A brief history of the birth of FIFA on May 21, 1904, in Paris
On May 21, 2020, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) turned 116 years old. When founded in France, the institution headed by Gianni Infantino, became the second football organization in the world after the English Football Association (FA), which was born on October 26, 1863.
International football has been played since 1872 when Scotland and England held friendly matches in Glasgow or nine years after the FA was founded in London. After that, the sport of cultivating the round skin grew rapidly from Great Britain, spread to mainland Europe, across to America, and finally to all corners of the earth.
Seeing football’s growing popularity and the need for regulations to be obeyed by all countries, a sports journalist from France, Robert Guerin, took the initiative to establish FIFA. With Secretary-General’s status at the Department of Football at the Union des Societes Francaises de Sports Athletiques (USFSA), the Le Matin journalist gathered several people from six countries other than France to form FIFA on May 21, 1904, at the USFSA headquarters, Paris.
After signing FIFA’s charter, Guerin et al then held the First FIFA Congress on May 23, 1904. As a result, Guerin was appointed president. Meanwhile, Victor Schneider (Switzerland) and Carl Anton Wilhelm Hirschmann (Netherlands) became vice presidents. There is also Louis Muhlinghaus (Belgium) as secretary-general and Ludvig Sylow (Denmark) as treasurer.
Guerin then expanded his organization by inviting the FA to join. Initially, they objected. Then, in the lobby of Baron Edouard de Laveleye from Belgium, the FA agreed to become part of the FIFA extended family on April 14, 1905. In return, the FA President, Daniel Burley Woolfall, was appointed the second FIFA President to replace Guerin on June 4, 1906.
With the joining of the FA, FIFA is getting more advanced. The reason is, many football regulations made by the FA were subsequently adopted by FIFA and began to be implemented when the 1908 and 1912 Olympics were held.
Apart from Britain, FIFA has also started crossing the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in search of members in Africa and America. In 1909, South Africa was listed as the first non-European country to become a member. Argentina and Chile followed the move in 1912. One year later, the United States and Canada declared themselves joining.
When World War I broke out, FIFA had stopped its activities. When they were done, they came back with the idea of hosting the competition now known as the World Cup. Through a number of discussions and scenarios, the World Cup was finally held for the first time in 1930 in Uruguay, with 13 countries participating. Uruguay won after beating Argentina in the final.
Now, FIFA has transformed into a money-filled organization with revenues in 2018, reaching USD 4.6 billion. FIFA also has many members, reaching 211 countries and six confederations. It beat the United Nations, which only has 193 permanent members and two observer countries.
That is the history of FIFA, which is still developing the favorite sport of a million people, namely football. With this association, in addition to gathering the soccer game lovers, but also at the same time finding new potential grass-heroes.