Football World Cup Trivia

  • During a game between Sweden and Argentina at the 2002 Football World Cup, Argentina’s Claudio Caniggia earned the dubious distinction of becoming the first player in the history of the tournament to earn a red card while seated on the bench.
  • More than 10% of all the players participating in the Football World Cup ply their trade in the English Premier League.
  • Approximately 500 million people are believed to watch each of the games of the Football World Cup, which means that almost 1 in 10 people on the planet are following a World Cup match at any given time during the tournament.
  • The worst turnout for a Football World Cup qualifier was recorded in Costa Rica in 2006, when no one at all turned up to watch Costa Rica play Panama in a CONCAF qualifier.
  • No European football team has ever managed to win the Football World Cup when it has been hosted outside Europe.
  • The 1970 World Cup qualifying match between Honduras and El Salvador raised tensions between the two countries to such heights that subsequent riots sparked a war. The ‘football war’ lasted 5 days and resulted in 1 200 casualties.
  • The most frequent result in Football World Cup matches is a score of 1-0.
  • Although dozens of teams from 6 football confederations have competed in the Football World Cup, onlyteams from Europe or South America have managed to claim the title.
  • The 31st of July is a public holiday in Uruguay in recognition of that country’s first ever World Cup title in 1930.
  • India qualified for the Football World Cup in 1950, but subsequently refused to play in the tournament after FIFA rejected their petition to play the tournament bare foot.
  • The issue of exposed body parts was also an issue at the 1986 Football World Cup, when FIFA prohibited the familiar practice of shirt-exchanges to protect viewers from the sight of the players’ bare chests.
  • Hakan Şükür scored the fastest goal from a kick-off in World Cup history at the 2002 Football World Cup. The Turkish player took just 11 seconds from kick-off to find the back of the Korean net.
  • Only two World Cup titles have been decided in penalty shootouts.
  • Germany holds the record for most 3rd place playoff wins, by finishing 3rd at the Football World Cup in 1932, 1970 and 2006.
  • Such great interest in the 1998 Football World Cup was displayed in Bangladesh, that the power surges created by millions of television viewers crashed the power grid for 4 consecutive nights.

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