The International Football Federation (FIFA) was seventy-five years old on Monday (21 May). But before?
The International Football Federation (FIFA) was seventy-five years old on Monday (21 May). But before celebrating??? FIFA disposed of some unfinished business which could have brought disharmony to the birthday party. Just three days before the celebration -- on Friday (18 May) FIFA's executive committee unanimously agreed on Spain as the venue for the World Cup in 1982. And for the first time in the history of the World Cup there will be twenty-four instead of the usual sixteen national teams competing for the title of best footballing nation in the world.
SYNOPSIS: The new FIFA house in Zurich -- the federation's birthday present to itself, saw the delegates agree to a decision which only six months ago was bitterly opposed by the Europeans in general and the president of the German Football Federation, Herman Neuberger in particular. He will be the Head of the Organising committee for Spain's World Cup -- and he was FIFA President Joao Havelange's opponent for the presidency last year.
Neuberger was proposed for President by those Europeans who believed an enlarged World Cup competition would lower world football standards. But Neuberger has come round to Havelange's way of thinking. Havelange was elected with the votes of African and Asian countries. whose support could...again be influential when it comes to the next elections.
For now, Europe will send fourteen teams to Spain, South America four, and Africa, Asia and Central America two each. Officials do not expect organisational problems in Spain, but they are worried whether Columbia four years later could also accommodate twenty-four teams.