Monday, May 31, 2010
FIFA WORLD CUP
The FIFA World Cup, also called the Football World Cup or the Soccer World Cup, but usually referred to simply as the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not contested because of World War II.
The current format of the tournament involves 32 teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about a month – this phase is often called the World Cup Finals. A qualification phase, which currently takes place over the preceding three years, is used to determine which teams qualify for the tournament together with the host nation(s).
During the 18 tournaments that have been held, seven nations have won the title. Brazil have won the World Cup a record five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. Italy, the current champions, have won four titles, and Germany are next with three titles. The other former champions are Uruguay, winners of the inaugural tournament, and Argentina, with two titles each, and England and France, with one title each.
The World Cup is the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world, where an estimated 715.1 million people watched the final match of the 2006 World Cup held in Germany. The next World Cup will be held in South Africa, between 11 June and 11 July 2010, and the 2014 World Cup will be held in Brazil.
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