FIFA (or Federation de Football Association – that is, Federation of Association Football) is the governing body of international soccer. It was created in Paris, France, on May 21, 1904, for the improvement of the sport. The foundation act was signed by delegates from France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain. Two days after its foundation, the organization met in its first Congress, where Robert Guerin of France was elected as president..
In 1906, FIFA hosted the first international soccer competition ever. It wasn’t very successful, though. This, coupled with failing economics, led to Guerin’s replacement by Daniel Burley Woolfall, an Englishman. Under Woolfall’s direction, FIFA’s participation in the 1908 Olympics fared much better than the organization’s first attempt. At first, only European nations were in the federation. In 1909, however, South Africa joined, followed three years later by Argentina and Chile, then one year later by the USA and Canada. Then World War I hit hard.
During World War I, FIFA faltered, with many players being sent off to war, and the price of international travel rising so far. By the end of the first World War, in 1921, there were only 20 nations in the organization. The United Kingdom countries (England, Scotland, and Ireland) pulled out of the federation, saying that they didn’t want to compete against or participate with their former World War enemies. At the end of Jules Rimet’s (the third FIFA president) 33 year presidency, however, FIFA boasted a participation of 85 members. The United Kingdom countries returned, thanks to Rimet’s wonderful diplomatic skills. He retired at the age of 80. » Read more: FIFA (Federation of Association Football) – A Little HistoryTags: 1908 olympics, died in 1955, federation de football, fifa president, first world war, foundation act, jules rimet, robert guerin, soccer competition, united kingdom countries