by Martha Simmonds

With a fan base of 4 billion, FIFA is a sports phenomenon that has taken over the world. For soccer enthusiasts, it is, quite frankly, the next best thing since sliced bread.

From in-stadium matches to EA games played on phones and consoles, FIFA has evolved rapidly over the years. Today, it is a raging sports sensation with a global presence of avid soccer lovers. 

FIFA: A Comprehensive Guide

What Does It Stand For?

FIFA is an acronym for Fédération Internationale de Football Association (French), which translates to International Federation of Association Football in English.

FIFA is the global governing body of:

  • Football, or soccer
  • Futsal, a mini football game played on a hard court indoors
  • Beach soccer

When And Why Was It Founded?

FIFA was founded on May 21, 1904, in Paris by seven national associations — Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Sweden, Spain, and Switzerland.

It was created to oversee major international competitions, most notably the World Cup and the Women’s World Cup.

FIFA regulated, governed, organized, and promoted football games among a few national football associations hailing from West European countries. Today, however, it has expanded to include 211 national football associations globally. As the ultimate administrative authority of football, it also oversees the transfers of players, establishes standards for refereeing, and regulates the rules of the game for fair play.

The organization, however, does not make major decisions — FIFA Congress does.

FIFA Congress is the legislative body of FIFA. All 211 football associations in this Congress can vote to propose candidates for hosting the FIFA World Cup as well as the FIFA presidency, among other things, when they meet.

So, what happens when members of the FIFA Congress cannot meet?

The FIFA Council acts as a stand-in.

Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, the FIFA Council is made up of 37 members, which includes the president who is elected by the FIFA congress. The 8 vice presidents and 28 other members that the member organization elect — with at least 1 position secured for a woman representative in each confederation.

What Does It Do?

FIFA supports 211 national football associations and 6 confederations under its wing through various programs to promote the sport of football around the world.

The organization largely generates revenue from sponsorships to support its functioning.

As per their website —

“The vast majority (around 95 percent) of the organization’s revenues come from the sale of television, marketing, hospitality and licensing rights related to the FIFA World Cup”

The forward funds are released only after an annual central audit review to ensure that FIFA has a comprehensive picture of the finances of its beneficiaries. This is done via world-class auditors to ensure the system is not susceptible to corruption or risk to its reputation.

This “giving” relationship, however, is not a one-way street.

These football associations represent FIFA in their home countries, so —

“They have obligations to respect the statutes, aims and ideals of football’s governing body and promote and manage our sport accordingly.” 

FIFA’s Popularity With the Masses

FIFA is a powerhouse that has essentially made soccer the global sensation it is today.

As per the information provided in the Professional Football Report (2019), there are, at the very least, a whopping 128,983 professional football players. This data is pulled from 187 countries out of 211, so this number would potentially be much higher now.

Additionally, as more opportunities and support become open to players with every passing year, it is very likely that more than 150 million athletes play the sport.

Think of all the games one can watch — both in-stadium and on the TV!

And if you’re looking for a more hands-on experience, there are FIFA games — video-game versions of real-life football games. 

What Is EA FIFA?

The all-time favorite EA FIFA video game series was produced by EA SPORTS in 1993, almost three decades ago now. EA Sports created this gaming series with the intention to develop a strong hold on football on a global scale, but it did so much more than that!

The recent edition of the simulation game, FIFA 22, became a raging hit since its release in 2021, garnering over 9 million players! This further speaks to its popularity as the most sought-after video game franchise on the market today.

Its popularity can be attributed to many aspects, but attention to minute detail and incredible realism will always top the list. Users can play with industry experts head-to-head or in AI-controlled teams, whatever they like!

EA FIFA game has various modes available to appeal to players of all levels. It also offers gems on winning, which can be exchanged for players, fodder players to complete squad-building challenges (SBCs), or consumables like club kits from the FUT market to strengthen your team.

Take a look at some of the major factors that have contributed to its global recognition.

1. Regular Updates

As with every video game, EA FIFA also had a rough start. There were major bugs in the system, one of which made goal scoring cheap. But, these were eradicated bit by bit with minor updates and significant changes in the system.

2. Unrivaled Realism

EA uses state-of-the-art technology to deliver unrivaled realism. From characters and their real-life-like emotions to the atmosphere of a big game, every aspect of the game is carefully designed to offer a complete picture — reeling in players by the thousands. The company has also brought in a graphic update to make it easier on the eyes.

3. Compatibility on Different Devices

Initially, EA FIFA was only compatible with consoles and systems, which wasn’t very inclusive for those with tight budgets. To rectify that, the systems were updated to work with phones as well, taking its popularity to new heights.

Given the enthusiasm with which EA strives to cater to its audience, it’s safe to say that it may soon occupy the driving seat in the world of games for a long, long time.

Rounding Up

FIFA redefined the sports world, both offline and online. It made football more accessible across different countries and cultures, giving the sport the recognition it deserves.

With the FIFA World kicking off in Qatar for the coveted FIFA Trophy, everyone’s eyes will be on this upcoming spectacle of soccer in November 2022!

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