The FIFA World Cup, also known as the World Cup soccer tournament, is an international athletic competition organized by the governing board of the FIFA (Federation of International Football Associations) and contested by the professional national teams of nations of the former World Cup FIFA (Federation of Football Associations of South Africa) and of Europe. It is the most watched and important sporting event with a worldwide following. More than a billion people follow the tournament either live or through live streams. It is the most attended event in terms of television coverage and media coverage in all of South Africa. The main hosts of the tournament are FIFA (Federation of International Football Associations), the commercial arm of soccer which organizes the event. The other participating countries are: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Greece, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Nepal, Norway, Panama, Poland, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Spain, South Korea, Sweden and United States.
The tournament is divided into two parts with the first one hosted in Africa where sixteen teams from the various countries are invited. The other part consists of another four teams that are based in Europe. The format of this second tournament is exactly like the original World Cup with the same qualification procedure and the same format of play. The only difference is that the tournament will be played in another country.
There are also several interesting trivia facts about the World Cup. It has been the feature attraction of every four years since its inception and was first joined by West Germany. Brazilians are also proud of their association with the game and the ranking they achieved during the process.
The first qualification stage of the World Cup consists of a round robin style group stage with six groups of four. After the first stage all teams have to qualify for the playoffs which is played in a round robin format. In the first round, the four teams that qualified will play against each other while the four teams coming from the other countries in the second round play against each other. The fourth team in the third qualifying tournament is then the favorite for the World Cup which becomes the World Cup champion.
The World Cup has become very popular not only among fans but also among the people involved in soccer in the different countries. It became the most attended and watched soccer tournament after the 1996 World Cup. This led to a huge increase in the interest of soccer among the people in other countries as well. Every four years, the World Cup qualification process becomes much more difficult due to the number of teams that are involved in the tournament. The competition for the World Cup is really tough and until the qualification process for the World Cup is over, it is a really exciting event.
The current World Cup schedule is such that the countries that qualified for the tournament will be playing against each other in the first phase on home soil before they will go on to the another phase where they will be playing other teams from the other countries that qualified for the World Cup. So the whole tournament is like a round robin with every team playing against every other team. Only the team that wins three out of four rounds will win the championship that will be held in the capital city of the hosting country. The other countries will be playing against teams from other parts of the world and they do have a chance to win a match and qualify for the world cup but it is really difficult to win a game and qualify for the world cup.