- Issue date: 21/05/2004
- Printing Process: Huecograbado
- Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 40,9 x 28,8 mm.(horizontales)
- Sheet effects: 50
- Postal value of the stamps: 0,77 €
- Print run: 1.000.000
- Dented: 13 3/4
A commemorative stamp is being issued to celebrate the centenary of the founding of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association).
On 21 May 1904, representatives from sporting associations in Belgium, Denmark, France, Holland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland met at the headquarters of the Union Française des Sports Athlétiques to sign FIFA’s founding deed. Among other things, the organisation’s first Statutes established the mutual and exclusive recognition of the national associations that attended or were represented at the ceremony. They also barred any club or footballer from playing for two different national associations at the same time and established FIFA as the only body with the authority to organise a sporting competition. Two days later, on 23 May, the first Congress was held and Robert Guérin was elected President. He began to regularise the new institution, setting out the Rules of Play that would apply to championships and the regulations to be followed within the organisation. FIFA was formed solely from European associations until 1909, when South Africa joined the organisation. Argentina and Chile became members in 1912, while the USA joined in 1913, and FIFA thus took on a truly intercontinental character. Jules Rimet was elected President in 1921, remaining in the post until 1954. During his long term in office, the organisation made great advances, increasing its membership and realising its dream of holding the first World Championship (in July 1930 in Montevideo). At the Congress held in Luxembourg in 1946, it was agreed to call the trophy the Jules Rimet Cup, in honour of FIFA’s President. Under the presidency of Joao Havelange from 1974 onwards, FIFA was modernised, changing from a conservative and purely administrative body into a dynamic business, an example of sporting diplomacy. In 1993 it succeeded in arranging a meeting between representatives from the two Koreas, Iran and Iraq in an atmosphere of peace and harmony. 64 countries from around the world are coming together to commemorate the Centenary with the issue of a stamp. The organisation’s headquarters are in Zurich (Switzerland), and with its 204 affiliated associations and more than 200 million members it has become one of the largest sporting federations in the world.