The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is an organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, eFootball. FIFA is responsible for the organization of football's major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women's World Cup which commenced in 1991. FIFA was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. Headquartered in Zürich, its membership now comprises 211 national associations. Member countries must each be members of one of the six regional confederations into which the world is divided: Africa, Europe, North & Central America and the Caribbean and South America. Although FIFA does not control the rules of football, that being the responsibility of the International Football Association Board, it is responsible for both the organization of a number of tournaments and their promotion, which generate revenue from sponsorship.
In 2017, FIFA had revenues of over US $734 million, for a net loss of $189 million, had cash reserves of over US$930 million. Reports by investigative journalists have linked FIFA leadership with corruption and vote-rigging related to the election of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the organization's decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively; these allegations led to the indictments of nine high-ranking FIFA officials and five corporate executives by the U. S. Department of Justice on charges including racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering. On 27 May 2015, several of these officials were arrested by Swiss authorities, who were launching a simultaneous but separate criminal investigation into how the organization awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups; those among these officials who were indicted in the U. S. are expected to be extradited to face charges there as well. Many officials were suspended by FIFA's ethics committee including Michel Platini. In early 2017 reports became public about FIFA president Gianni Infantino attempting to prevent the re-elections of both chairmen of the ethics committee, Cornel Borbély and Hans-Joachim Eckert, during the FIFA congress in May 2017.
On May 9, 2017, following Infantino's proposal, FIFA Council decided not to renew the mandates of Borbély and Eckert. Together with the chairmen, 11 of 13 committee members were removed; the need for a single body to oversee association football became apparent at the beginning of the 20th century with the increasing popularity of international fixtures. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association was founded in the rear of the headquarters of the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques at the Rue Saint Honoré 229 in Paris on 21 May 1904; the French name and acronym are used outside French-speaking countries. The founding members were the national associations of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland; that same day, the German Football Association declared its intention of affiliating through a telegram. The first president of FIFA was Robert Guérin. Guérin was replaced in 1906 by Daniel Burley Woolfall from England, by a member of the association; the first tournament FIFA staged, the association football competition for the 1908 Olympics in London was more successful than its Olympic predecessors, despite the presence of professional footballers, contrary to the founding principles of FIFA.
Membership of FIFA expanded beyond Europe with the application of South Africa in 1909, Argentina in 1912, Canada and Chile in 1913, the United States in 1914. During World War II, with many players sent off to war and the possibility of travel for international fixtures limited, the organization's survival was in doubt. Post-war, following the death of Woolfall, the organisation was run by Dutchman Carl Hirschmann, it was saved from extinction but at the cost of the withdrawal of the Home Nations, who cited an unwillingness to participate in international competitions with their recent World War enemies. The Home Nations resumed their membership; the FIFA collection is held by the National Football Museum at Urbis in England. The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay. FIFA is headquartered in Zürich, is an association established under the law of Switzerland. FIFA's supreme body is the FIFA Congress, an assembly made up of representatives from each affiliated member association; each national football association has one vote, regardless of footballing strength.
The Congress assembles in ordinary session once every year, extraordinary sessions have been held once a year since 1998. The congress makes decisions relating to FIFA's governing statutes and their method of implementation and application. Only the Congress can pass changes to FIFA's statutes; the congress approves the annual report, decides on the acceptance of new national associations and holds elections. Congress elects the President of FIFA, its general secretary, the other members of the FIFA Council in the year following the FIFA World Cup. FIFA Council — called the FIFA Executive Committee and chaired by the president — is the main decision-making body of the organisation in the intervals of congress; the council is composed of 37 people: the president. The Executive Committee is the body that decides w
UEFA European Championship
The UEFA European Championship is the primary association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Union of European Football Associations, determining the continental champion of Europe. Held every four years since 1960, in the even-numbered year between World Cup tournaments, it was called the UEFA European Nations' Cup, changing to the current name in 1968. Starting with the 1996 tournament, specific championships are referred to in the form "UEFA Euro ". Prior to entering the tournament all teams other than the host nations compete in a qualifying process; the championship winners earn the opportunity to compete in the following FIFA Confederations Cup, but are not obliged to do so. The 15 European Championship tournaments have been won by ten national teams: Germany and Spain each have won three titles, France has two titles, Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Denmark and Portugal have won one title each. To date, Spain is the only team in history to have won consecutive titles, doing so in 2008 and 2012.
