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FIFA: Fédération Internationale de Football Association

Website: http://www.fifa.com/

Category: Sport

Year of Foundation: 1904

Location of Foundation: Paris, France

Location of Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland

Brief Description: FIFA describes itself as an association which 'has 208 member associations and its goal, enshrined in its Statutes, is the constant improvement of football.' (Source: www.fifa.com; accessed 6 April 2010).

Founding Rationales:

According to the official history of FIFA, the organization was created 'partly in response to a widespread enthusiasm within Europe for international matches, and partly in hope that an international organisation could oversee unification of the laws of the game. At the same time, European footballers were mesmerised by British football and wanted to be recognised there. An international organisation seemed to be the way to convince the FA to end its condescending attitude and to join together with other national football associations. In order to defend their own associations, the promoters also wanted to recognise only one football association per country. The UFSA sought to marginalise the rival French associations. In general, the existing football associations thought that an international organisation would encourage the other countries that played the game to establish an FA that could then join up.'

According to the initial statutes of FIFA of 21 May 1904, the organization aimed 'to regulate and develop international football and to promote the interests of the member associations' which included mutual recognition as the responsible bodies for football in each country, adoption of the rules of the English FA for international matches, and making FIFA alone responsible for organizing an international championship.

Source: Christiane Eisenberg, Pierre Lanfranchi, Tony Mason and Alfred Wahl, '100 Years of Football. The FIFA Centennial Book' (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2004), pp. 58, 60 (p. 60 reproduces p. 1 of 'Bulletin Officiel de la Fédération Internationale de Football Association' vol. 1, no. 2: 1 Sep. 1905).

Evolution of Membership (Organizations):

FIFA Membership Chart

Source: http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/fifafacts/organisation
(accessed 6 April 2010).