What is the World Cup?

6p Players and Crowd stamp
This 6p British stamp was released in conjunction with the 1966 Cup played in England. The English team went on to win their first ever World Cup that year, the third time a host nation was named champion.

The World Cup is an international soccer competition occurring every four years. It involves the national teams of FIFA member countries. FIFA serves as the governing body and organizer of the tournament. Thirty-two countries compete at the finals for the chance to be named champion.

The first stage of the tournament divides the teams into eight groups, which play a round-robin series of games. The top two finishers in each group advance to the knockout stage. Once there, a series of single-elimination games are played until the final game crowning the champion.

Since its inception in 1930, the World Cup has become one of the most popular sporting events in the world.