FIFA World Cup: What’s the Hype?
Well, well, well! If it isn’t the world’s favourite football event!
That’s right! The long-awaited FIFA Qatar World Cup is finally here and it’s ready to rumble! But not fast…let’s talk about it first!
Most of us love the feeling of getting together with friends and family, and turning each FIFA football (or soccer, depending on where you’re from) match into an unforgettable experience. Some of us get the extra kick out of betting on the outcome of each match! Sportsbooks around the world, such as Technamin’s, begin covering the event.
But what do we really, really know about these games? What’s the hype behind the World Cup? Where did it come from? What does it symbolise? And why is it so popular?
Buckle up, cause we’re about to go down the rabbit hole of football!
1872: A Historic Match
On a somewhat chilly November afternoon in West of Scotland ground, Glasgow, a whistle blew and more than 4000 people became witnesses to what is considered the first official international football match: England vs. Scotland. The match ended with a rather anticlimactic score of 0-0, but it got the ball rolling (see what we did there?) for the popular sport!
While most initial “world” championships often involved football clubs from Scotland and England, the first event in the true international sense (meaning outside of Britain) was held in 1902 in Montevideo. It featured Uruguay in a friendly match against Argentina, with Argentina winning by a score of 0-6. As for the attendance, it was almost double the 1872 match! This meant only one thing: the hype was real!
Whenever a phenomenon becomes popular, it needs to be controlled before it gets out of hand. Before the 1872 match, the Football Association (formed in 1863) was the only governing body when it came to the sport on a global scale. Once the international matches rose in popularity, it became obvious that a new governing body was needed to keep everything in check. And that was the birth of FIFA.
“What, what does FIFA mean anyway?”
Good question! FIFA stands for Federation Internationale de Football Association. Why in French? Well, because it was born in Paris! Initially, it included football associations such as France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, and Switzerland. This was in 1904, which means that FIFA is now 118 years old!
Initially, FIFA didn’t organise any of its own events. Instead, it took responsibility for organising football matches within the framework of other events, such as the Olympics, specifically the 1906 Olympics. Most of the matches organised by FIFA prior that year involved amateur football teams. The next big milestone for FIFA was the 1920 Olympics, again involving amateur footballists.
Fast Forward to 1930: World Cup #1
Just like any child who at some point becomes an adult and does its own thing, FIFA made the call of organising its own international football tournament in 1930. This is considered as the first official World Cup event, held in Uruguay and featuring teams from 13 countries. The title of the first goalie in FIFA World Cup history is attributed to the French Lucien Laurent. From a 4000 audience to more than 93,000 in a matter of 58 years, the World Cup was here to stay!
However, there were complications.
If dark periods in history were an Olympic event, we can all agree that WW1 and WW2 took the gold. While international football wasn’t quite popular during the first World War, it was all the rage before World War 2 arrived and ruined it for everyone. With the beginning of the war, FIFA had to halt all of its activities, and the last World Cup took place in France in 1938.
In 1950, after 6 years of non-stop war and an additional 6-year recovery period, everyone’s beloved international football event returned with a bang – figuratively speaking! The fourth edition of the FIFA World Cup was hosted in Brazil and featured a poster design with dozens of flags from different countries. Humanity was moving forward in the name of sports!
Since then, the World Cup has been a staple of international events, occurring every 4 years and bringing joy to millions of fans around the world. We’ve been fortunate to witness quite an evolution, and there has certainly been no shortage of amazing occurrences along the way.
Memorable FIFA Moments
In 1954, we had the Miracle of Bern match in Switzerland, which was the first World Cup match to be shown live on television, meaning more people could join in on the hype. Four years later, the World Cup in Sweden gave birth to Pelé who still has a status as one of football’s rockstars and is always mentioned in the best World Cup football winners lists. In 1962, the Battle of Santiago match took place between Italy and Chile. It got so heated and competitive, police had to intervene! The first World Cup mascot and logo were invented for the 1966 event. It was also a memorable World Cup as the official trophy was stolen before it started. Luckily, a collie dog called Pickles became the hero that saved the day by locating the stolen Jules Ramet trophy!
The 70’s were also great times for football! Brazil won the 1970 World Cup, becoming the first country in the world with three FIFA wins. As a result, they received a permanent award and a new trophy was designed for the next event, FIFA 1974. Argentina hosted the 1978 World Cup.
The 1982 World Cup in Spain kicked off the 80’s football craze. The 1986 World Cup is remembered for a number of reasons. First, Jose Batista set a world record for the “fastest red card ever received,” leaving the field in less than 60 seconds after the match started. But perhaps the most famous event from the Mexico-hosted World Cup was the “Hand of God” goal struck by Maradona, also referred to as the “Goal of the Century.” We agree!
The 1990’s began with some drama. Hosted in Italy, the 1990 World Cup is known for the infamous “fake injury” accident involving Roberto Rojas, the goalkeeper of Chile. Not a nice gesture for sure, because he was banned from the event for 12 years and his country couldn’t participate in the next World Cup. Speaking of which, the 1994 World Cup is remembered for being the first one that ended with penalties. It also broke records for the most attendance, with nearly 4 million attendees. The record is expected to be broken by the 2022 World Cup. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves! The last World Cup in the 90’s is known for a match played between Iran and the Maldives, with the latter being defeated at a surprising score of 0-17.
Welcome to the 21st Century!
The 2000’s have been unique for FIFA! The 2002 World Cup was the first one hosted in Asia, and it was hosted not by one, but two countries: Japan, and South Korea. This is cool because the two hosts have always been very, very competitive in the field! 2006 saw an impressive performance by African teams, all of whom were participating in the matches for the first time. This World Cup is most remembered for the famous head-butt by the French Zinedine Zidane in the last match. Ouch!
The 2010’s are also eventful! 2010 saw the World Cup hosted in an African country for the first time (South Africa). Viewers and attendees, however, will remember it best due to the loud blaring sound of the vuvuzela horns, which have since become an inseparable part of the World Cup. The 2014 World Cup was hosted in Brazil, and this was when heat became a big problem. How big? Players had to take short breaks to cool down, and it led to important decisions for the coming FIFA World Cups. The first Eastern Europe-hosted World Cup took place in Russia in 2018 and utilised the VAR system technology. Taking in the “heated” lessons learned in Brazil in 2014, we now have the first ever winter-World Cup! It will take place in Qatar and starts on November 21. No need to worry about snow, however, as Qatar is a stranger to the phenomenon. The Qatar World Cup is the first to be held in an Arab country.
What’s all the hype about?
Ever since the first international games, the World Cup – albeit numerous controversies – is seen as an event which brings people together all around the world, even those who don’t physically attend the games. After the rough period of COVID-19 lockdowns and event cancellations, seeing the World Cup return is truly a breath of fresh air. And while it might be all sunny in Qatar, most of the world will be hunkering down in preparation for winter, meaning it’s time to cosy up, gather with friends and family, and watch your favourite teams chase after the glory of a lifetime!
This is also a buzzing time for operators out there whose punters are sports enthusiasts and can’t wait to enjoy betting on the matches. We’re also excited at Technamin, which is why we’ve equipped our sportsbook with all the features an operator needs to make sure their punters experience the ultimate sports betting journey during the 2022 Qatar World Cup. This includes a special World Cup calendar which will allow punters to easily locate their favourite matches, combined with a robust search functionality. Our live score and statistics team is also fully geared-up for the event!
Integrate our sportsbook, get ready for World Cup 2022, and join us in welcoming one of the most anticipated sports events in sports history!
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