The FIFA World Cup, often known as the Football World Cup or the Soccer World Cup, is an international association football championship contested by the men's national teams of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's worldwide governing organization. The tournament consists of two parts, the qualification phase and the final stage. Qualification for the final stage takes place during the qualification period which starts in January of the year before the world cup year and ends in November of that same year. The final stage begins in late February or early March and runs until the last match of October.
World Cups have been held since 1930 with Brazil being the current champion. They won their second title in July 2014 after defeating Argentina 2-1 in Rio de Janeiro. The most successful country in terms of titles is Brazil with six championships. Germany and Italy each have four championships. England, France, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and USA all have three wins. No nation has won the World Cup more than twice.
The world cup is played on a home-and-away basis. During the qualification phase, countries play against each other on a knockout basis to determine who advances to the next round. In case of ties during this phase, there is a penalty shoot-out implemented to resolve these matches. If still tied, the higher-ranked team goes through.
Fifa is an acronym that stands for Federation Internationale de Football Association, which translates to the International Federation of Association Football. It governs international football and is in charge of organizing and promoting major football competitions across the world, the largest and most well-known of which being the World Cup. The federation was founded in 1904.
Its headquarters are in Zurich, Switzerland. There are 209 member countries around the world, with England, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain being the most popular destinations for foreign players.
Almost every country in Europe has some form of association football culture including England, Germany, Russia, and Turkey. The sport is also popular in parts of South America such as Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela. In addition, there are several countries in Asia such as Japan, North Korea, South Korea, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam that play association football.
In Africa, many countries have adopted soccer as their national sport including Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tunisia, and Zambia. In addition, several other countries in Europe such as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine have soccer cultures too. Finally, Australia and New Zealand have association football cultures too.
The most popular sports in the world are often determined by where you live.
The FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup is an international beach soccer competition in which the men's national teams of FIFA's member organizations compete. The tournament consists of two stages: a group stage, where the eight best countries qualify, and a knockout stage, where the semi-finals and finals are played.
All nations that have qualified for at least one World Cup are allowed to enter the event. Nations may only enter a maximum of three teams per match. If a nation enters four teams, they must do so by entering two pairs of players. The five teams that do not qualify automatically or through regional qualification tournaments can also enter the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The next available spot at the Olympics will be awarded to the country who finishes highest in a series of play-off matches between November 2015 and March 2016.
At the end of the group stage, the top four countries advance to the knockout stage. In this stage, each quarter-final is a single tie played over two legs, with each team playing one leg. The team that scores more goals on aggregate wins the match. If the aggregate score is level after both legs have been played then the away goal rule applies. This means that if you score first at home, you win by default - you do not need to score again.