info suisse Summer 2015
It should really be called Football as it is named outside of North America. However, the name “soccer” comes originally from England (and not North America) where this most popular sport was invented.
With the FIFA Women’s World Cup currently being hosted in Canada, and the info suisse focus on sport, i felt explaining the complexity of the world of “football” could be beneficial. Tactics, Rules, Politics, Financing, comments on international and local teams and its players will not be touched on since it would take pages. i will also not write about FIFA’s recent corruption scandals or the 5th re-election of Sepp Blatter. First, i will try to highlight how FIFA, UEFA and other associations are organized. Also, some comments will be made about the forthcoming Women’s World Cup in Canada with Swiss and Canadian participation.
FIFA (Fédération internationale de Football Association) is the international governing body and is responsible for the organization of football’s major international tournaments, notably the World Cup (since 1930) and the Women’s World Cup (1991) but also the Olympic tournaments, U-17 and U-20 and Beach Soccer. FIFA is headquartered in Zurich and the association is under the Laws of Switzerland. The membership now comprises 209 national associations (Women 129) and the current president is Sepp Blatter. The organization makes quite often headlines, other than what is shown on the football fields. There are six regional confederations (Africa=CAF; Asia=AFC; Europe=UEFA, North & Central America and Caribbean=CONCACAF; Oceania =OFC and South America=CONMEBOL). They generate roughly 1.5 billion and have the same amount additionally in cash reserves. The world Cup is played every four years (last in Brazil 2014). FIFA’s choice to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively, have been widely criticized with unproven allegations of vote buying, potential corruption and bribery.
UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) is the governing body of European football and is the umbrella organization for 54 national football associations across Europe. UEFA is a society entered in the register of companies under the Swiss civil code, and is neutral, politically and religiously. its headquarters are also located in Switzerland (Nyon/VD) and the current president is the famous French player Michel Platini. it is a continental confederation of the world football body FIFA (see above).
The best known competitions are the European Championship contested by 24 country teams, the next one played in France “The 2016 UEFA Euro 2016” for the first time contested by 24 teams and also taking place every four years. The qualifying competition will be concluded in November 2015; after a bad start, Switzerland still needs to qualify and there are 5 games left. Of course, every above-mentioned con - federation has its own separate competition.
The other important competition is played on a European Club level, which can be compared with the importance of the hockey Stanley Cup in NA – is the UEFA Champions League, annually organized by the UEFA. it is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world played by the national league champions (and, for some nations, one or more runners-up, up to four). it is the most watched annual sporting event drawing mil - lions of television viewers. Unlike the FIFA- World Cups where the players must be country nationals, the UEFA Champions League’s best- paid players are from all over the world. The final is typically held in the final two weeks of May each year and the complicated qualifying process is determined in groups with a total of 32 teams.
To make things more complicated: Clubs that finish next-in-line in each European nation’s top level league, having not qualified for the UEFA Champions League competition, may be eligible for the next level UEFA Europa League competition (previously called UEFA Cup). The competition was traditionally open to runners-up of domestic country leagues but was merged with UEFA Cup Winners.
All these competitions attract multinational sponsors and each competition has even its own Anthems.
Many football events are similarly organized for the Ladies:
The FIFA Women’s World Cup is the largest women’s sport competition in the world. As you can read on the many advertising boards, Canada will be the host country for 30 days (June 6 – July 5, 2015) to welcome the world. The six venues are Edmonton (opening game), Winnipeg, Vancouver (final on July 5th), Montreal and Ottawa. Unfortunately, there are no games in Toronto because of the PanAm games.
Switzerland, presently ranked 19th in the world, qualified as first European team in a favorable draw into qualification. They will play in Group C (there are 6 groups @ 4 teams) as follows:
- June 8th, 19.00 local time, in Vancouver vs. JAPAN
- June 12th, 16.00 local time, in Vancouver vs. ECUADOR
- June 16th, 15.00 local time, in Edmonton vs. CAMEROON
What are the chances of our Swiss team led by coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg and Captain Caroline Abbé? We tried to find out from them directly but we will have to wait and see as they are busy preparing for this important event.
Canada plays in Group A against CHINA (opening game in Edmonton on June 6), NEW ZEALAND (in Edmonton on June 11) and NETHERLANDS (in Montreal on June 15). Hopp Schwiiz and Go Canada Go!