FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is an international association football competition contested by the national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 which were cancelled because of the Second World War.

History

Football was contested as an International Olympic Committee recognised sport at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympic Games organised by England's Football Association. Following the formation of FIFA in 1904, the newly formed body supervised the football competition at 1908 Summer Olympic Games.

In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament as a "world football championship for amateurs", and took responsibility for organising the event. This led the way for the world's first intercontinental football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympic Games, won by Belgium, with Uruguay winning the tournaments in 1924 and 1928.

With football not due to be held at the 1932 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1932, the 17th FIFA Congress in Amsterdam, presided over by Jules Rimet and held during the 1928 Summer Olympic Games, voted to organise the first World Cup tournament in 1930.

Tournaments

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Wales at the World Cup

The Football Association of Wales, alongside the Football Association, Irish Football Association, Scottish Football Association, withdrew from FIFA in 1928 over disagreements with regards to the amateur status of international football. Despite not being members, it is recorded that FIFA made approaches to both the FA and SFA to take part in the 1930 an 1934 tournaments, however the minutes of FAW meetings during this period make no mention of such an approach to the Welsh Association.

At the 1937 International Football Association Board annual general meeting held in Llandudno, the FIFA representatives, Dr P. J. Bauwens and Mr H. Delaunay once more made representtions to the four British Associations, inviting them to participte in the 1938 World Cup in France. The issue was left to the individual Associations to decide with neither of the four nations taking up FIFA's invitation.

Having rejoined FIFA in 1946, the four Home Associations were offered two places at the 1950 World Cup with the 1949-50 British Home Championship doubling up as Group 1 of the World Cup qualification campaign, meaning Wales' 1-4 defeat to England at Ninian Park was the first World Cup qualifying match and Mal Griffiths of Leicester City was Wales' first goalscorer in a World Cup qualifier.

Wales have qualified for the World Cup finals on one occasion, reaching the quarter finals of the 1958 World Cup before losing to eventual winners, Brazil.