Follow us on

Fifth FIFA Congress, Vienna 1908

Football actions from the past - 1908
© Getty Images

Having been played as an exhibition sport at the Olympic Games in 1900 and 1904, the first official Olympic Football Tournament was staged in London in 1908 under the aegis of The Football Association and FIFA: The balance of power between the two bodies at the time is starkly evident from the Rules and Regulations of Competition: "The Competition shall be under the control und management of the Council of The Football Association (England)...[and] shall be played according to the Laws of the Game as promulgated by The Football Assocation (England) and accepted by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association."

The 1908 Congress in Vienna is dominated by political issues. Whereas Norway and Finland are admitted to FIFA unopposed, the request for admission from Scotland and Northern Ireland gives rise to a heated debate.

But not long after, all four British associations join FIFA. Scotland and Wales are admitted in 1910 and Northern Ireland twelve months later.

One hundred years ago, the Congress takes it upon itself to set up international "A" matches. Twenty-three matches are arranged for the 1908-09 season. Hungary and Germany play most (7 each) whereas Finland and Norway contest only one. In stark contrast, in 2007, 932 men's and 446 women's international "A" matches were played. Saudi Arabia was the most active team with 22 matches to its name.

Also it was agreed that a player shall not play for two national associations in the same season without the mutual consent of the associations concerned.

FIFA Congress History

  • 55th FIFA Congress, Marrakech 2005

    55th FIFA Congress, Marrakech 2005
    In his address at the FIFA Congress, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter gave a generally positive overview of the current state of football.
  • 56th FIFA Congress, Munich 2006

    56th FIFA Congress, Munich 2006
    FIFA will be heading into the years ahead with a powerful vision and the slogan “Develop the game, touch the world, build a better future.”
  • 63rd FIFA Congress, Mauritius 2013

    63rd FIFA Congress, Mauritius 2013
    Nearly 500 children took part in FIFA Grassroots events and an '11 for Health' workshop in the Mauritian capital of Port Louis as the 63rd FIFA Congress took place Thursday and Friday.
  • 64th FIFA Congress, Sao Paulo 2014

    64th FIFA Congress, Sao Paulo 2014
    Following the budget approval by FIFA’s 64th Ordinary Congress in São Paulo, world football’s governing body is set to invest USD 900 million in football development during the cycle 2015 – 2018.
  • 65th FIFA Congress, Zurich 2015

    65th FIFA Congress, Zurich 2015
    Incumbent FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter was re-elected to a fifth term of office by the 65th FIFA Congress held in Zurich today. After the first ballot (206 valid votes, 133 for Joseph S. Blatter, 73 for HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein), HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein addressed the Congress to announce that he was “withdrawing from the race."
  • Extraordinary FIFA Congress, Zurich 2016

    Extraordinary FIFA Congress, Zurich 2016
    FIFA Member Associations approved a package of landmark reforms that paved the way for significant improvements to the governance of global football, and Gianni Infantino was elected as the ninth FIFA President at the Extraordinary FIFA Congress 2016 held in Zurich.
  • 66th FIFA Congress, Mexico City 2016

    66th FIFA Congress, Mexico City 2016
    The 66th FIFA Congress kicked off a new era for FIFA and global football with the announcement of a “step change” in FIFA’s investment in football development, new FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, progress on the implementation of the reforms, and the FIFA Legends programme.
  • 67th FIFA Congress, Manama 2017

    67th FIFA Congress, Manama 2017

    FIFA’s 211 member associations assembled in May 2017 in Manama, Bahrain for the 67th FIFA Congress. The organisation’s supreme body made a few important decisions to validate reports on FIFA’s activities in 2016 and, more importantly, to agree on key steps for the future of the organisation.