The 2014 FIFA soccer world cup is the most anticipated and eagerly awaited sporting event. Starting from 12th of June in 2014, this will be the 20th men’s soccer world cup with the one taking place in 1930 being the first world cup ever. 32 teams will participate in this edition of the soccer world cup.
Soccer World Cup 2014
The matches of soccer world cup 2014 will be played at different venues of Brazil. In 2003, it was announced that the 2014 edition of world cup would take place in South America. This would mark the first time in the history that two consecutive men’s soccer world cups are held outside Europe. Three countries namely Colombia, Brazil and Argentina were initially nominated. However, Brazil was selected as the only candidate for hosting the FIFA world cup 2014 by the South American Football Confederation later on. In 2007, the location was confirmed.
12 cities of Brazil will play host to the FIFA world cup matches. Some of these cities have old stadiums renovated for the world cup, whereas 5 new stadiums have been built to cater to the huge crowd that will no doubt be coming to witness the matches live. The final will be contested inside the Estádio do Marcanã situated in Rio de Janeiro on the 13th July. This is the largest stadium in Brazil. The other cities to host matches of the soccer world cup 2014 include Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre, Recife, Curitiba, Natal, Manaus, Cuiaba, Salvador and Belo Horizonte.
Groups and Teams
The 2014 FIFA world cup will feature 32 international teams. The qualifiers for the soccer world cup 2014 featured 203 international teams out of which 31 teams qualified for the final showdown with Spain being the previous champions and thus automatically qualifying for the world cup 2014. Bosnia and Herzegovina will be the only debuting international football team in this edition of the soccer world cup. These teams will be divided into 8 groups:
1. Group A
This group features the hosts Brazil along with Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon.
2. Group B
Group B includes the 2010 FIFA World Champions Spain, the 2010 runner-ups Netherlands, Chile and Australia.
3. Group C
Group C will cater to Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan.
4. Group D
Group D includes Uruguay, England, Italy and Costa Rica. This group is being dubbed as the group of death in this edition of the soccer world cup considering that all the sides are extremely good and qualification will be tough from this group.
5. Group E
Group E will play host to Switzerland, Ecuador, France and Honduras.
6. Group F
This group features Argentina, debutants Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria.
7. Group G
This group includes two tough sides Germany and Portugal along with Ghana and United States which can give some serious competition too.
8. Group H
The last group features Belgium, Algeria, Russia and South Korea.
A sum of 64 matches will be held in the 2014 FIFA world cup. Each group will feature 6 matches among its teams. Two teams will qualify from each group to go through the Knockout stage of the competition. This qualification will be based on the number of points earned by each team and some other parameters in case of equal number of points among two or more teams. The Knockout Stage will feature the round of 16 in which 16 teams will participate in 8 matches. The Quarter-finals will have 8 teams battling it out in four matches. The teams winning their quarter finals will move into the semi final stage where eventually 2 finalists will be selected to battle it out for the most prestigious prize in sporting history at the Estádio do Marcanã on the 13th July. There will also be a third place match before the final.
Some Interesting Facts
• The official FIFA World Cup 2014 slogan is “All in One Rhythm.”
• The official FIFA World Cup 2014 logo is a figure in which three hands are lifting the World Cup trophy together.
• The official instrument for this edition of FIFA World Cup 2014 is a “Caxirola.”
• The official song for the soccer World Cup of 2014 will be recorded after a winner is selected from the world wide musical competition launched by Sony.
• The official soccer World Cup ball will be the Adidas “Brazuca.”
• The official mascot for the 2014 edition of FIFA World Cup is named “Fuleco.” It is actually an armadillo which rolls up and takes the shape of a ball in order to protect itself from the predators.
• For the first time in the history of FIFA World Cup, the Goal-line technology will be used to aid the referees. This technology was previously experimented in the Confederations Cup and the Club World Cup.