. During the Panorama expose, Jennings, Brennan and many others exposed allegedly inappropriate allocations of money at CONCACAF, and drew connections between ostensible CONCACAF criminality and similar behaviours at FIFA. Brennan's book, The Apprentice: Tragicomic Times Among the Men Running - and Ruining - World Football is due out in late 2008 or early 2009.
Since the 1994 FIFA World Cup like the UEFA Champions League FIFA has adopted an anthem composed by the German composer Franz Lambert. The FIFA Anthem or Hymn is played at the beginning of FIFA structured matches and tournaments such as international friendlies, the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Women's World Cup, and FIFA U-20 World Cup.
2010 FIFA World Cup
|2010 FIFA World Cup |
South Africa 2010
|Host country||South Africa|
|Teams||32 (from 5 or 6 confederations)|
|Venue(s)||10 (in 9 host cities)|
The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the 19th FIFA World Cup, an international tournament for football, that is scheduled to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2010 in South Africa. It will be the first time that the tournament has been hosted by a nation in the Confederation of African Football, leaving the Oceania Football Confederation as the only FIFA Confederation never to have hosted the event.
Africa was chosen as the host for the 2010 World Cup as part of a new policy to rotate the event between football confederations (which was later abandoned in October 2007). Five African nations placed bids to host the 2010 World Cup:
Following the decision of the FIFA Executive Committee not to allow co-hosted tournaments, Tunisia withdrew from the bidding process. The committee also decided not to consider Libya's solo bid as it no longer met all the stipulations laid down in the official List of Requirements.
After one round of voting, the winning bid was announced by FIFA president Sepp Blatter at a media conference on 15 May 2004 in Zurich. South Africa was awarded the rights to host the tournament, defeating Morocco and Egypt.
Libya bid was rejected: bid did not meet the list of requirements and joint bidding was not allowed
As the host nation, South Africa qualifies automatically for the tournament. However, South Africa is the first host since 1934 to participate in World Cup qualifiers. This is because the CAF qualifiers will also serve as the qualifying tournament for the 2010 African Cup of Nations, for which South Africa must qualify separately. Like the previous tournament, the defending champions Italy do not qualify automatically.
- Qualified teams
The official mascot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup is Zakumi, a leopard with green dreadlocks. His name comes from "ZA", the international abbreviation for South Africa, and "kumi", a word that means "ten" in various African languages.
In 2005, the organizers released a provisional list of thirteen venues to be used for the World Cup: Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg (two), Kimberley, Nelspruit, Orkney, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria (two), and Rustenburg. This was narrowed down to ten venues which were officially announced on 17 March 2006 by FIFA:
|Johannesburg||Soccer City (being upgraded)||94,700|
|Durban||Moses Mabhida Stadium (being constructed at site of demolished Kings Park Soccer Stadium)||70,000|
|Cape Town||Green Point Stadium (being constructed at site of Metropolitan Golf Course)||70,000|
|Johannesburg||Ellis Park Stadium (being upgraded)||62,567|
|Pretoria||Loftus Versfeld Stadium (being upgraded)||50,000|
|Port Elizabeth||Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (under construction)||48,000|
|Bloemfontein||Free State Stadium (being upgraded)||48,000|
|Nelspruit||Mbombela Stadium (under construction)||46,000|
|Polokwane||Peter Mokaba Stadium (being constructed adjacent to existing Peter Mokaba Stadium)||45,000|
|Rustenburg||Royal Bafokeng Stadium (being upgraded)||42,000|
Five new stadiums are to be built for the tournament (three match venues and two practice grounds), and five of the existing venues are to be upgraded. Construction costs are expected to be R8.4bn.
In addition to the stadiums being built and upgraded, South Africa is also planning to improve its current public transport infrastructure, and implement special measures to ensure the safety and security of local and international tourists attending the matches in accordance with standard FIFA requirements.
Rumours of tournament being moved
Rumours have circulated in various news sources that the 2010 World Cup could be moved to another country. Some people, including Franz Beckenbauer, Horst R. Schmidt and, reportedly, some FIFA executives, have expressed concern over the planning, organisation, and pace of South Africa’s preparations. However, FIFA officials have repeatedly expressed their confidence in South Africa as host, and have stated that the event will not be moved, with FIFA president Sepp Blatter re-iterating that "Plan A... Plan B... Plan C is that the 2010 World Cup will be staged in South Africa". Blatter has stated that there is a contingency plan to hold the World Cup elsewhere but only in the event of a natural catastrophe, and that the 2006 World Cup in Germany also had a similar contingency plan.
Recently, Japan was named as one of the three potential back up hosts. <http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/national/news/20080912p2a00m0na014000c.html?inb=rs>
Despite reassurances by FIFA that the event would only be moved in the case of natural catastrophe, rumours continue to circulate about possible relocation of the event. These rumours have been criticised by South Africa's Deputy Finance Minister Jabu Moleketi, saying that some have targeted the event to reflect their persistent negativity towards South Africa and Africa.
