The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA, /ˈfiːfə/; English: International Federation of Association Football) is the international governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer. FIFA is responsible for the organisation of football's major international tournaments, notably the World Cup.
FIFA was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany. Headquartered in Zurich, membership now comprises 209 national associations. Member countries must each also be members of one of the six regional confederations into which the world is divided: Asia, Africa, North & Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Oceania, and Europe.
Although FIFA does not control the rules of the game, it is responsible for both the organisation of tournaments, and their promotion, which generates revenue from sponsorship. In 2013 FIFA had revenues of over 1.3 billion US dollars, for a net profit of 72 million, and had cash reserves over 1.4 billion US dollars.
Reports by investigative journalists have linked the FIFA leadership with greed, corruption, and bribery, and alleged that vote rigging was involved in the election of president Sepp Blatter. FIFA's choice to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, has been widely criticised by media, with allegations of vote-buying.
The need for a single body to oversee association football became apparent at the beginning of the 20th century with the increasing popularity of international fixtures. FIFA was founded in Paris on 21 May 1904; the French name and acronym persist even outside French-speaking countries. The founding members were the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain (represented by Madrid Football Club; the Spanish federation was not created until 1913), Sweden and Switzerland. Also, that same day, the German Association declared its intention of affiliating through a telegram.
The first president of FIFA was Robert Guérin. Guérin was replaced in 1906 by Daniel Burley Woolfall from England, by then a member of the association. The first tournament FIFA staged, the association football competition for the 1908 Olympics in London was more successful than its Olympic predecessors, despite the presence of professional footballers, contrary to the founding principles of FIFA.
During World War I, with many players sent off to war and the possibility of travel for international fixtures severely limited, the organisation's survival was in doubt. Post-war, following the death of Woolfall, the organisation was run by Dutchman Carl Hirschmann. It was saved from extinction, but at the cost of the withdrawal of the Home Nations (of the United Kingdom), who cited an unwillingness to participate in international competitions with their recent World War enemies. The Home Nations later resumed their membership.
The FIFA collection is held by the National Football Museum in England.
FIFA structured tournaments
- FIFA World Cup
- FIFA Confederations Cup
- Football at the Summer Olympics
- 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
Current title holders
|Tournament||Men||Women||Men's U-23||Men's U-20||Women's U-20||Men's U-17||Women's U-17|
|World Cup||Spain (2010)||Japan (2011)||N/A||France (2013)||United States (2012)||Nigeria (2013)||Japan (2014)|
|Olympics||N/A||United States (2012)||Mexico (2012)||N/A|
|FIFA Club World Cup||Bayern Munich (2013)|
The following are the main ongoing sponsors of FIFA (named "FIFA Partners"):
The FIFA World Cup has additional secondary sponsors, while individual tournaments normally have "National Supporters" which have sponsorship rights within the host country.