Thursday, July 10, 2014

5 things you probably never knew about the World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is known to be one of the, if not the, biggest sporting events the world currently knows. But perhaps beyond bringing together some of the best soccer players from all over, lesser known is the eccentricity it has also brought together since its inception in 1930. Here are some interesting things we found about this sporting event that might surprise or shock, but will definitely amuse you:

Team India’s withdrawal for footwear’s sake
The qualifying rounds of the 1950 World Cup in Brazil particularly highlighted the high number of withdrawals from witnessed from the Asian region. The opening saw Japan, Indonesia, Burma and Philippines all from the same group pulling out. This meant that the last country in the group, India, qualified without having to play a single game, progressing to the World Cup in Brazil by default. However, the Indian team was disallowed from playing in any match as a new FIFA rule stipulated that all players had to wear soccer boots. But their love for barefoot playing ran so deep that they decided boots were not an option and proceeded to withdraw from the 1950 World Cup finals. Thus, they became the team that qualified for 1950 World Cup without having to play a game but also withdrew from the World Cup because of footwear.

The 1930 mass security check
When the World Cup debuted in 1930, security was stringent. Before the 1st ever final in 1930, the referee ordered 60,000 fans to be checked. What was more surprising? Security actually found 1,600 revolvers amongst the crowd. 

North Korea’s Orchestrated Applause
North Korea is, quite simply put, a pretty crazy country. Known for their end-to-end regimentation, it should be of little surprise then when these antics are brought into the world of soccer. And no, we don’t just mean the players. At the 2010 World Cup, North Korean fans actually had their applause orchestrated by a conductor.

Rolls Royce for goals
If there is one country that knew how to motivate their players, it would have to be the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1990. This incentive is one that would make anyone hard-pressed to pass up. In 1990, each player from the UAE who scored would be awarded a Rolls Royce. Yupp, you read it right – Rolls Royce. That has got to hit all the right spots.

Head of the World Society of Friends of Suspenders 
FIFA’s 8th and current president, Sepp Blatter has a rather interesting history behind him. While some know him as the president behind the world’s most watched sporting event, fewer would know he once headed the World Society of Friends of Suspenders. This organization tried to get women to wear stockings and suspenders instead of pantyhose. This wouldn’t be the only example of how the president mixed politics with his eccentricity. No wonder a collective cry has gone out for him to stand down from his presidency.

So, how many of the above trivia did you know? Feel free to share more below!


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