Ancient history

Jules Rimet and the first World Cup

Jules Rimet's objective with the first World Cup was to unite teams from both hemispheres of the planet in fraternization.

Jules Rimet was the president of FIFA who organized the first football World Cup in history. Its aim was to unite the peoples of both hemispheres around Breton sport. This objective stemmed from the character of the French. Rimet, born in 1873, acted in his youth against social inequalities, being politically linked to Christian democracy.

In the field of sports, he created, in 1897, the Red Star Club, a sports center aimed at the participation of workers, seeking to encourage an egalitarian coexistence in this open club. But to bring this ideal of fraternization to FIFA, it would still take some time.

The FIFA was created on May 21, 1904 with the aim of coordinating the various national associations and standardizing the rules of the game. The initial member countries were France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. England, the birthplace of football, would enter the institution just a year later.

Jules Rimet's Trajectory

Rimet he was elected president of the French Football Federation in 1919, but before that he had already tried to develop projects for the organization of a competition involving several countries that practice the sport. The main difficulty was the military conflict around the First World War. After the end of the conflict, Rimet tried to use sport as a means of diplomacy between countries that were previously at war. This situation was made difficult by the fact that rival countries hardly faced each other. This only happened with teams from allied countries. But even with the difficulties, he didn't stray from his goal.

On March 1, 1921, Rimet he was elected president of FIFA with the main objective of holding a World Cup. The Paris Olympic Games, held in 1924, reinforced its defense of the diplomatic character of sport and a means of spreading the principles of peace and fraternization. During the competition, the soccer presented by the Uruguayan team enchanted the spectators and also showed that the South American country had a population passionate about the sport. Rimet realized that this country could be the venue for the first World Cup.

First World Cup

In 1925, Rimet met with the Uruguayan ambassador Enrique Buero in Geneva, Switzerland. The Uruguayan liked the idea presented by the Frenchman that the South American country could host the first World Cup . However, it would first have to convince the other FIFA members to hold the event and choose Uruguay as the host.

To convince the managers, there was the challenge of carrying out a very well structured project, mainly in the financial aspect, that would not cause damage to FIFA. Rimet organized the formation of a commission, composed with the aim of elaborating the project for the realization of the event. Presented on May 26, 1928, it stipulated that, for the holding of the World Cup, a financial guarantee would be given by the organizing country, which consisted of the payment of travel and accommodation expenses of the participants of the competition.

Among the countries that contested the election to be the host country were Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay (the chosen one). The fact that it was two-time Olympic champion in 1924 and 1928 and that it was celebrating, in 1930, the centenary of its independence, weighed in Uruguay's favor. For the competition, the Uruguayan State even built a huge stadium to host the most important matches of the competition. With 108,000 seats, the Centenario stadium was the stage for the grand final between rivals Argentina and Uruguay . Those present at the stadium celebrated with the celebration of the Uruguayan victory by 4-2.

* Image credits:Olga Popova and Shutterstock

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