The History of the World Cup
Soccer had been part of the Olympics starting in 1908, and that brought together many teams from around the world, but the World Cup originated in 1930, and Uruguay, the host country, captured the tournament championship in a field that included thirteen nations. Obviously things expanded since then; now there are 32 teams, having doubled from sixteen in 1982. FIFA has announced that for the 2026 event there will be 48 teams.
How big is the World Cup? Well, let’s use some perspective for those people in the United States who do sports betting with Bitcoin. The Super Bowl is an event so big in the U.S. that it almost rates the stature of a national holiday. And it reaches a global audience; that audience was 160 million around the world for Super Bowl LII (52). In 2006, 715 million viewers worldwide – constituting about 11% of the entire planet – watched the championship match between Italy and France. All told, there were about 26.3 billion viewers combined for all the games in the tournament.
Brazil has won the tournament five times, easily the most among all countries that have participated. Germany won the World Cup in 2014, embarrassing Brazil, the host country, 7-1 in the semi-finals and then beating Argentina 1-0 for the title. The task of repeating has proven to be daunting, as there have been only two countries to win it back-to-back – Italy (1934, 19038) and Brazil (1958, 1962).
The process of qualifying for the World Cup can actually take up to three years, meaning that it doesn’t start long after the end of the last one. FIFA allocates six zones where qualifiers come from – Africa, Asia, South America, North America/Central America/Caribbean, Oceania and Europe. There are usually around 200 countries that participate. Teams in each of the zones play a round robin within their group, and those who place high enough will earn a spot in the “finals” tournament.
All this was settled late last year, and this gives each of the teams a chance to set up training, make roster adjustments, and engage in “friendlies,” while individual team members compete in at the club level in their respective leagues. So those doing sports betting with Bitcoin have a lot of time to evaluate this field.
The Competition Format
There is a host country, which is an automatic qualifier. So Russia did not have to go through the qualifying process for this World Cup. Matches are scheduled for multiple locations within the host country, and very often there will be stadiums that are built or renovated specifically for the World Cup.
The tournament is set up as follows: there are eight groups (designated A through H), and some of the teams are seeded according to their FIFA world rankings, performance in recent World Cups, etc. The four teams participate in a round robin in which they will all play three games in the group. They will get three points for each win and one point for a draw. The top two teams in the standings of each group will advance to the 16-team, “knockout” phase, which is a single-elimination right up to the end. At this juncture there is no room for draws, so games that are tied will go to “extra time,” and if that doesn’t produce a winner, they will move to a penalty kick shootout.
So the field whittles from 16, to eight, to four, then to the two teams that will play in the championship game. It used to be that the defending champion automatically qualified for the next World Cup, but that doesn’t happen anymore, so they have to go through the grind like everybody else.
Place Bets on World Cup 2018 with VietBet
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