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FIFA: Bridging Cultures and Uniting People

FIFA: Bridging Cultures and Uniting People

In less than one month, Brazil will be hosting the World Cup.  Much has been in the news regarding the event and the internal tensions it has created in Brazil.  With so much stress and negative media attention, why would a country want to host the competition?  Why is it so important?

Football, also known as soccer in the USA, is played by millions around the world.  Because of its popularity, it has the power to bridge cultures and unite people.  Substantiating and celebrating the powerful influence of football, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in 1904 and has the mission to “Develop the game, touch the world, build a better future.”  As part of the associations promise, it stated that “the world is a place rich in natural beauty and cultural diversity, but also one where many are still deprived of their basic rights. FIFA now has an even greater responsibility to reach out and touch the world, using football as a symbol of hope and integration.”

In 1928, FIFA decided to organize a world championship competition to be played every four years.  Uruguay was chosen to be the country to host the first world championship competition which took place in 1930.  Each participating country is allowed to enter one team.   The championship was played two more times, once in Italy and once in France, before World War II ended FIFA’s ability to organize the games.  In 1950, the games resumed with Brazil as its host.

As the competition increased in size and scope, so too did the importance of the competition to the hearts and minds of millions around the world.  Today, 32 countries will participate in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.  Those countries are:

Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea Republic, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA

Who are you rooting for?