World Cup with its surprises

05 Jun 2018

ADDIS ABABA –The 2018 FIFA World Cup opening game between Russia and Saudi Arabia will be staged on June 14 at the newly renovated Luzhniki stadium in Moscow in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
 In the eyes of millions of people the quadrennial football tournament that determines the sport’s world champion, is the most popular sporting event in the world, drawing billions of television viewers in every match.
FIFA study
The study made by FIFA indicates that almost 3.2 billion people worldwide, roughly 46% of the world’s population, watched more than one minute of the 2010 World Cup. This makes the tournament “the world’s most widely viewed sporting event.”
While it’s amazing that 46% of the world united to watch a single event, it’s arguably more incredible that 2 billion people, or about 29% of the world, sat down to watch more than 30 minutes of the Cup, according to FIFA study.
That is for one solid month over a billion people will be glued on to their TV’s channel to watch big names like Messi, Ronaldo, Brazil talisman Neymar in the making ten starting from June 14.
The first competition for the cup was organized in 1930 by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and was won by Uruguay. Except during World War II, the competition has never been disrupted to this day.
 Unlike Olympic football, World Cup teams are not limited to players of a certain age or amateur status, so the competition serves more nearly as a contest between the world’s best players. Referees are selected from lists that are submitted by all the national associations.
England and World Cup
England didn’t attend the World cup up to 1950. Although Englishman Daniel Woolfall was elected FIFA president in 1906 and all of the home nations (England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales) were admitted as members by 1911, British Football Associations were disdainful of the new body.
The British national teams were not invited to the first three competitions - 1930, 1934, and 1938. For the next competition, held in 1950, FIFA ruled that the two best finishers in the British home nation’s tournament qualified for World Cup play; England won, but Scotland who finished second chose not to compete for the World Cup. So England joined the World cup in 1950.
By contrast Brazil participated in all 21 World Cups including the current one. Brazil also took the cup for a record five times. They are the only side who were awarded the cup permanently in 1970 after taking the Jules Rimet Trophy three times: 1958, 1962, and 1970.
That means the Jules Rimet Trophy, named for the Frenchman who proposed the tournament was awarded from 1930 to 1970.
A new trophy called the FIFA World Cup was put up for competition in 1974. Germany who appeared in eight finals kissed the new trophy in 1974.
Their win and defeat are equally divided into four times. Germany won in 1954, 74, 90 and 2014 while they finished second in 1966, 82, 86 and 2002.
Stunning moments of World Cup
A player like Argena’s Maradona had unique place in the World Cup. He dominated the 1986 competition in Mexico. In a 2–1 quarterfinal victory over England, he scored two of the most memorable goals in World Cup history. The first was scored with his hand (the referee mistakenly thought the ball had struck his head), a goal now remembered as the “Hand of God” goal. The second occurred after Maradona gained possession of the ball at midfield and dribbled through a pack of English defenders and past the keeper before depositing the ball in the goal.
The winner of the World Cup takes home a staggering $35 million dollars while the runner-up collect $25 million.
Brazil spent more than 30 billion reals (or $14.5 billion dollars) to host the World Cup in 2014.
Brazilian “phenomenon” Ronaldo and Germany’s Miraslov Klose jointly hold the record for most goals scored in multiple World Cup tournaments. Both players have manage to slip 15 goals past the keeper.
The four-yearly sports bonanza, World Cup, formally FIFA World Cup, with all its surprises is set to kick off on June 14.

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