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  • Writer's pictureKurtis Tatkenhorst

July 13- First Ever FIFA World Cup Games are Played

1930- On this day in Sports History, the first ever FIFA World Cup games were played. The World Cup has become one of the premiere sports tournaments in the world. It has been held every four years since 1930, except during World War II and hundreds of millions of people watch as teams from different countries compete to become World Champions.

The very first World Cup was held in Uruguay and played from July 13, 1930 to July 30, 1930. The first two games of the tournament were held simultaneously. The two games were France defeating Mexico 4-1 and the United States defeating Belgium 3-0. Lucien Laurent of France scored the first ever World Cup goal. These two games kicked off the tournament which would become one the biggest sporting events in the world.

FIFA / Getty Images

FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) was formed in 1904 to oversee the international soccer competitions between countries. At the time it was between all European countries, but soon countries from the America’s would join. Until 1930, the big international soccer competition was in the Olympics. However, at the time the Olympics only allowed amateur players meaning that the best soccer players from each country who were professionals were not allowed to participate. FIFA pushed hard against the rule which resulted in there not being soccer in the 1932 Olympics that was held in Los Angeles. Instead, FIFA created their own tournament, which began in 1930 and would become the World Cup. Uruguay, who won the gold medal in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics was selected as the host country for the first ever tournament.

In the 1930 World Cup, there were 13 countries that sent a team to participate. There were four European countries and the rest were from North or South America. The long and expensive trip by ship made it hard for European countries to come, but France, Belgium, Romania, and Yugoslavia each made the trip. The United States went 2-0 in group play before losing to Argentina 6-1 in the semifinals. The host country Uruguay won the first ever World Cup Championship as they beat Yugoslavia in the semifinals and Argentina in the finals.

On this day in 1930, the World Cup held their first games in what would become the biggest soccer tournament in the World and would soon outshine the soccer tournament in the Olympics. It continues to be held every four years and brings millions of people from around the world to the host country to watch the games. The first ever Women's World Cup was held in 1991.

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“First World Cup.”, A&E Television Networks, 16 Nov. 2009

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “World Cup.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 22 Jan. 2020

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