1930-07-13 to Present
WorldThe FIFA World Cup was first held in 1930, when FIFA, the world's football governing body, decided to stage an international men’s football tournament under the era of FIFA president Jules Rimet who put this idea into place. The inaugural edition, held in 1930, was contested as a final tournament of only thirteen teams invited by the organization. Since then, the World Cup has experienced successive expansions and format remodeling, with its current 32-team final tournament preceded by a two-year qualifying process, involving over 200 teams from around the world. (Edit)
As football began to increase in popularity, it was contested as an IOC-recognised Olympic sport at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics, as well as at the 1906 Intercalated Games, before becoming an official FIFA-supervised Olympic competition at the 1908 Summer Olympics.
By the twentieth century, football had gained ground all around the world and national football associations were being founded. The first official international match outside the British Isles was played between Uruguay and Argentina in Montevideo in July 1902.
In 1930, FIFA made the decision to stage their own international tournament. The 1932 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angeles, did not plan to include football as part of the programme due to the low popularity of the sport in the United States. FIFA and the IOC also disagreed over the status of amateur players, and so football was dropped from the Games. FIFA president Jules Rimet thus set about organizing the inaugural World Cup tournament.
The FIFA World Cup was planned to take place in 1942. Germany officially applied to host the 1942 FIFA World Cup at the 23rd FIFA Congress on 13 August 1936 in Berlin. In June 1939, Brazil also applied to host the tournament. The beginning of European hostilities in September 1939 prompted further plans for the 1942 World Cup to be cancelled, before a host country was selected. The FIFA tournament did not take place.
Competitions resumed with the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, which was the first to include British participants. British teams withdrew from FIFA in 1920, partly out of unwillingness to play against the countries they had been at war with, and partly as a protest against a foreign influence to football, but rejoined in 1946 following FIFA's invitation. England's involvement, however, was not to be a success.