fifa world cup 2017 has taken place every four years since its first tournament in 1930 - with the exception of 1942 and 1946 due to World War II - between the older men’s national soccer teams of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Since its inaugural tournament, the FIFA World Cup - now also known as the Soccer World Cup, the Football World Cup, or simply the World Cup - has become the most commonly seen sports tournament in the world, with an even larger television audience than the Olympic Games.

Since 1977 FIFA has also coordinated youth equivalents of this global tournament, in addition to club football equivalents and equivalents for football variations including futsal and beach soccer. Back in 1991, FIFA also introduced a women’s soccer equivalent to the World Cup, called the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the first of which took place in the People’s Republic of China involving twelve nations and has been won by the USA and which now occurs between sixteen teams over the course of 3 weeks.

When the planet’s first global soccer match had taken place in 1872, in Glasgow between Scotland and England, the founders of the game - and by the time that the first global soccer tournament, the first British Home Championship, had happened twelve years later in 1884 between Scotland and Ireland - the game had still yet to obtain much international attention and was played very little outside of the U.K. Nevertheless, the beginnings of soccer’s international popularity had been budding. As other countries did come to acknowledge the game in the years that followed, it was still only considered as a demonstration game, particularly when it came into the Olympic Games; during the 1900 and 1904 Olympics, it was played for instance, but without the awarding of any medals.

In 1904, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in Paris as a formal, organized global governing body that could reflect the interests and advancement of football worldwide, and one of its first orders of business was to attempt to establish a truly global soccer tournament outside the context of the Olympics, although it took decades for them to successfully achieve that goal. The World Cup will eventually become the premiere global sporting event culminating at the most coveted sports award on the planet.