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 1936

Sada Abe is arrested after wandering the streets of Tokyo for days with her dead lover’s severed genitals in her handbag. Her story soon becomes one of Japan’s most notorious scandals.

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21 May 1966

The Ulster Volunteer Force declares war on the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland.

21 May: the UVF issued a statement:
From this day, we declare war against the Irish Republican Army and its splinter groups. Known IRA men will be executed mercilessly and without hesitation. Less extreme measures will be taken against anyone sheltering or helping them, but if they persist in giving them aid, then more extreme methods will be adopted… we solemnly warn the authorities to make no more speeches of appeasement. We are heavily armed Protestants dedicated to this cause.

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.

21 May 1980

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is released in theaters.

The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay, with George Lucas writing the film’s story and serving as executive producer. The second installment in the original Star Wars trilogy, it was produced by Gary Kurtz for Lucasfilm Ltd. and stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and Frank Oz.

The film is set three years after Star Wars. The Galactic Empire, under the leadership of the villainous Darth Vader and the Emperor, is in pursuit of Luke Skywalker and the rest of the Rebel Alliance. While Vader chases a small band of Luke’s friends—Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, and others—across the galaxy, Luke studies the Force under Jedi Master Yoda. When Vader captures Luke’s friends, Luke must decide whether to complete his training and become a full Jedi Knight or to confront Vader and save them.

Following a difficult production, The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980. It received mixed reviews from critics initially but has since grown in esteem, becoming the most critically acclaimed chapter in the Star Wars saga; it is now widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time.The film ranks #3 on Empire’s 2008 list of the 500 greatest movies of all time. It became the highest-grossing film of 1980 and, to date, has earned more than $538 million worldwide from its original run and several re-releases. When adjusted for inflation, it is the second-highest-grossing sequel of all time and the 13th-highest-grossing film in North America. The film was followed by a sequel, titled Return of the Jedi, which was released in 1983.

In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the United States’ National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.”