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The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is an association governed by Swiss law founded in 1904 and based in Zurich. It has 211 member associations and its goal, enshrined in its Statutes, is the constant improvement of football.
The Laws of the Game provide a common, simple language to support the unique, unifying power of football. FIFA’s open and democratic structure gives the global game its foundation it needs to grow and thrive. We work as part of the International Football Association Board to define and amend the Laws of the Game on behalf of the global football community.
FIFA was founded on 21 May 1904 in Paris by delegates from Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The founders created the first FIFA statutes, unifying the laws of the game to make it fair and clear to all players setting the foundation for all future football development.
FIFA protects the integrity of football and is fighting corruption in football. We work with our member associations and confederations to improve and strengthen governance standards within the global football community to give football the solid foundation it needs to thrive everywhere.
Football has the power to bring people together and to break down barriers. It gives FIFA a platform to improve standards of education, health and sustainability, and to raise living standards and quality of life across the world.
FIFA unites and inspires the world through its competitions. FIFA provides the stable and sustainable financial foundations that football needs to develop and prosper as a highly-popular and international sport. We work hard to respect and maintain the highest standards of financial management in sport. FIFA is a not-for-profit community of 209 football associations. FIFA’s financial health is vital for global football.
If you have any questions, or would just like to learn more about FIFA, please have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions.
FIFA has a responsibility to adapt to the latest developments in the world of football to ensure that its operations and values adhere to the best governance standards possible. Over the past 15 years, FIFA has progressively adopted a wide range of governance reforms that reflect the views of the football community in order to meet the evolving needs of the modern game.
The contemporary history of the world's favourite game spans more than 100 years. It all began in 1863 in England, when rugby football and association football branched off on their different courses and the Football Association in England was formed - becoming the sport's first governing body.
Football has come a long way since its first laws were drawn up in London in 1863. That historic meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern led not only to the foundation of the Football Association but, moreover, to the game's inaugural set of common rules.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) 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 first FIFA Congress followed immediately and on 22 May 1904, Robert Guerin was elected as President. Victor E Schneider (Switzerland) and Carl Anton Wilhelm Hirschman (Netherlands) were made Vice-Presidents.
The start of World War One caused a major interruption. Who talked then about football and its mission to unite nations? And yet, the ties that had been developed were not fully broken, even if they were only maintained on a small scale. There were some international matches played, albeit organised on neutral territory.
The success of the Olympic Football Tournament intensified FlFA's wish for its own world championship. Questionnaires were sent to the affiliated associations, asking whether they agreed to the organisation of a tournament and under what conditions. A special committee examined the question, with President Jules Rimet the driving force. He was aided by the untiring Secretary of the French Football Federation, Henri Delaunay.
The year 1946 saw the return of the four British associations to FIFA. This was thanks in large part to the diplomatic talent of Jules Rimet who found in Arthur Drewry and Sir Stanley Rous farsighted partners in the English FA. Both men would head FIFA in later years.
Rodolphe William Seeldrayers was the fourth President of FIFA,stepping into the shoes of Jules Rimet whom he had assisted asVice-President for over 25 years. In his new function, hecelebrated the 50th Anniversary of FIFA, which now counted 85members. Yet his reign was brief, curtailed by his death in October1955.
From the moment the South American Confederation, the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol, presented his candidature for the FIFA Presidency in 1970, Dr João Havelange had looked for solutions to the major problems of world football. When the Brazilian was elected at the 39th Congress in 1974, he was ready to consider football not only as a competition but also to try and find new ways and means of promoting technical development worldwide.
Over the past 25 years football has enhanced its status as the world's leading game, reaching into other branches of society, commerce and politics. Football, more than any other factor, has enveloped whole regions, people and nations.