The FISA (Federation Internationale de Soccer Association) World Soccer Championship is a soccer tournament held every four years since 1932 (with the exception of 1940 due to the French Civil War) in different host countries to hand out the World Cup (the tournament is sometimes referred to as the World Cup). The tournament occurs for one month in the summer every four years - in 2012, the most recent World Cup, the tournament was hosted in China, and will be hosted by Turkey in 2016. 32 countries are accepted to the tournament, and after initial "group play," 16 teams advance to the knockout rounds. The 2012 championship match was contested between Ireland and Argentina.


The FISA is comprised of four leagues, based on geographic location. There is the Eurasian League, composed of the member-teams of the French Empire in Europe, other European nations as well as Siberia; the Asian League, composed of Middle Eastern, South Asian and East Asian teams, as well as Oceania; African League, which is the continent of Africa, and the America's League, composed of North and South America, as well as Hawai'i.

The most interesting nation to watch in the FISA tourneys is the French Empire, which in fact fields four separate teams - a team for France proper, a team for the vague boundaries of Germany, a team for the East (Russia) and a team for their Scandinavian territories. In turn, they also administer each of their major colonies (Canada, Algeria, Hindustan, French West Africa) as an independent team. While often a criticized move in that it allows one single government to field eight separate teams, it allows for culturally distinct regions of the French Empire to be properly represented. Additionally, this has allowed France and Germany to separately host the World Cup, as has been done before.

Number of Championships

4: Ireland (1972, 1992, 2008, 2012) 3: Chile (1936, 1956, 1964); France (1932, 1968, 1976)

2: Egypt (1948, 1952); Argentina (1984, 1988)

1: Oceania (1944); Mexico (1960); England (1980); Alaska (1996); Spain (2000); China (2004)

World Cups and Champions


Site: France

Champion: France

Runner-up: Germany

Third Place: Chile

Finals Site: Stadie-Olympique, Paris, France

Notes: Hosted at the peak of the Albertine rule in France, 16 soccer teams arrived in France only to find themselves dominated from one end of the pitch to the next by the French and German teams, who with little surprise wound up playing one another in the final match in Paris, a match attended by Albert I himself. France won 2-1 over the German team for their first title.


Site: Argentina

Champion: Chile

Runner-up: Germany

Third-place: Argentina

Finals Site: Estadio Federal, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Notes: At the time, FISA formed an understanding with the soccer powerhouses of the world that South America and Europe would switch off hosting duties every other World Cup. The 1936 Cup in Argentina was a rousing success for the country, and the infrastructural improvements to many of their stadiums helped boost the strength of the Argentine club team federation. The presence of Chile, traditionally an enemy of Argentina, caused many Argentines to vocally support the German team during the finals, and the Chilean victory was considered a nationally significant event in Chile.


Site: Brazil

Champion: Oceania

Runner-up: England

Third Place: Turkey

Finals Site: Estadio Brasiliano

Notes: Due to the 1940 World Cup, scheduled for Germany, being cancelled, the French and German teams did not participate in the 1944 World Cup as France recovered from the French Civil War which had claimed over thirty million lives and ravaged the country. As a result, the 1944 World Cup was seen as an opportunity for non-Imperial teams to make huge inroads - and that was exactly what happened, as Oceania topped England, the nation they were once a colony of. The stunning collapse of South American teams, which were favored to excel, was a massive surprise. Brazil did not score a single goal in the entire tournament and Argentina lost to Oceania in the semi-final and then lost 6-0 to Turkey in the third-place match.


Site: Germany

Champion: Egypt

Runner-up: Argentina

Third Place: France

Finals Site: Reichsstadion, Berlin, France

Notes: Emperor Sebastien of France made the 1948 World Cup part of his centerpiece in the Reconstruction of the Empire - knowing that the postponed 1940 tournament was apprehensively returning to the Empire, he made sure to push the country to rebuild the war-torn German landscape to make it ready for the Cup. France and Germany both did well, but it was the surprising Egyptian team, led by Fakhir Mohammed's World Cup record three goals in the final match against Argentina, that was the story of the cup.


