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The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition between the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The tournament has been held every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, with the exception of 1942 and 1946 due to the Second World War. The reigning champions are Argentina, who won their third title at the 2022 tournament.
The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world, as well as the most widely viewed and followed single sporting event in the world. The viewership of the 2018 World Cup was estimated to be 3.57 billion, close to half of the global population, while the engagement with 2022 World Cup was estimated to be 5 billion with about 1.5 billion people watching the final match.
The world's first international football match was a challenge match played in Glasgow in 1872 between Scotland and England. The first international tournament for nations, the inaugural British Home Championship, took place in 1884 and included games between England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. As football grew in popularity in other parts of the world at the start of the 20th century, it was held as a demonstration sport with no medals awarded at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics; however, the International Olympic Committee has retroactively upgraded their status to official events, and as well as the 1906 Intercalated Games.
After FIFA was founded in 1904, it tried to arrange an international football tournament between nations outside the Olympic framework in Switzerland in 1906. These were very early days for international football, and the official history of FIFA describes the competition as having been unsuccessful.
At the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, football became an official Olympic sport. Planned by The Football Association (FA), England's football governing body, the event was for amateur players only and was regarded suspiciously as a show rather than a competition. Great Britain (represented by the England national amateur football team) won the gold medals. They repeated the feat at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm.
With the Olympic event continuing to be a contest between amateur teams only, Sir Thomas Lipton organised the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy tournament in Turin in 1909. The Lipton tournament was a championship between individual clubs (not national teams) from different nations, each one of which represented an entire nation. The competition is sometimes described as The First World Cup, and featured the most prestigious professional club sides from Italy, Germany and Switzerland, but the FA of England refused to be associated with the competition and declined the offer to send a professional team. Lipton invited West Auckland, an amateur side from County Durham, to represent England instead. West Auckland won the tournament and returned in 1911 to successfully defend their title. Prior to the Lipton competition, from 1876 to 1904, games that were considered to be the "football world championship" were meetings between leading English and Scottish clubs, such as the 1895 game between Sunderland A.F.C. and the Heart of Midlothian F.C., which Sunderland won.
In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament as a "world football championship for amateurs", and took responsibility for managing the event. This paved the way for the world's first intercontinental football competition for nations, at the 1920 Summer Olympics, contested by Egypt and 13 European teams, and won by Belgium. Uruguay won the next two Olympic football tournaments in 1924 and 1928. Those were also the first two open world championships, as 1924 was the start of FIFA's professional era, and is the reason why Uruguay is allowed to wear 4 stars.
Due to the success of the Olympic football tournaments, FIFA, with President Jules Rimet as the driving force, again started looking at staging its own international tournament outside of the Olympics. On 28 May 1928, the FIFA Congress in Amsterdam decided to stage a world championship. With Uruguay now two-time official football world champions and to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay as the host country of the inaugural World Cup tournament.
The 1950 World Cup, held in Brazil, was the first to include British football associations. Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland had withdrawn from FIFA in 1920, partly out of unwillingness to play against the countries they had been at war with, and partly as a protest against foreign influence on football. The teams rejoined in 1946 following FIFA's invitation. The tournament also saw the return of 1930 champions Uruguay, who had boycotted the previous two World Cups. Uruguay won the tournament again after defeating the host nation Brazil, in the match called "Maracanazo" (Portuguese: Maracanaço).
An equivalent tournament for women's football, the FIFA Women's World Cup, was first held in 1991 in China. The women's tournament is smaller in scale and profile than the men's, but is growing; the number of entrants for the 2007 tournament was 120, more than double that of 1991.
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Men's football has been included in every Summer Olympic Games except 1896 and 1932. Unlike many other sports, the men's football tournament at the Olympics is not a top-level tournament, and since 1992, an under-23 tournament with each team allowed three over-age players. Women's football made its Olympic debut in 1996.
FIFA also organises international tournaments for youth football (FIFA U-20 World Cup, FIFA U-17 World Cup, FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup), club football (FIFA Club World Cup), and football variants such as futsal (FIFA Futsal World Cup) and beach soccer (FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup). The latter three do not have a women's version, although a FIFA Women's Club World Cup has been proposed.
Early World Cups were given to countries at meetings of FIFA's congress. The locations were controversial because South America and Europe were by far the two centres of strength in football and travel between them required three weeks by boat. The decision to hold the first World Cup in Uruguay, for example, led to only four European nations competing. The next two World Cups were both held in Europe. The decision to hold the second of these in France was disputed, as the South American countries understood that the location would alternate between the two continents. Both Argentina and Uruguay thus boycotted the 1938 FIFA World Cup.
The host country is now chosen in a vote by FIFA's Council. This is done under an exhaustive ballot system. The national football association of a country desiring to host the event receives a "Hosting Agreement" from FIFA, which explains the steps and requirements that are expected from a strong bid. The bidding association also receives a form, the submission of which represents the official confirmation of the candidacy. After this, a FIFA designated group of inspectors visit the country to identify that the country meets the requirements needed to host the event and a report on the country is produced. The decision on who will host the World Cup is usually made six or seven years in advance of the tournament. There have been occasions where the hosts of multiple future tournaments were announced at the same time, as was the case for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which were awarded to Russia and Qatar, with Qatar becoming the first Middle Eastern country to host the tournament.
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There are 125 Division 1 FCS football teams and 129 FBS football teams. FCS, or the Football Championship Subdivision, comprises 14 conferences: the Big Sky, Big South, CAA, Independent, Ivy, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Pioneer, Southern, Southland and SWAC conferences. FCS football teams compete in a 24-team playoff for the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship.
FBS, or the Football Bowl Subdivision, consists of 11 different conferences: the ACC, American, Big 12, Big Ten, C-USA, Independent, MAC, Mountain West, PAC-12, SEC and Sun Belt conferences. FBS football teams compete in a four-team tournament culminating in the National Championship Game to determine the national champion.
With 250+ four-year institutions offering college football, researching what program is right for a student-athlete can be time-consuming and stressful. To reduce the stress and help student-athletes more easily research prospective schools, NCSA has developed Power Rankings that analyze data such as cost, academics, size and location, to rank the top D1 football schools.
In this comprehensive list of Division 1 football colleges, families can look for college football teams by state, conference, city and more. Use this information to familiarize yourself with the wealth of schools available.
The HSOT All-State football team is comprehensive in a number of ways. First, it seeks out individual stats for each player and Hudl film for players (even for offensive linemen and defensive backs). Secondly, it seeks out input not only from our own staff and coaches but also media members across the state. Rather than tallying votes by ballot, HighSchoolOT maintains an open dialogue with these media members to ensure the best all-state team possible.
The HSOT All-State football team is comprehensive in a number of ways. First, it seeks out individual stats for each player and Hudl film for players (even for offensive linemen). Secondly, it seeks out input not only from our own staff and coaches but also media members across the state. Rather than tallying votes by ballot, HighSchoolOT maintains an open dialogue with these media members to ensure the best all-state team possible.