It is simply called the World Cup (the sport's global governing body), is an international association football competition challenged by the senior men's national teams of the constituent of a complex structure of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Since the inaugural tournament in 1930, the championship has been awarded every four years, except in 1946 and 1942 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The present champion is France, at the 2018 tournament, which won its second title in Russia.
To find out which teams qualify for the tournament phase, the present format involves a qualification phase, which takes place over the preceding three years. In the tournament stage, 32 teams, plus the automatically qualifying host nation(s), participate for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over about a month.
The World Cup is the most esteemed association football tournament on the planet, as well as the most followed sporting event and widely viewed in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games. With an estimated 715.1 million people watching the final match, the cumulative viewership of all matches of the 2006 World Cup was estimated to be 26.29 billion, a ninth of the whole population of the planet.
17 countries have hosted the World Cup. 2026 will be jointly hosted by Mexico, Canada, and the United States, which will provide Mexico the distinction of being the first nation to host games in three World Cups. Qatar will host the 2022 tournament.
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