The first of May and football: when the match of France was born | FIFA | Citizens
May 1, Labor Day. A story that dates back to the 19th century when the repeat of May 1 was officially announced in Paris on July 20, 1889. An idea born from the Congress of the Second International to reduce the working day to 8 hours. The choice of date was not accidental, but it brought to mind what happened in the first days of the month of 1886 in Chicago, when a gathering of workers and activists, in support of the striking workers, turned into a real tragedy. Deep roots clearly define the specificity and specialization of this day. And the belief that FIFA is also born on May 1st.
History – The story begins on May 1, 1904, the date when the home of the largest football association, France, played its first match at the official and international level.. Prior to this, the transalpines had simply participated in the Olympic Games with an unofficial team, as well as many friendly matches, always unofficial. On that day, however, France faced Belgium in Brussels. The match was hosted by Vivier d’Oie at Uccle – the Belgian town hall – which had been built only two years earlier and which at that time could accommodate up to 1,000 fans. An unprecedented facility for those days. At 16.45, the kick-off came from England’s John Keane, who started a great and amazing match 3-3: The Belgian took the lead through Keret, then Mesnier and Rowett turned the game around just before halftime. A new Belgian answered again with Quéritet and then with Destrebecq and finally the final equaliser, signed by Cypres. An exciting match, the fruit of the offensive football art of that time. But what happened after that meeting will go down in the annals of football history.
The birth of FIFA – In that first official match between two sovereign nations of Europe, there was an opportunity for the football pioneers and leaders of the past to come together and plan for the future of world football, and to reflect on the organization that should be given to football. And here the personality of the director of transalpines, journalist Robert Guerin, became essential. The French, together with the Belgian Mollinghaus, on the sidelines of the challenge, discussed at length and publicly put forward a proposal for a world federation, taking the 1902 idea of the national secretary of the Dutch Football Association, Karl Wilhelm Hirschmann. In fact, a few weeks after that match, On May 21, 1904, FIFA was born in France and the first president of the Federation was Guérin. The founding members are the national associations of: Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. But on the same day, the German Football Association announced its intention to join the newly formed organization. The organization expanded outside Europe a few years later with the affiliation of South Africa in 1909, Argentina in 1912, Canada and Chile in 1913, and the United States in 1914. It all started with that historic first match, on May 1st. labor day.
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