Very few football lovers know the brain behind the world’s most popular soccer tournament – World Cup, even as it heats up in Russia.
Jules Rimet, a devout Catholic Born on October 14, 1873, in Theuley in Eastern France, is the big brain behind the popular World Cup. He intensively used his energy and lobbying to actualize it. His love for the sport led him to start up the Red Star sports club in 1897.
Rimet was actively involved in founding FIFA, the world football governing body today in 1904. He went ahead and became the president of the French Football Federation (FFF) in 1919 after he had served in the French army during the First World War.
On March 1, 1921, Rimet became president of FIFA and his first focus was to start the global football tournament. However, he faced stiff opposition for the tournament from amateur football associations and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) under the leadership of Pierre de Coubertin.
He overcame all opposition and planned the first World Cup tournament in 1928, choosing Uruguay as the first country to host the big event. Eventually, Rimet and a couple of European nations successfully sailed to the South American country for the first official World Cup event in 1930. Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2.
After a successful tournament. Rimet served as FIFA president for a period that lasted 33 years. Under his leadership, FIFA membership grew from 12 to 85 member countries. The World Cup trophy then was named after him.
In 1956, the Frenchman was nominated for Nobel peace prize for his tireless effort to unite the world through football. He unfortunately died on 16 October 1956 at the age of 83 with a record of being FIFA’s longest-serving president to date.
In 2004 FIFA honored him posthumously with its order of merit. World Cup – the big event now unites the world through football. Just like Martin Luther King Jnr, Jules Rimet had a dream and diligently pursued it. Don’t give up on your dreams, pursue them! #Rewordit