FIFA stands for Fédération Internationalè de Football Association or the International Federation of Association of Football. It is the international governing body of the football association, futsal, and beach soccer and is thus composed of 209 national associations. FIFA headquarters is located in Zurich, Switzerland, with Seph Blatter serving as the President. The organization is responsible for organizing the international major league football tournament popularly known as the World Cup.
FIFA was founded in Paris on May 21st, 1904 by the founding members of the national association of Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Spain (Madrid Football Club), Portugal, Switzerland and Sweden. On that same day, the German Association declared its intention of affiliating with the association through telegram. The first President of FIFA was Robert Guerin, who was replaced in 1906 by Daniel Burley Woolfall of England.
The first tournament that FIFA organized was a football competition held in conjunction with the 1908 Olympics in London. Following this, FIFA membership extended beyond Europe when South Africa joined the association in the same year, Chile and Argentina in 1912, and the United States and Canada in 1913. After World War l, following the death of Woolfall, the organization was headed by a Dutchman named Carl Hirschmann who was believed to have saved the organization from extinction yet resulted in the withdrawal of home nations of the United Kingdom. These countries cited an unwillingness to participate in an international competition against their recent World War enemies. The home nations later resumed their membership to end the arising conflict.
FIFA was established under the Laws of Switzerland. FIFA’s supreme body is called FIFA Congress, made up of representatives from each affiliated association members. The FIFA Congress makes the decision relating to FIFA’s governing statutes and their method of applications. Only the congress can pass or alter the association’s statutes. The FIFA Congress elects the President, its General Secretaries, and other executive members of the organization. The President and the General Secretary are the main officeholders and are in charge of daily administration, which is then carried out by the General Secretariat with a staff of approximately 280 members. Other worldwide committees under the authority of the Executive Committee include the Finance, Disciplinary, and the Referee Committee.
Confederations Recognized by FIFA
The six confederations that are recognized by the FIFA organizations are:
AFC – Asian Football Confederation
CAF – Confederation of African Football
CONCACAF -Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean association football.
CONMEBOL – Confederacion Sudamericana de Futbol
OFC – Oceana Football Association
UEFA – Union of European Football Association
These six continental confederations are provided for in FIFA’s statutes, and membership in a confederation is a prerequisite to FIFA membership.
FIFA structured tournaments for men:
FIFA World Cup
FIFA Confederation Cup
FIFA U-20 World Cup
FIFA U-17 World Cup
FIFA Club World Cup
FIFA Futsal World Cup
FIFA BEACH Soccer World Cup
Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup
FIFA tournaments for women:
FIFA Women’s World Cup
FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup
FIFA U- 17 Women’s World Cup
Each year, FIFA awards the title of FIFA Ballon d’Or to top men and women players of the year as part of their annual ceremony to recognize team and association achievements. Other awards and recognitions include the Puskas Award, Pro Best XI, Fair Play Award, and the FIFA Presidential Award.