World Cup Unifying the Globe Research Paper

Pages: 20 (6706 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Sports

Sports

World Cup: Unifying the Globe

In almost every country of the world, the way that the national pastime is played is seen as a guide to national character and identity. For nearly 100 years, soccer has united a divided world. Soccer was invented in England in the mid-19th century, and rapidly spread to Europe and South America. Soccer's world cup draws an audience larger than that for the Olympics. According to Franklin Foer's How Soccer Explains the World (2004), American hostility toward soccer is attributed to globalization, feared by many because it forces us to accept other people's cultures (Szymanski and Zimbalist, 2005

In every sport it is easy to find a player, a team or a nation that is on the edge of becoming the next memorable story, a story that will survive the test of time as well as go down in history. The FIFA World Cup is exclusive, in that, every country can qualify to compete. It is the only competition that can unite the world with its universal passion for the sport. It is a tournament where everyone celebrates, dances, and rejoices in the streets of their capitals, reveling in the spectacular feats of their players, their teams and their nation (Aranda, 2010).

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What makes the World Cup predominantly amazing is the national pride that it inspires, especially for the first time qualifiers. Since the first provisional World Cup in Uruguay in 1930, World Cup history was not only about the winner or winning the title, but about the stories behind it. World Cup history resounds with the back-stories that echo through time, of players, teams and nations that surprised the world by achieving the unexpected. "From the poignant times of the underdogs and the worlds Cinderella teams, to the birth of legends and the brilliance of the football giants, the World Cup brings joy to every nation. It is about the stories of players, teams and nations that take it to the highest levels along with the stories about emotions and pride that unites the world" (Aranda, 2010).

Research Paper on World Cup Unifying the Globe Assignment

The history of World Cup Soccer dates back to the start of FIFA, which was created in 1904. History tells us seven European soccer associations from Denmark, France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands met in Paris, France and created the Federation

Internationale de Football Association. The headquarters of FIFA was eventually moved to Geneva, Switzerland and the first World Cup was held in 1930. There have been 19 World Cup tournaments to date. However, World Cup Soccer History really owes its beginnings to Jules Rimet who became President of the World Football Association in the year of 1921. He planned an international tournament to unite the world and of course the various soccer federations. Rimet, along with other officials arranged the first World Cup Soccer tournament for 1930 (Vigil, 2004).

The history of World Cup Soccer truly was formed through the World Football Federation's efforts after World War I to bring forth Rimet's vision that soccer could reinforce the ideals of a permanent and real peace. This vision was started in 1926 and by May 26th, 1928 five European countries and the host country of Uruguay made history by arranging the first World Cup Soccer tournament. They tried to keep the World Cup Soccer tournaments scheduled between the years of the summer and winter Olympic Games. The first World Cup

game was played on July 13th, 1930 in Pocitos Stadium with France beating Mexico 4-1. And so, the history of World Cup soccer games began (Vigil, 2004).

"The first World Cup games had European teams France, Romania, Yugoslavia and Belgium compete along with South American teams of Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru and the North American teams of Mexico and the United States. This gave the World Cup thirteen teams to compete for the trophy which bore Jules Rimet's name, with Uruguay eventually beating out Argentina for the Cup (Vigil, 2004). The history of the early World Cup games ended suddenly for twelve years during World War II. Three tournaments were held before the war, and when the World Cup resumed it rapidly grew in interest and status. Between 1958 and 1998, the World Cup was held alternately between Europe and the Americas. Then, Korea and Japan were selected as co-hosting countries for the 2002 World Cup Soccer games (Vigil, 2004).

When looking back at the history of the World Cup which has spanned over seventy years, the tournament has only had a handful of different winners. There has been a lot of drama, with a history of upsets that have surprised many soccer fans. It has been estimated that billions of people around the world watch soccer on TV, and the World Cup has truly become a global event. FIFA estimates that nearly 240 million people play soccer on a regular basis in more than 200 countries. As soccer is declared by many to be the most popular sport in the world, the World Cup Soccer Tournament is smart in bringing all of this world excitement together at once, every four years (Vigil, 2004).

Across the globe, whether you call it soccer or football in England, fuss ball in Germany,

Calcio in Italy or i'Litbol in Mexico, soccer is king. The Cup tournament is one of the few global championship team events that get the collective attention of the sporting world for one solid month. When the International Federation of Association Football (EIFA), was formed in 1904, it generated the first inklings for holding a true world championship of soccer. The best players there were from each country would be formed into teams to represent their homelands. Nonetheless, it took 26 years for the idea to come full circle, with the initial World Cup being held in the tiny nation of Uruguay. Stalling out as a simple single-elimination competition, the event matured through the years to the point where it has become an international marketing giant that generates billions of dollars in revenue (Polis, 2006).

At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, there were some heavy favorites, some from the European continent and some all the way to the South American continent. In their character there was the promise of thrilling showdowns, individual achievements of brilliance and the majestic harmony in motion of a team united in its quest for the world's most desirable prize in football (Aranda, 2010). There were also underdogs, long shots, and Cinderella teams. There is always something special about the underdogs since winning is not the whole thing to them. Merely by qualifying to walk onto the world stage, they have reached their goals and ignited the hopes of their nation. Armed with this impossible hope, win or lose, they are there to defend their national pride, and courageously defend it they will, sometimes to the very chagrin and amazement of doubting onlookers (Aranda, 2010).

As football fans across all continents count down to the opening day of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, it is interesting to sit back and consider, what a day it shall be, what a month it shall be. The whole world will be looking to South Africa, watching history in the making. There will be sorrow, there will be joy. There will be dreams crushed, there will be dreams made. There will be peace in the streets, there will be rejoicing and dancing in the streets (Aranda, 2010). Soccer is the world's favorite pastime and the only sport that is truly universal in its fame. Therefore, soccer is like a natural bridge between cultures, religions, races, ethnic groups and nations (Soccer, 2007).

"Soccer's worldwide popularity isn't surprising when you look at what has always motivated humanity: money and God" (Soccer, 2009). There's a lot of money to be made in soccer. Club soccer like capitalism is essentially the childlike desire to make dreams come true, no matter what the cost, realized by men with enough money to combine such commodities as the best Brazilian attacker, Dutch midfielder, British defender, and German goalie and turn them loose on whatever the other billionaires can put together an unfair situation that describes much of the world these days. But the divine's there, too. It is universal and yet particular, the source of an infinitely renewable supply of hope, occasionally miraculous, and governed by simple, un-contradictory rules that everyone can follow. Soccer's laws are laws of equality and nonviolence and restraint, and free to be reinterpreted at the discretion of a reasonable arbiter (Soccer, 2009).

The religious connotation present in soccer runs especially deep during World Cup years. Teams from across the globe meet at the host nation in something of an unarmed, athletic campaign. As in the Crusades, the host nation tends to resist them. There's a strange power in home-team advantage. Hosts find a level of success uneven to their talents on paper, triumphing over stronger teams, as if applying a gravitational pull on the game, causing it to be played… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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