What does Fifa stand for in English? In French, it is the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. What does Fifa stand for in English? Translated into English, FIFA means International Federation of Association Football. FIFA is the official governing body of international football as well as the World Cup.
Fifa is based in Zurich, Switzerland and the current president is Sepp Blatter. It is an association and at the top of the management structure is a congress comprised of representative members from each affiliated member country.
As football became increasingly popular at the beginning the 20th century, it became increasingly obvious that there needed to be something or somebody to oversee the game. As a result, FIFA was formed in Paris on May 21 1904 and the founding countries were France, Denmark, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, and Sweden, plus German who decided they wished to be affiliated the same day.
By 1906 England was also affiliated, and in 1908 South Africa joined and the membership was extended beyond Europe. Chile and Argentina joined in 1912 and Canada and the United States became affiliates in 1913.
FIFA nearly died a death during World War I with the so many players unavailable and most international fixtures cancelled. Thankfully it survived and even though the United Kingdom temporarily withdrew after the end of the war because they refused to play football with the nations they had so recently been at war with, FIFA continued and SINCE 1930 it has been responsible for nineteen editions of the FIFA World Cup.
What does Fifa mean to football today?
In recent years, FIFA has been dogged by allegations of corruption and bribery. In 2006 n investigative reporter published a scandalous book alleging a ‘cash for contracts’ scandal whereby officials had been paid sweeteners in return for marketing contracts. There were also allegations of vote-rigging and a television documentary followed shortly afterwards detailing an investigation into Sepp Blatt, FIFA’s governing president.
More recently there has been further controversy in the wake of the decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and FIFA officials have been accused by many in the media of accepting bribes and gifts prior to the decision being announced. A Sunday Times reporter filmed one executive FIFA member saying he was happy to accept $800,000 to build artificial pitches in Nigeria as long as the money was channelled through the bank account of a family member.
With some FIFA officials accused of selling their votes in return for cash, the allegations have been hugely damaging to FIFA and many feel that the negative publicity splashed all over the British media had an adverse effect on the final outcome of the 2018 World Cup—specifically the fact that England did not win despite their bid the most technically accomplished and commercially sound of the European bids.
Switzerland’s sports ministry has asked officials to investigate the Zurich based governing body following the suspension of two of its officials and in the face of so many allegations of corruption being thrown at them in recent months, it is hard to judge how much credibility FIFA can retain.