Ten Things You Didn't Know About the History of the FIFA World Cup Draw

By FIFAworldcup.com -History does not always repeat itself. The 75-year story of the FIFA World Cup™ Final Draw is one of innovation and improvement underlined by a constant search for perfection.

Everyone has memories of the first time they watched or listened to a Final Draw whether it was held in London Rome or Busan. Now FIFAworldcup.com takes a look through the draw's illustrious history and selects ten special facts to entertain and educate.

1. A last-minute draw!
The inaugural edition of the FIFA World Cup in 1930 saw 13 different teams six from South America two from North America and five from Europe take part in the invitation-only tournament in Uruguay. You can only imagine how brutal the conditions would have been three-quarters of a century ago without the creature comforts of first-class travel. It took three weeks for the five European sides who became good friends during the long sea voyage to reach the host country across the Atlantic. Therefore it was no surprise that FIFA could only stage a late Final Draw after all the teams had arrived.

2. The first qualifiers
When the inaugural event turned out to be a tremendous success worldwide the organisers had to cope with an increased number of teams eager to take part in the next FIFA World Cup in Italy in 1934. Therefore one-off qualifying games was staged between the 32 teams who wanted to be involved in order to whittle the selection down to the final 16.

3. A nice present from grandad
The Final Draw from France 1938 was not made by a superstar or a supermodel but a child. Yves Rimet the grandson of the FIFA President Jules Rimet drew the lots to decide the placing of the teams. According to the young Yves he enjoyed listening to the questions of the watching journalists as well as receiving presents from the various delegations.

4. Plenty of changes
In the first Final Draw following the Second World War for Brazil 1950 the visiting European teams were boosted by the news that they would not have to return home if they lost their opening game. All of the 13 qualified teams were placed into four different groups: two groups of four teams one group of three and one group of two. The winners of each group progressed to a final section where the four teams all played one another. The team finishing at the top of this group which turned out to be Uruguay finished as world champions.

5. More modernisation
Sweden 1958 witnessed the arrival of the format that was to remain for three subsequent tournaments: four groups of four each team playing each other with the top two qualifying for the quarter-finals.

6. First televised Final Draw
With excitement running high in the homeland of modern football the Final Draw for the 1966 FIFA World Cup at the Royal Garden Hotel in London was the first to be televised ensuring an even more intensive build-up to the big event.

7. Out of the hands of babes
The German organisers had picked a truly innocent hand to draw the teams during the ceremony in the main hall of Radio Hessen in Frankfurt. And yet the chosen member of the Schonberger Sangerknaben boys' choir from Berlin created an uproar as he produced perhaps the biggest shock of all such occasions by drawing the name of the hosts West Germany (one of the seeded teams together with Brazil Italy and Uruguay) in the same group as neighbouring East Germany. Despite the political overtones the game went ahead and the East Germans won the game in Hamburg 1-0 although it was the boys from the West who went on to win the cup.

8. Machines cause a mishap
The draw ceremony in Madrid for Spain 1982 is unfortunately best remembered (or forgotten) for a mishap with one of the revolving drums containing the mini-footballs with the teams' names and the confusion that ensued in an effort to keep the South American qualifiers apart in the first round. FIFA subsequently returned to the foolproof system of using men rather than machines to make the draw.

9. Stars shine in the Eternal City
The Final Draw for Italia 90 is still remembered by many for the galaxy of stars who graced the occasion when Joseph S. Blatter conducted the ceremony as FIFA General Secretary. At the Palazzo dello Sport in Rome opera tenor Luciano Pavarotti movie legend Sophia Loren and football stars including Pele Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and the late Bobby Moore were among the celebrities on show.

10. Thousands millions billions
The draw for 1998 finals in France was remarkable for several reasons: for the first time in FIFA's history the Final Draw was staged in a football stadium on a cold and windy winter day in front of 38000 spectators at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille and before one billion TV viewers around the globe. The stadium idea was the brainchild of Michel Platini. It was Blatter's last draw conducted as FIFA General Secretary because he would be elected as the FIFA President just seven months later. The number of qualified teams was also increased to 32 for the first time.

And as a special extra fact the last Final Draw in Busan for Korea/Japan 2002 was also the first time FIFAworldcup.com brought news of the proceedings to millions of people across the globe. Don't forget that you can follow every minute of Friday's Final Draw in Leipzig live on www.FIFAWorldCup.com!