Jules Rimet

In 1921, FIFA nominated their next (and most famous) President, Jules Rimet. He was to remain as President of FIFA for an incredible 33 years. By the end of his tenure FIFA had an impressive 85 member nations.

Due to the previous lack of success associated with an international competition, an arrangement was made to hold an international tournament for amateurs through the Olympic Football Tournament. This tournament would be held in accordance to the rules and regulations laid down by the governing body of F.I.F.A. England refused to participate but many other nations did send a team to the 1924 Olympic Games. Uruguay sent a team (it seems more professional than amateur) and showed the other nations how well football was played in South America as they beat USA, 5-1, Yugoslavia, 7-0, France, 5-1, and beat the Netherlands 2-1. 60,000 spectators followed the final between Uruguay and Switzerland, which was won by the South Americans, 3-0.

The competition was declared an absolute success and further encouraged F.I.F.A. to organise and start their own international tournament. The competition was set for 1928 and the host country was to be Hungary. However there were so many complications that only four teams eventually made the journey to Hungary and yet again a FIFA tournament ended in failure. FIFA was indeed having its fair share of trouble and an argument was brewing with the International Olympic Committee over who should control the current Olympic football tournament.

Disagreements between the two organisations centred on the definition of an ‘amateur’ and professional footballer. Eventually FIFA made a decision and adopted the proposal of Henri Delauney (The Secretary of the French FA) to organise a world cup immediately since ‘..International football could no longer be held within the confines of the Olympics…’ The date for the first ‘World Cup’ was set for 1930.