FIFA Congress

25th FIFA Congress, Luxembourg 1946

Football actions from the past - 1946
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The representatives of the 34 associations attending the first FIFA Congress staged after the Second World War pass several far-reaching decisions. Thanks to Jules Rimet's diplomatic skills, the four British associations - England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, return to FIFA after an absence of almost 20 years.

The reason for the temporary exclusion of these four member associations was a disagreement with FIFA on the status of amateur players. Leading the negotiations for the British are Arthur Drewry and Sir Stanley Rous, who will later take over the helm of FIFA.

The British associations' return is celebrated with a match between a UK team and a FIFA eleven in Glasgow's Hampden Park in 1947. Acclaimed by the press as the "Match of the Century", it pulls in a crowd of 135,000 eager fans. As a goodwill gesture, the receipts of GBP 35,000 were passed on to FIFA to help it bridge the financial losses suffered during the war. The British team won 6-1.

Further Congress decisions in 1946:

• The World Cup trophy is renamed the Jules Rimet Cup in the President's honour.
• Brazil are named hosts of the next World Cup (planned for 1949 but actually held in 1950) and Switzerland hosts of the subsequent tournament. Both tournaments are to be played according to the knockout system.
• The delegates approve CONMEBOL's proposal for Spanish to become an official language of FIFA.

The following extract from the Congress minutes testify to the significance of the 25th FIFA Congress.