21 May 1904

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is founded in Paris.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the global governing body of soccer (known as football outside the United States).

History and Formation

Founded: May 21, 1904
Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland
Founding Members: France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland
Purpose: To oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.


President: The president is the head of FIFA and represents it publicly.
Council: The FIFA Council is an executive, strategic, and oversight body that decides on FIFA’s policies.
Congress: The FIFA Congress is the highest decision-making body, composed of representatives from each of FIFA’s member associations.


FIFA World Cup: The most famous tournament organized by FIFA, held every four years since 1930 (except during WWII). It is the most prestigious soccer competition in the world.
FIFA Women’s World Cup: Established in 1991, this tournament is the premier competition in women’s soccer.
FIFA Club World Cup: A competition between the champion clubs from each of the six continental confederations.

Roles and Responsibilities

Regulation: FIFA sets the rules for soccer worldwide, including the Laws of the Game.
Development: It promotes and funds development programs to spread the sport globally.
Governance: FIFA ensures the fair and smooth operation of international matches and tournaments.
Disciplinary Actions: It enforces disciplinary actions against clubs, associations, and individuals who violate the rules.


FIFA is comprised of six continental confederations:

AFC (Asian Football Confederation): Asia
CAF (Confederation of African Football): Africa
CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football): North America, Central America, and the Caribbean
CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation): South America
OFC (Oceania Football Confederation): Oceania
UEFA (Union of European Football Associations): Europe


Corruption: FIFA has faced numerous allegations and scandals involving corruption and bribery, particularly around World Cup bidding processes.
Transparency: Criticized for lack of transparency in its decision-making processes and financial dealings.

Development Programs

FIFA Forward Programme: Aimed at developing football infrastructure and supporting grassroots football worldwide.
Women’s Football: Initiatives to promote and develop women’s football globally.

21 May 1904

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is founded in Paris.

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the international governing body for the sport of soccer, or football as it is known in many parts of the world. FIFA was founded on May 21, 1904, and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland.

FIFA’s primary role is to oversee and regulate international soccer competitions and to promote the development and growth of the sport globally. It is responsible for organizing and managing major tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup, which is held every four years and is the most prestigious competition in international soccer.

FIFA establishes and enforces the rules of the game through its rule-making body known as the International Football Association Board (IFAB). The organization also ensures that these rules are followed by teams, players, and officials in international matches.

In addition to organizing the World Cup, FIFA is involved in various other competitions at different levels, including regional tournaments like the UEFA European Championship, the Copa America, and the Africa Cup of Nations. FIFA also organizes youth tournaments, such as the FIFA U-20 World Cup and the FIFA U-17 World Cup, to foster the development of young players.

FIFA is composed of member associations from around the world, representing over 211 national football federations. Each member association has the right to participate in FIFA’s competitions and vote on matters related to the organization’s governance. The president of FIFA is elected by the member associations and serves as the head of the organization.

Apart from its role in organizing competitions, FIFA is involved in promoting the sport globally and supporting its development in various countries. It provides financial assistance and technical support to its member associations to improve infrastructure, coaching, and grassroots programs.

However, FIFA has also faced controversies and allegations of corruption and unethical behavior in the past. Several high-ranking officials have been indicted on charges of bribery and corruption, leading to reforms within the organization to improve transparency and governance.

Overall, FIFA plays a crucial role in shaping international soccer and is responsible for promoting the sport, organizing major tournaments, and ensuring the integrity of the game at the global level.

21 May 1904

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is founded in Paris.

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association was founded in the rear of the headquarters of the Union Française de Sports Athlétiques at the Rue Saint Honoré 229 in Paris on 21 May 1904. The foundation act was signed by the authorised representatives of the following associations:

Present at that historic meeting were: Robert Guérin and André Espir; Louis Muhlinghaus and Max Kahn; Ludvig Sylow; Carl Anton Wilhelm Hirschman; Victor E Schneider. Sylow also represented the SBF while Spir performed the same function for the Madrid Football Club.

When the idea of founding an international football federation began taking shape in Europe, the intention of those involved was to recognise the role of the English who had founded their Football Association back in 1863. Hirschman, secretary of the Netherlands Football Association, turned to the Football Association. Its secretary, FJ Wall, did accept the proposal but progress stalled while waiting for the Executive Committee of the Football Association, the International FA Board and the associations of Scotland, Wales and Ireland to give their opinion about the matter.

Guérin, secretary of the football department of the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques and a journalist with Le Matin newspaper, did not want to wait any longer. He contacted the national associations on the continent in writing and asked them to consider the possibility of founding an umbrella organisation.

When Belgium and France met in the first official international match in Brussels on 1 May 1904, Guérin discussed the subject with his Belgian counterpart Louis Muhlinghaus. It was now definite that the English FA, under its president Lord Kinnaird, would not be participating in the foundation of an international federation. So Guérin took the opportunity and sent out invitations to the founding assembly. The process of organising the international game had begun.

The first FIFA Statutes were laid down and the following points determined: the reciprocal and exclusive recognition of the national associations represented and attending; clubs and players were forbidden to play simultaneously for different national associations; recognition by the other associations of a player’s suspension announced by an association; and the playing of matches according to the Laws of the Game of the Football Association Ltd.

Each national association had to pay an annual fee of FF50. Already then there were thoughts of staging an international competition and Article 9 stipulated that FIFA alone was entitled to take over the organisation of such an event. It was decided that these regulations would only come into force as of 1 September 1904. Moreover, the first Statutes of FIFA were only of a provisional nature, in order to simplify the acceptance of additional members. On the day of foundation, the Deutscher Fussball-Bund sent a telegram confirming that it would adhere to these Statutes in principle.