Often called the greatest sporting event on the planet, the World Cup of soccer (or football as the rest of the world knows it, futbol for our Spanish speaking friends) is administered by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), an association founded in 1904 and based in Zurich, Switzerland.
Each modern World Cup has featured a colorful embroidered patch for the event and many other embroidered patches and emblems are created for national football teams, fans and sponsors.
This year’s 2014 FIFA World Cup is being held in Brazil and the official patch features the country’s vibrant green and yellow colors. The world championship event has been held every four years since 1950, with events preceding in 1930 Uruguay, ’34 in Italy and ’38 France. Prior to these tournaments, the Summer Olympics served as the world championship of football, but FIFA wanted its own championship and the Olympics had complicated rules regarding amateur status; professional athletes were not allowed to compete.
The modern World Cup era, post-World War II, has featured a variety of host countries and a number of champions, with the Brazilians and Germans dominating the overall competition.
1954 –Switzerland host, West Germany champion
1958 Sweden host, Brazil champion
1966 England host and champion (first World Cup with an official logo)
1970 Mexico host, Brazil champion
1978 Argentina host and champion
1982 Spain host, Italy champion
1986 Mexico host, Argentina champion
1990 Italy host, West Germany champion
1998 France host and champion
2002 South Korea/Japan host, Brazil champion
2010 South Africa host, Spain champion
2014 Brazil host, ??? champion
2018 Russia host
2022 Qatar host
With 209 national associations affiliated to FIFA today, the world football’s governing body has rightly been dubbed the “United Nations of Football “. Between 1975 and 2002 alone, more than 60 associations were accepted as members.