FIFA World Cup Competitions
The FIFA World Cup is organised by the sport’s global governing body, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and is open to every men’s team from its 209 full members, which is a larger number than the United Nations (192) or the International Olympic Committee (205). The championship is played every four years and the first tournament was held in Uruguay in 1930. There were no competitions in 1942 and 1946, due to World War II.
There are two parts to each tournament, the qualification phase and the final phase (referred to as the World Cup Finals). The three year qualification phase is used to determine which teams qualify for the Finals. Since the 1998 Finals in France, the competition involves 32 teams at venues within the host nation (or nations) over a period of about a month. In the nineteen tournaments held, only eight nations have won the title.
Brazil is the most successful World Cup team, having won the tournament five times and will be the only nation to compete in all 21 Finals. Italy, follows with four titles, while Germany holds three. The other former champions are Uruguay (who won the inaugural tournament) and Argentina with two titles each, and England, France and Spain with one title each.