FIFAworld cup is back with the bang! People at Brazil must be celebrating each day like a festival. Well, talking about FIFA world cup, or simply World Cup, it is started way back in 1872 in Glasgow. The first match played was a draw between England and Scotland. World Cup became popular in other parts of the world as well.
FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is a body which organises all the football events across the globe. World Cup is the most notable ones. FIFA was founded in the year 1904 with the aim to organise football events. The first was organised in Switzerland in 1906 was a failure though.
Betting on the event online have become a much common thing to do among soccer fans. Some of the betting sites are very easy to use and give all the details a soccer fan needs in order to bet.
The current World Cup tournament format includes 32 teams contesting with each other to win the precious World Cup Trophy. Of 19 World Cup events, Brazil have been the winner for five times, Italy for four times, West Germany won three times, Uruguay and Argentina won two times each and Spain, France and England, each has won the title once.
There are many FIFA world cup awards which are given to players and teams which have accomplished something outstanding. Famous of them is the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot. Golden Ball award is given to a person who is the best player of the tournament. This is decided by the media juries. The second and third position gets Silver and Bronze ball respectively. The Golden Boot award is given to the player who has scored maximum number of goals. Recently Silver boot and Bronze boot has also been added into the list for the players who came second and third respectively.
There are other awards like the Golden Glove Award – given to the best goalkeeper, the Best Young Player award- given to a player who is 21 years of age or lesser, the Most entertaining team award – for the most entertaining team in the whole tournament. The general public decides the winner of the most entertaining team. There is one more award which is decided by the criteria and point system of the FIFA’s fair committee. The FIFA Fair Play Trophy –to the team which has a “fair play” record.
The qualifying process was started after World War II in 1934. In this process, teams have to qualify to get selected in the final 32. These qualifier rounds are organised at six FIFA zones – Asia, Africa, South America, Europe, Oceania, North and Central America and Caribbean. The qualification formats differ between these confederations. The process can start as early as three years before the world cup. The confederations decide on the number of places which can be awarded to the teams depending upon the number of teams participating in that particular zone.
After the qualifying process, a list of top 32 teams are made. These teams then compete with each other. There are two stages – group stage and knockout stage. The first stage is the group stage in which the teams are divided according to their rankings. These 32 teams are divided in eight groups with four teams in each group. Each team plays with the other team in a group. Hence a total of six matches are played for a single group. After this, the top two teams proceeds to the next stage which is the knockout stage. In Knock-out stage, only one match is played and the teams are eliminated. In this stage, the winner of one group plays with the runner-up of another group. After this stage, the qualified teams proceeds to quarter-final, the semi-finals, the third place match and then finals. The one winning the finals gets the cup!!