The FIFA World Cup, occasionally called the Football World Cup, but usually referred to simply as the World Cup, is an international football competition contested by the men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946, because of World War II.
The current format of the tournament involves 32 teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about a month – this phase is often called the World Cup Finals. A qualification phase, which currently takes place over the preceding three years, is used to determine which teams qualify for the tournament together with the host nation(s). The World Cup is the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world, with an estimated 715.1 million people watching the 2006 final.
Of the 18 tournaments held, seven nations have won the title. Brazil are the only team that have played in every tournament and have won the World Cup a record five times. Italy are the current champions and have won four titles, and Germany are next with three. The other former champions are Uruguay, winners of the inaugural tournament, and Argentina, with two titles each, and England and France, with one title each.
The most recent World Cup was held in Germany in 2006. The next World Cup will be held in South Africa, between 11 June and 11 July 2010, and the 2014 World Cup will be held in Brazil.
2014 FIFA World Cup
The 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the 20th World Cup, an international tournament for football, that is expected to take place between June and July 2014 in Brazil.
This will be the second time the country has hosted the competition, the first being the 1950 FIFA World Cup. Brazil will become the fifth country to have hosted the FIFA World Cup twice, after Mexico, Italy, France, and Germany. It will be the first World Cup to have been held in South America since the 1978 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Argentina, and this will be the first time consecutive World Cups have been staged in the southern hemisphere. Brazil also will become the first nation to break the well-established chain of allowing a European nation to host the World Cup Finals every eight years.
On 7 March 2003, the world football body FIFA announced that the tournament would be held in South America for the first time since Argentina hosted the 1978 FIFA World Cup, in line with its policy of rotating the right to host the World Cup amongst different confederations. On 3 June 2003, CONMEBOL announced that Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia wanted to host the 2014 World Cup finals. By 17 March 2004, the CONMEBOL associations had voted unanimously to adopt Brazil as their sole candidate. Brazil formally declared its candidacy in December 2006 and Colombia did so as well a few days later. The Argentina bid never materialized. On 11 April 2007, Colombia officially withdrew its bid making Brazil the only official candidate to host the event in 2014.
Brazil won the right to host the event on 30 October 2007, as the only country to enter a bid.