Editorial

RIO DE JANEIRO – It’s like Carnival has come back, except this time with more yellow and green patriotic fervor. If you aren’t much of a sports fan, or American, you might wonder how Brazil can fit in yet another month-long holiday. But it can, and it will, as long as Brazil is in this 2010 Copa do Mundo, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup.

Stone Korshak, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of The Rio Times.

The championship has happened every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when the World War II put the kibosh on it.

This year, the 2010 South African World Cup will see 32 teams competing for the title over a period of 31 days – this phase is called the World Cup Finals. Again, for those unfamiliar with “soccer”, don’t forget there was the qualification phase that spanned the last three years.

Apparently, the FIFA World Cup was watched by 715 million people during the final match of the 2006 World Cup (in Germany), and is the most widely viewed sporting event on earth.

The brief history is that after FIFA was founded in 1904, there was an attempt made to arrange an international tournament outside of the Olympics 1906, although reportedly a failure. However watching the success of the Olympic football, FIFA, relaunched plans for its own international event outside of the Olympics in 1928.

Since then, the event has grown larger-and-larger, with a wider-and-wider international appeal. The results of the finals are as follows:
1930 – (in Uruguay) – Uruguay 4-2 Argentina
1934 – (in Italy) – Italy 2-1 Czechoslovakia
1938 – (France) – Italy 4-2 Hungary
1942 not held
1946 not held
1950 – (in Brazil) – Uruguay 2-1 Brazil
1954 – (in Switzerland) – Germany 3-2 Hungary
1958 – (in Sweden) – Brazil 5-2 Sweden
1962 – (in Chile) – Brazil 3-1 Czechoslovakia
1966 – (in England) – England 4-2 Germany
1970 – (in Mexico) – Brazil 4-1 Italy
1974 – (in Germany) – Germany 2-1 Holland
1978 – (in Argentina) – Argentina 3-1 Holland
1982 – (in Spain) – Italy 3-1 Germany
1986 – (in Mexico) – Argentina 3-2 Germany
1990 – (in Italy) – Germany 1-0 Argentina
1994 – (in U.S.) – Brazil 0-0 (3-2 penalty kicks) Italy
1998 – (in France) – France 3-0 Brazil
2002 – (in Japan / S. Korea) – Brazil 2-0 Germany
2006 – (in Germany) – Italy 1-1 (5-3 penalty kicks) France
2010 – (in South Africa) – TBD

In case you didn’t notice, or still wonder why Brazil treats the Word Cup as it’s own national holiday, they hold the record for most championships.
– Brazil – 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
– Italy – 4 (1934*, 1938, 1982, 2006)
– Germany – 3 (1954, 1974*, 1990)
– Argentina – 2 (1978*, 1986)
– Uruguay – 2 (1930*, 1950)
– France – 1 (1998*)
– England – 1 (1966*)
* = hosts

This legacy in a place where a girl friend of mine literally cried when Flamengo lost to Botafogo in the last Campeonato Carioca (State Championships), and well, passions are ablaze. So why fight it? Face paint, take off work (unless you work at The Rio Times), and enjoy it while it’s here.

And of course, Brazil will be hosting the 2014 World Cup.

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