Football remains the most popular sport in almost all parts of the world and it has millions of fans who spend a lot of money to watch different tournament and leagues. For instance in the UK, football is the most watched sports at both homes and also in the stadiums. The FIFA world cup is a tournament played every four years and comes second in popularity behind the Olympic Games. Since it was intercepted in 1930, the tournament has undergone dramatic changes. Below are some of the changes that have occurred in the history of the FIFA world cup.
1. Increased number of countries participating
Since the world cup was started the number of teams participating have increased. When it was first played in Uruguay in 1930, only twelve teams participated in the tournament. The teams were from South America, Europe and North America. No team came from Asia, Africa or Oceania. However, the number of teams has increased as the game has become popular in most countries, meaning that now thirty two teams take part in the FIFA world cup. The world governing body FIFA has recognized the importance of developing football in all parts of the world, thus giving Asian and African teams more slots than it had before.
2. Increased competitiveness among teams
Many countries have now invested in football. They have budgetary allocations geared towards developing football from the grassroots level. This has led to development of football, making the countries have strong teams that have demonstrated high level of skill for football. This can be evidenced in the 2002 FIFA world cup when South Korea reached the semi final - beating big teams such as Spain. African teams have also provided great opposition to bigger teams from Europe and America, showing the dynamism that is occurring in the FIFA world cup.
3. Introduction of more rules and regulation
Since the start of the world cup in the 1930's there has been increased number of rules that guide the players. The FIFA world cup now demonstrates more technical football due to the increased rules of the game. However, in the recent world cups the rules have been strengthened to make the game more professional. More changes are expected especially with the introduction of goal line technology, meaning that future FIFA world cups will be digitally analysed.
4. Commercialization of the world cup
Past world cups focused more on just the football competition. However, this trend has changed due to the incentive of more money to the winners, and also more money from the sponsors. Many business organizations have taken advantage of football matches to advertise their products and services. Players are also rewarded with a lot of money for joining a team. The FIFA world cup has become more of an income generating activity not only to the host countries, but also for teams, players and corporations.