What is FIFA Exactly?

I am amazed by the number of people that have no idea what FIFA actually stands for.  Some people do know that it is the governing body for football, or soccer in the States.  However, that is about all they know about it.  So, in honour of the beginning of the World Cup, let us learn about FIFA!

The acronym FIFA does not come from the English name of the organization.  Rather, it comes from the French name: Fédération Internationale de Football Association.  This becomes the International Federation of Association Football in English.  See how that does not really work in the acronym very well.  That confuses people for some reason.  FIFA has two other official languages besides French and English.  Those are German and Spanish.  Why, the French name?  Well, that is because FIFA was founded on 21 May 1904 in Paris, France.  The founding countries were Belgium, Danmark, France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.  Germany affiliated later that same year.  Since those countries are the ones that founded it, that is why the official languages are what they are.

Today the FIFA headquarters is in Zurich, Switzerland.  The world is divided into six confederations that each national team must be a part of before they can join FIFA.  The AFC, Asian Football Confederation, is Asia and Australia.  Africa has the Confederation of African Football or CAF.  CONCACAF is a bit complicated.  This is the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football also includes three South American Countries; French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname.  South America, sans the three countries just mentioned, is CONMEBOL or Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol.  OFC, the Oceania Football Confederation, is over the Pacific Islands.  Finally, there is the UEFA.  The Union of European Football Associations that, for various reasons, also includes Cyprus, Israel, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkey.

Until the ends of this year’s World Cup, Spain is still the champion team.  However, since the World Cup first started in 1930, the Brazilian team has won the most titles.  They are playing on home soil this year.  So, let us see how they do.  The next World Cup will be held in 2018 in Russia.  This year is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first year in the Finals!  I hope they do well.  I will be cheering of the US team.  We have done pretty good this year.  Should we fail, and that seems to be likely, I will cheer on Germany since I have a lot of Prussian/German ancestry.