According to an article in Le Monde diplomatique, "More than $8bn has been budgeted for the building and upgrading of infrastructure for the football World Cup in 2010, including 10 stadiums and a high-speed train... But almost none of the building or the money can be accessed by the poor who live in shantytowns without proper water, sanitation or electricity."
Group stage tiebreakers
In world football, there are various methods used to separate teams with equal points in a league. For the World Cup tournament, FIFA uses the following system.
The ranking in each group is determined as follows:
a) greatest number of points obtained in all group matches;
b) goal difference in all group matches;
c) greatest number of goals scored in all group matches.
If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings will be determined as follows:
d) greatest number of points obtained in the group matches between the teams concerned;
e) goal difference resulting from the group matches between the teams concerned;
f) greater number of goals scored in all group matches between the teams concerned;
g) drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee.
In the following tables:
- Pld = total games played
- W = total games won
- D = total games drawn (tied)
- L = total games lost
- GF = total goals scored (goals for)
- GA = total goals conceded (goals against)
- GD = goal difference (GF−GA)
- Pts = total points accumulated
The teams placed first and second (shaded in green) qualified to the round of 16.
|South Africa||v||A2||Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg|
|A3||v||A4||Green Point Stadium, Cape Town|
|South Africa||v||A3||Loftus Versfield Stadium, Pretoria|
|A4||v||A2||Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane|
|A2||v||A3||Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg|
|A4||v||South Africa||Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein|
|B1||v||B2||Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg|
|B3||v||B4||Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth|
|B1||v||B3||Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg|
|B4||v||B2||Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein|
|B2||v||B3||Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane|
|B4||v||B1||Kings Park Stadium, Durban|
|C1||v||C2||Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg|
|C3||v||C4||Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane|
|C1||v||C3||Green Point Stadium, Cape Town|
|C4||v||C2||Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg|
|C2||v||C3||Loftus Versfield Stadium, Pretoria|
|C4||v||C1||Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth|
|D1||v||D2||Kings Park Stadium, Durban|
|D3||v||D4||Loftus Versfield Stadium, Pretoria|
|D1||v||D3||Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth|
|D4||v||D2||Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg|
|D2||v||D3||Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit|
|D4||v||D1||Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg|
|E1||v||E2||Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg|
|E3||v||E4||Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein|
|E1||v||E3||Kings Park Stadium, Durban|
|E4||v||E2||Loftus Versfield Stadium, Pretoria|
|E2||v||E3||Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg|
|E4||v||E1||Green Point Stadium, Cape Town|
|F1||v||F2||Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg|
|F3||v||F4||Green Point Stadium, Cape Town|
|F1||v||F3||Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit|
|F4||v||F2||Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein|
|F2||v||F3||Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane|
|F4||v||F1||Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg|
|G1||v||G2||Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg|
|G3||v||G4||Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth|
|G1||v||G3||Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg|
|G4||v||G2||Green Point Stadium, Cape Town|
|G2||v||G3||Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit|
|G4||v||G1||Kings Park Stadium, Durban|
|H1||v||H2||Kings Park Stadium, Durban|
|H3||v||H4||Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit|
|H1||v||H3||Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth|
|H4||v||H2||Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg|
|H2||v||H3||Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein|
|H4||v||H1||Loftus Versfield Stadium, Pretoria|
|Round of 16||Quarter-finals||Semi-finals||Final|
|27 June - Johannesburg|
|Winner of Group B|
|3 July - Cape Town|
|Runner-up of Group A|
|Winner of R16 2|
|27 June - Bloemfontein|
|Winner of R16 4|
|Winner of Group D|
|7 July - Durban|
|Runner-up of Group C|
|Winner of QF B|
|29 June - Pretoria|
|Winner of QF D|
|Winner of Group F|
|3 July - Johannesburg|
|Runner-up of Group E|
|Winner of R16 6|
|29 June - Cape Town|
|Winner of R16 8|
|Winner of Group H|
|11 July - Johannesburg|
|Runner-up of Group G|
|Winner of SF I|
|26 June - Port Elizabeth|
|Winner of SF II|
|Winner of Group A|
|2 July - Johannesburg|
|Runner-up of Group B|
|Winner of R16 1|
|26 June - Rustenburg|
|Winner of R16 3|
|Winner of Group C|
|6 July - Cape Town|
|Runner-up of Group D|
|Winner of QF A|
|28 June - Durban|
|Winner of QF C||Third place|
|Winner of Group E|
|2 July - Port Elizabeth||10 July - Port Elizabeth|
|Runner-up of Group F|
|Winner of R16 5||Loser of SF I|
|28 June - Johannesburg|
|Winner of R16 7||Loser of SF II|
|Winner of Group G|
|Runner-up of Group H|