The World Cup is an exciting time. You can call me one of those band wagon fans, but no doubt I am cheering for TEAM USA all the way. When it comes to soccer I know the rules and I like the game, but I rarely follow what’s going on unless it’s the World Cup. With the World Cup starting today it only seemed appropriate to get you in the know. Whether you’re a novice or notorious World Cup fan, I’ve got you covered on everything you’ll need to know about World Cup.
The World Cup is the most widely watched sporting event in the world, and has been held every four years since 1930, with the exception of World War II. Hundreds of qualifying games are played around the world over the three years leading up to the month-long World Cup.
Every four years, 32 teams from across the globe battle for football supremacy. This year the tournament will be held in Brazil from June 12 to July 13. Brazil was awarded the tournament by the Federation Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA in 2007. Brazil has since assigned 12 cities across their country as host cities. A football stadium was built in each city with the minimal seating capacity of 37,000 in Manaus (in Amazon) to 71,000 capacities in Rio de Janeiro.
How are teams selected?
There are 32 teams in the tournament and all, with the exception of the host city (Brazil) must compete in qualification rounds. For the 2014 World Cup, qualifying rounds occurred in 2011 and 2012, where approximately 200 teams from across the globe fought to earn their spot on the world stage.
How does the tournament work?
All 32 teams are assigned to one of eight groups of four (Group A – Group H). Teams are assigned by FIFA and selected in a way where not all teams from one region are put into the same group. Teams must play each member of their group or a total of 64 matches. The top two teams from each group will then move on to the knockout rounds. Knockout rounds are where now top 16 teams (top 2 x 8 groups) are placed in a bracket format with the top team from Group A playing against the second-place team in Group B and so forth until there are two teams left. The final game will be played on Sunday, July 13 in Rio de Janeiro.
Even if you don’t understand soccer, you can feel the excitement of the crowds at World Cup matches.