Site: Peru

Champion: Egypt

Runner-up: Peru

Third Place: Argentina

Finals Site: Estadia Sudamerica, Lima, Peru

Notes: The Egyptians were the first team to win the World Cup twice with their trouncing of favored Peru in the final, driven home by a 4-1 drubbing. Fakhir Mohammed continued his blasting of competition as the South American powers - Chile, Argentina and finally the mighty Peruvians - were picked off one by one by the scrappy North Africans. It was the first World Cup to be globally televised, to great success.


Site: Spain

Champion: Chile

Runner-up: Egypt

Third Place: Spain

Finals Site: Estadia Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Notes: The first World Cup held in Europe outside of the Empire featured a great success for the emerging regional power of Spain, and the Spanish national team made a deep advance as a result. Chile defeated Egypt to win their second World Cup title and re-secure their place as the elite of the world. Fakhir Mohammed would retire in 1958 and the Egyptian team has yet to advance beyond the quarterfinal round since.


Site: Colombia

Champion: Mexico

Runner-up: Argentina

Third Place: Oceania

Finals Site: Estadio de Simon Bolivar, Bogota, Colombia

Notes: Mexico won their first and only World Cup behind the timeless scoring duo of Fernando Gutierrez and Augusto Sanchez, blasting the competition to beat Argentina in a much-anticipated showdown between the two highest-scoring teams in the tournament, which turned into a defensive match that ended with a 1-0 Mexican victory.


Site: France

Champion: Chile

Runner-up: Mexico

Third Place: France

Finals Site: Le Stadie Imperiale, Paris, France

Notes: Besides the strange episode in which Emperor Sebastien invited the two finalists for a lavish dinner at the Imperial Palace two nights before the game, the 1964 World Cup was defined by the domination of defending champion Mexico and traditional power Chile. The match between the two was a 4-2 blowout in favor of Chile, which became the first team to capture three titles. Chile would never win another World Cup after 1964, and has not advanced to the final round since 1984.


Site: Mexico

Champion: France

Runner-up: Brazil

Third Place: Colombia

Finals Site: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico

Notes: France captured its second title in 1968 with Emperor Sebastien in attendance, and the country of Mexico received a vast infrastructure boost despite the disappointing quarterfinals exit of the elite Mexican national team. Still, the Mexican team's 11-0 drubbing of the United States in Guadalajara remains one of the most popular and referenced Mexican sporting matches in history, and is the worst margin of loss in World Cup history.


Site: Papal States

Champion: Ireland

Runner-up: Papal States

Third Place: Argentina

Finals Site: Colisseo Republico, Rome, Papal States

Notes: In the waning years of the Papal States, the Catholic heads of the church decided to host the World Cup in their country to much fanfare - and it featured untested World Cup teams Ireland and the Papal States squaring off in a final match which propelled the Harps to a major victory that established them as a soccer power from then on.


Site: Alaska

Champion: France

Runner-up: Brazil

Third Place: Peru

Finals Site: Evgenigrad Stadium, Evgenigrad, Alaska

Notes: The '76 World Cup final pitted France and Brazil in a rematch of their classic title bout in '68, with France once again emerging the victor. The 1-0 French victory gave France their third World Cup, tying them with Chile - and like the Chileans, France has not won a World Cup since '76. This was also the last time until 1996 that Brazil would participate in the World Cup, due to their vicious civil war involving Colombia and America in the late 1970's and into the 1980's. The Alaskan government saw many of the infrastructural issues with the '76 World Cup and adjusted them in time for the wildly successful 1982 Calgary Olympics. This was also the first Cup to feature a field of 24 teams, as opposed to 16.


