The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) celebrates its birthday on Monday 21 May, with world football’s governing body marking the 108th anniversary of its foundation.
FIFA began life as an organisation on 21 May 1904 with the aim to organise and regulate the world’s most popular sport, a vision crystallized by the signing of the foundation act by representatives from Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland in Paris that day. Within two days the inaugural FIFA Congress, which will have its 62nd edition this week in Budapest, was held and Robert Guerin of France was voted to become FIFA’s first-ever President.
Growing every year and maintaining state-of-the-art facilities, FIFA now has its permanent home on FIFA Strasse in Zurich, having originally been based in Paris, France and later Sonnenberg in Switzerland.
The current FIFA President, Joseph S. Blatter, has earmarked 2012 as a year for reform within the organisation, with significant changes planned with regards to governance and transparency. While this week’s FIFA Executive Committee meeting and FIFA Congress in Hungary will continue along the road map for reform, progress has already been made, with each of the organisation’s 208 Member Associations now having at least one delegate on a FIFA Committee and plans to appoint a female to the Executive Committee merely waiting to be rubber-stamped.
On the pitch, FIFA remains dedicated to providing support at all levels of the game and will again organise tournaments of various kinds around the world in 2012, including: Men’s and Women’s Olympic Football Tournaments, FIFA Club World Cup, FIFA Futsal World Cup, FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.