It is the second most watched football tournament in the world after the FIFA World Cup. The Euro 2012 final was watched by a global audience of around 300 million; the most recent championship, hosted by France in 2016, was won by Portugal, who beat France 1–0 in the final at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis after extra time. The final attracted 284 million viewers, the second most viewed game in European tournament history; the idea for a pan-European football tournament was first proposed by the French Football Federation's secretary-general Henri Delaunay in 1927, but it was not until 1958 that the tournament was started, three years after Delaunay's death. In honour of Delaunay, the trophy awarded to the champions is named after him; the 1960 tournament, held in France, had four teams competing in the finals out of 17 that entered the competition. It was won by the Soviet Union. Spain withdrew from its quarter-final match against the USSR because of two political protests. Of the 17 teams that entered the qualifying tournament, notable absentees were England, the Netherlands, West Germany and Italy.
Spain held the next tournament in 1964, which saw an increase in entries to the qualification tournament, with 29 entering. The hosts beat the Soviet Union, 2 -- 1 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid; the tournament format stayed the same for the 1968 tournament and won by Italy. For the first and only time a match was decided on a coin toss and the final went to a replay, after the match against Yugoslavia finished 1–1. Italy won the replay 2–0. More teams entered a testament to its burgeoning popularity. Belgium hosted the 1972 tournament, which West Germany won, beating the USSR 3–0 in the final, with goals coming from Gerd Müller and Herbert Wimmer at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels; this tournament would provide a taste of things to come, as the German side contained many of the key members of the 1974 FIFA World Cup Champions. The 1976 tournament in Yugoslavia was the last in which only four teams took part in the final tournament, the last in which the hosts had to qualify. Czechoslovakia beat West Germany in the newly introduced penalty shootout.
After seven successful conversions, Uli Hoeneß missed, leaving Czechoslovakian Antonín Panenka with the opportunity to score and win the tournament. An "audacious" chipped shot, described by UEFA as "perhaps the most famous spot kick of all time" secured the victory as Czechoslovakia won 5–3 on penalties; the competition was expanded to eight teams in the 1980 tournament, again hosted by Italy. It involved a group stage, with the winners of the groups going on to contest the final, the runners-up playing in the third place play-off. West Germany won their second European title by beating Belgium 2–1, with two goals scored by Horst Hrubesch at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Horst Hrubesch scored early in the first half before René Vandereycken equalised for Belgium with a penalty in the second half. With two minutes remaining, Hrubesch headed the winner for West Germany from a Karl-Heinz Rummenigge corner. France won their first major title at home in the 1984 tournament, with their captain Michel Platini scoring 9 goals in just 5 games, including the opening goal in the final, in which they beat Spain 2–0.
The format changed, with the top two teams in each group going through to a semi-final stage, instead of the winners of each group going straight into the final. The third place play-off was abolished. West Germany hosted UEFA Euro 1988, but lost 2–1 to the Netherlands, their traditional rivals, in the semi-finals, which sparked vigorous celebrations in the Netherlands; the Netherlands went on to win the tournament in a rematch of their first game of the group stage, beating the USSR 2–0 at the Olympia Stadion in Munich, a match in which Marco van Basten scored one of the most memorable goals in football history, a spectacular volley over the keeper from the right wing. UEFA Euro 1992 was held in Sweden, was won by Denmark, who were only in the finals because UEFA did not allow Yugoslavia to participate as some of the states constituting the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were at war with each other; the Danes beat holders the Netherlands on penalties in the semi-finals defeated world champion Germany 2–0.
This was the first tournament in which a unified Germany took part a
Mexico national football team
The Mexico national football team represents Mexico in international football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation. It competes as a member of CONCACAF, which encompasses the countries of North and Central America, the Caribbean; the team plays its home games at the Estadio Azteca. Mexico has qualified to sixteen World Cups and has qualified consecutively since 1994, making it one of six countries to do so; the Mexico national team, along with Brazil are the only two nations to make it out of the group stage over the last seven World Cups. Mexico played France in the first match of the first World Cup on 13 July 1930. Mexico's best progression in World Cups has been reaching the quarter-finals in both the 1970 and 1986 World Cups, both of which were staged on Mexican soil. Mexico is the most successful national team in the CONCACAF region, having won ten confederation titles, including seven CONCACAF Gold Cups and three CONCACAF Championships, as well as three NAFC Championships, one North American Nations Cup, one CONCACAF Cup.