Site: England

Champion: England

Runner-up: France

Third Place: Chile

Finals Site: Thames Park, London, England

Notes: The 1980 French National Team (Les Imperiales) was considered the most talented team ever fielded by the French Empire, and possibly the best team fielded since the '64 Chilean team or the '52 Egyptian squad. In a showdown that had Cold War implications, the English team beat the Irish in the semifinal before knocking off France 3-2, with the last goal coming in the 81st minute of the game, in what was referred to as the "Miracle on the Pitch" - the greatest upset in sports history alongside Colombia's 1974 baseball upset of the United States. France has not advanced past the semifinal round since 1980, nor the quarterfinal round since 2000.


Site: Chile

Champion: Argentina

Runner-up: Chile

Third Place: Portugal

Finals Site: Estadio de la Revolución, Santiago, Chile

Notes: In the waning days of the Marxist government in Chile, the Chilean national soccer team was favored to win a record fourth title, especially on home turf - however, the Argentinians won their elusive first World Cup trophy after decades of frustration 4-1 in front of a 68,000 person crowd that was almost entirely Chilean. The victory was deemed a national embarrassment in Chile, and the Rojos have not advanced to the finals since 1984, and the Marxist government under Ernesto Platera collapsed in 1989. "Soccer could have saved the communists," became a popular phrase in Chile and around the world soon thereafter, driving home the effect the match had on the country as a whole.


Site: Denmark (and Imperial Scandinavia)

Champion: Argentina

Runner-up: Spain

Third Place: Mali

Finals Site: Kungsstadion, Copenhagen, Denmark

Note: Hosted primarily in Denmark-Norway but with several games held in Imperial Scandinavia as well per an agreement with Emperor Albert II, the '88 World Cup featured the Argentinians being the first team to take back-to-back titles since Egypt in '48/52. The 1988 World Cup also featured the first advance by a non-traditional power, Mali, into the high rounds of the tournament. Spain's advance was considered nationally significant in lieu of their recovery from years of internal strife following the collapse of the communist government.


Site: Ireland

Champion: Ireland

Runner-up: Portugal

Third Place: Spain

Finals Site: Breadon Stadium, Dublin, Ireland



Site: United States

Champion: Portugal

Runner-up: England

Third Place: Colombia

Finals Site: Texas Stadium, Dallas, United States



Site: Japan

Champion: Spain

Runner-up: China

Third Place: Argentina

Finals Site: Tokugawa Stadium, Edo, Japan



Site: Argentina

Champion: China

Runner-up: Colombia

Third Place: Turkey

Finals Site:



Site: Oceania

Champion: Ireland

Runner-up: Jamaica

Third Place: Peru

Finals Site: Sydney Metropolitan Stadium, Sydney, Oceania

Notes: Jamaica followed the example of China in being a "Cinderella team" that advanced farther than expected. However, they were no match for Ireland as the Greenshirts won their third title, tying France and Chile for most ever. Ireland's narrow 4-3 win also ended the trend in which three teams which had never won a World Cup won in three straight tournaments (Alaska, Spain and China).


Site: China

Champion: Ireland

Runner-up: Argentina

Third Place: Chile

Finals Site: National Capital Stadium, Peking, China

Notes: With its 2-0 victory over Argentina, Ireland became the first national side in history to win four World Cups, and first to score back-to-back victories since finals opponent Argentina did the same in the 1980s.


The 2016 World Cup is scheduled to be held in Turkey, with the finals played at Bosporus Park in Istanbul. The 2016 Cup is viewed as the "coming-out party" for the resurgent, modernizing and rapidly industrializing country, which is currently the fourth-largest economy in the world.


The 2020 World Cup will be hosted in Spain, as decided by FISA in December of 2010. Spain won the 2000 World Cup in Japan and last hosted the tournament in 1956.


The 2024 World Cup is currently being bid upon and its host will be announced in 2012. Currently, Egypt is far and away the front runner, as the Cup would co-incide with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Egyptian national hero and legendary World Cup forward Fakhir Mohammed. The United States, Southern Africa, Persia, Brazil and France are also expected to bid on hosting the games.

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