Father of the World Cup

Father of the World Cup
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Father of the World Cup

Do you know why the cup of "world cup" is named as "Rimet cup"?

Jules Rimet became 3rd President on 1 March, 1921. FIFA became the life task of the then 48-year-old Frenchman. When he took over the world football federation, the latter which had been shaken by the First World War, counted 20 members. The British had left in unison and neither Brazil nor Uruguay were present. In the 33 years of his presidency, FIFA experienced an incredible upswing in spite of the Second World War. One ought to talk about a "Jules Rimet Era" because he managed to reorganize FIFA and to materialize the dream of a World Cup. On passing on the reins of FIFA in 1954, when he opened his 5th World Cup in Switzerland, FIFA counted 85 members!

Right from the start, Jules Rimet was not unknown. He had already participated in the Congress in Christiania in 1914 as representative of the French Football Association. The following proposal was ratified on that occasion: "Under the condition that the Olympic Tournament take place in accordance with the Regulations of FIFA, the latter shall recognize this as a world football championship for amateurs." In order not to lose every possibility of organizing its own world championship, FIFA was ready to assume the responsibility for the organisation of the football tournament for the first time.

It was a great success right away and the results were surprising. 24 national teams entered. The English continued staying away from this tournament but the Americans were there and a team representing faraway Uruguay showed how football was played in South America, much to the delight of the public. Uruguay's results were astounding: 7∶0 against Yugoslavia, 3∶0 against USA, 5∶1 against France, 2∶1 against the Netherlands. 60,000 spectators followed the Final between Uruguay and Switzerland, which was won by the South Americans 3∶0. Uruguay became the Olimpic winner and were celebrated as world champions in Montevideo. South America's predominance was even more impressive at the Olympic Tournament in Amsterdam in 1928. Uruguay did not want to relinquish their victory on that occasion either. The opponents in the Final were Argentina.

This resonance at the Olympic Games intensified FlFA's wish for its own world championship. Questionnaires were sent to the affiliated associations, asking whether they agreed to the organisation of a world championship and under what conditions. A special committee examined this problem. President Jules Rimet was the driving force in all sectors in the search for the means to materialize this dream. He was aided by the untiring Secretary of the French Football Association, Henri Delaunay.

Following a remarkable proposal of the Executive Committee, the FIFA Congress in Amsterdam on 28 May, 1928 decided to stage a world championship organised by FIFA. Now, the organising country had to be chosen. Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay submitted their candidatures. Right from the start, Uruguay was the favour. It's for important reasons: The country of the twofold Olympic winner (in 1924 and 1928) was celebrating its 100th anniversary of independence in 1930 at great expense.

Moreover, the Football Association was ready to take over all the costs as for example, the passage and accommodation of the participants. Any possible profit would be shared, while Uruguay would take over the deficit. These arguments were decisive. The FIFA Congress in Barcelona in 1929 assigned Uruguay as first organizing country for the World Cup. The other candidates had withdrawn.

This decision did not only meet acclaim. Europe was plunged in the midst of an economic crisis. Participation in a World Cup did not only involve a long sea journey for the Europeans; the clubs would have to renounce their best, permanent players for two months. More and more associations broke their promise to participate, thereby seriously endangering the organisation of the World Cup.

Opening of the First World Cup in Uruguay in 1930

Having nearly achieved his aim, President Jules Rimet was no longer impressed. Thanks to his personal effort, at least four European teams set off on the long journey: France, Belgium, Yugoslavia and Romania. The first World Cup was opened at the Centenary Stadium in Montevideo on 18 July, 1930. A new epoch had begun for world football.

The World Cup in Montevideo became a remarkable success, both in a sporting and a financial sense. Of course, the organizers were disappointed since only four national teams from Europe participated. The anger in Montevideo was so intense that four years later, the World Champions — for the first and only time — renounced defending their title.

The Congress convened in Budapest in 1930 and thanked Uruguay for staging the World Cup for the first time in difficult conditions. On the other hand, it regretted seeing only a minimum number of teams participating from Europe.

Another setback came in 1932. Before the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, differences of opinion could not be clarified in the International Olympic Committee regarding the amateur status of football players. So, FIFA decided not to organise an Olympic Football Tournament.

Sweden and Italy applied as candidate countries for the 2nd series of the World Cup at the 1932 Congress in Stockholm. The Executive Committee decided on Italy. Qualifying matches had to be played in order to arrive at the 16 finalists. Right from the start, the Cup system applied and so, the national teams from Brazil and Argentina already had to return home after their first defeat. Once again, the home team prevailed: Italy won the Final against Czechoslovakia in extra-time. For the first time ever, the World Cup Final was being transmitted on the radio.

Draw for 1938 World Cup in Paris

Four years later, the "Father of the World Cup" Jules Rimet saw his wish fulfilled, when the 3rd World Cup took place in France, his home country. Again, the tournament was plunged in shadows: Austria had disappeared from the scene and so Sweden did not have an opponent in the 1/8 final. Uruguay still did not want to participate and Argentina withdrew. This is why the national teams from Cuba and the Dutch East Indies came to France. This time, there was no home victory and Italy successfully defended their title.

The World Cup should have taken place for the 4th time in 1942. However, the appointment of an organizer was renounced at the Congress in Paris in 1938. The 1942 World Cup never took place. One had to wait until 1 July, 1946 for the next Congress which took place in Luxembourg. 34 associations were represented at the Congress there. They presented President Jules Rimet who had been heading FIFA for a quarter of a century already, with a very beautiful jubilee gift. From now on, the World Cup would be called the "Jules Rimet Cup". There was only one candidate for the next World Cup, to be staged in 1949 (and postponed to 1950 for time reasons). Brazil was chosen unanimously. At the same time, Switzerland was given the option for 1954.

1946 saw the return of the four British Associations to FIFA. This was again thanks to the diplomatic talent of Jules Rimet who found in Arthur Drewry and Sir Stanley Rous farsighted partners in the other party. Both would head FIFA in later years. Moreover, the event was celebrated later with a match between Great Britain and "Rest of Europe XI" played at Hampden Park, Glasgow on 10 May, 1947.Titled "Match of the Century" by the press, it was attended by a total of 135,000 spectators and receipts amounted to 5,000 pounds. As a sign of goodwill, this sum was placed at FlFA's disposal in order to help the latter get over financial difficulties brought on by the war years. The British won 6∶1.

Brazil lost their 1st World Cup title in the Final against Uruguay. For the second time, the "Jules Rimet Cup" remained in Montevideo for four years.

Four years later, at the 5th World Cup in Switzerland, which was inaugurated by Jules Rimet in Lausanne, the 80-year-old President retired at the Congress in Bern. The delegates stood for one minute's ovation after his parting speech. He became the first Honorary President on that 21 June, 1954. For the last time, the "Father of the World Cup" presented the captain of the victorious German team, Fritz Walter, with the "Jules Rimet Cup" and so departed from the top rank.


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  • 来源:外教社 2015-07-17