Monday, May 31, 2010

1998 Fifa World Cup

The 1998 FIFA World Cup, the 16th FIFA World Cup, was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998. France was chosen as hosts by FIFA on 1 July 1992. The tournament was won by France, who beat Brazil 3-0 in the final. France won their first title, becoming the seventh nation to win a World Cup, and the first host nation to win the tournament since Argentina in 1978.

The format of the competition was different from 1994, as the finals were expanded from 24 to 32 teams. The 32 teams were divided into eight groups of four. The eight group winners and the eight group runners-up would qualify for the knockout stage. Starting in this tournament, all teams had to travel in group stage, and stadiums held matches for multiple groups.

The golden goal rule was also introduced to decide knockout matches which went into extra time. Another change in the rules came into effect at this World Cup, stating that as regulation time was about to expire in any period of play the fourth official would use a handheld electronic display to show how many minutes of stoppage time were to be played. This practice has continued since then, after being well received by media and spectators alike.

For the first time ever, the final featured the host nation and the defending champions. Zinedine Zidane scored two headers from corners in the 27th minute and in first half stoppage time, and Emmanuel Petit added a late goal in second half stoppage time to give France a 3-0 win over Brazil. An estimated one million people took to the Paris streets to celebrate through the night. France became seventh country to have won the world cup, joining Uruguay, Italy, Germany, Brazil, England and Argentina.

The official song for the event was La Copa de la Vida by Ricky Martin, and the official anthem was La Cour des Grands by Youssou N'Dour and Axelle Red. (wikipedia.org)

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