With the FIFA World Cup 2014 already off to a rocking start with goals galore and samba madness, we bring you 10 fun facts all die-hard football fans should know about the World’s most-watched sporting competition.
1) Brazil is hosting the FIFA World Cup for the second time in history; the first FIFA tournament in Brazil took place in 1950 which at the time received an attendance higher than any football match ever.
2) It’s the first ever World Cup to make use of goal-line technology. Due to endless controversies surrounding goals in the past, referee’s now have a leeway thanks to 14 cameras, a mainframe computer and a wristwatch that receives a signal every time a ball crosses the line.
3) One nation will see their debut in the 2014 FIFA World Cup — Bosnia-Herzegovina
4) FIFA announced that the total Gross Capacity of fans for the 2014 World Cup is projected at 3,720,225. The first two sets of tickets were sold through a random draw while the last was sold at a first-come-first-serve basis.
5) This year’s mascot is Fuleco the Armadillo, based on the votes by the Brazilian public.
6) Brazil has won the World Cup a record five times. More than any other country in history. The most recent win was at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea / Japan.
7) Eight former World Cup champions are participating in this year’s World Cup; Italy, Argentina, Germany, France, England, Uruguay, Spain and Brazil.
8) The official slogan for this’s year’s FIFA World Cup is “Juntos num so ritmo” or “All in one rhythm.”
9) The World Cup will take place in 12 different cities which is more than any other finals recorded. The hosting cities are Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Natal, Fortaleza, Curitiba, Recife and Manaus.
10) The ‘caxirola’ a maraca-like instrument is named the official noise-maker for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.