A History of the World Cup in 24 Objects
The idea for a football world cup grew out of the popularity of Olympic football tournaments; an increasing number of international competitions and improved communications networks in global sport. This booklet uses twenty four key items in the collections at the National Football Museum to tell the history of the competition as it has grown and moved across the world. We hope that you enjoy this approach but recognise that this selection of items is idiosyncratic and you may well have made other choices. This booklet and the related exhibition is not intended as a definitive history of the World Cup from 1930-2014 but designed to raise awareness of the social and cultural reach of the tournament as it has evolved into a mega event. At the first Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Championship in 1930 played in Montevideo, Uruguay the only European teams were Belgium, France, Romania and Yugoslavia. The second World Championship was hosted by Italy in 1934 and the third was held in France in 1938. The first three FIFA World Championships were therefore relatively small affairs but immediately popular with the public and the media. The first post-war World Cup held in Brazil in 1950 therefore showcased the global reach of football more extensively than at any previous point in history. Subsequent World Cups show strong modernistic designs influenced by space and satellite technologies, increased technological specialisation and more intense commercialisation. Items like the Vuvuzela, the sound of the 2010 South Africa World Cup, reflect a national public image on a world stage.
De Montfort University (DMU) is host to the International Centre for Sports History and Culture (ICSHC). The Road to Rio is a project devised to innovate an international network of experts on the cultural history of Brazilian football and the globalisation of the World Cup. For instance, DMU has recently signed a memorandum of agreement with ICSHC alumni, Andre Megale, who has established the first Brazilian Institute on the History of Sports. The ‘The Road to Rio’ involves the ICSHC as a hub of historical and cultural analysis on the upcoming Brazil 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic and Paralympics Games. The ICSHC is uniquely placed to provide historical context for contemporary Brazilian mega events. This is a catalogue for an exhibitions at the National Football Museum, Manchester (NFM). In addition, an academic conference at the BL and a public lecture series at the NFM will maximise the public impact of our research to national and international audiences. The focus of the world’s gaze on Brazil as a sporting innovator is not new. The first three Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Championships were relatively small affairs hosted in 1930 by Uruguay; Italy in 1934 and France in 1938. The 1950 Brazil World Cup showcased the global reach of modern football as a media spectacle more extensively than at any previous point in history, also in a context of economic growth, cultural modernity and political challenges.
Citation : Goldblatt, D. and Williams, J. (2014) A History of the World Cup in 24 Objects (International Centre for Sports History and Culture, De Montfort University and the National Football Museum)
Research Group : International Centre for Sports History and Culture
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Humanities