It is one of eight nations to have won two of the three most important football tournaments, having won the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2012 Summer Olympics. Mexico is the only team from CONCACAF to have won an official FIFA competition, winning the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup. Although Mexico is under the jurisdiction of CONCACAF, the national team has been invited to compete in the Copa América since 1993, finishing runner-up twice – in 1993 and 2001 – and obtaining the third-place medal on three occasions. Football in Mexico was first organized in the early 20th century by European immigrant groups, notably miners from Cornwall, in years Spanish exiles fleeing the Spanish Civil War. Mexico's first match was played against Guatemala, which Mexico won 3–2. A series of international friendlies were played against the national representation of Guatemala on 9, 12 and 16 December 1923; the match on 9 December was played in Parque España which Mexico won 2–1. On 12 December, the match ended in a 2–0 win for Mexico, the final game of the series ended in a 3–3 draw.
The manager for this team was Rafael Garza Gutiérrez. It would be another four years before the national team would be represented in international friendlies. On 19 June 1927, Mexico faced Spain, drawing 3–3. During this series, the squad played against the Uruguayan club Nacional de Montevideo, losing 1–3. In 1927, the official governing body of football in Mexico was founded; the 1928 Summer Olympics was Mexico's first international tournament, where Mexico lost to Spain 1–7 in the round of 16. Mexico participated in the 1930 FIFA World Cup in Uruguay, grouped with Argentina and France. Mexico's first match was a 4–1 loss to France, with Mexico's first World Cup goal by Juan Carreño. In their second match, Mexico fell to Chile 3–0. Mexico's third match, against Argentina, featured the first penalty of the tournament, scored by Mexico's Manuel Rosas. Mexico did not appear again in a FIFA World Cup tournament until the 1950 World Cup. Before 1970, Mexico struggled to make much of an impact in the World Cup.
It was by far the strongest team in the North American Football Confederation and its successor, CONCACAF, but found it difficult to compete against European and South American teams. However, goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal has the distinction of being the first player to appear in five consecutive World Cups. In 1965, Mexico won the 1965 CONCACAF Championship to become continental champions for the first time. In 1970, Mexico hosted the World Cup and kicked off their campaign with a scoreless draw against the Soviet Union; this was followed by a 4–0 win over El Salvador. Mexico advanced to the next round with a victory against Belgium. At the quarter-finals stage, Mexico was eliminated by Italy, losing 4–1. Mexico did make it into the 1978 finals. Mexico suffered an early exit after three defeats: 0–6 against West Germany, 1–3 against Tunisia, 1–3 to Poland. Mexico failed to qualify for the 1982 World Cup. In 1986, Mexico again hosted the World Cup. Coached by Bora Milutinović, Mexico was placed in Group B where they defeated Belgium 2–1, drew 1–1 with Paraguay, defeated Iraq 1–0.
With this performance, Mexico won the top spot in its group, advanced to the next round where they defeated Bulgaria 2–0. In the quarter-finals stage, Mexico lost to West Germany 1–4 in a penalty shootout after the match finished 0–0. Mexico was disqualified from the 1990 FIFA World Cup after using players over the age limit in the qualifying round for the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship, known as the "Cachirules" scandal; the punishment was applied to all Mexico national representatives of all FIFA-sanctioned tournaments. In the 1990s, after hiring coach César Luis Menotti, Mexican football began experiencing greater international success. In the 1993 Copa América they finished second. At the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Mexico won its group on tiebreakers, emerging from a group composed of Italy and Norway. However, Mexico lost in the second round to Bulgaria on penalty kicks. At the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Mexico was placed in a group with the Netherlands, South Korea and Belgium. Mexico won their opening fixture 3–1 against South Korea.
Mexico tied Belgium 2–2, against the Netherlands earned another 2–2 draw, qualifying for the round of 16. In that round, Mexico lost 2–1 to Germany. In 1999, Mexico won its first official FIFA tournament by becoming the first host nation to win the FIFA Confederations Cup. Mexico defe
UEFA Euro 2000
The 2000 UEFA European Football Championship known as Euro 2000, was the 11th UEFA European Championship, held every four years and organised by UEFA, association football's governing body in Europe. The finals of Euro 2000 were co-hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands, between 10 June and 2 July 2000. Spain and Austria bid to host the event; the final tournament was contested by 16 nations. With the exception of the national teams of the hosts and the Netherlands, the finalists had to go through a qualifying round to reach the final stage. France won the tournament, by defeating Italy 2–1 in the final, via a golden goal; the finals saw the first major UEFA competition contested in the King Baudouin Stadium since the events of the 1985 European Cup Final and the Heysel Stadium disaster, with the opening game being played in the rebuilt stadium. A high-scoring tournament with many exciting matches and a high standard of play, Euro 2000 is named by football writers as one of the greatest international tournaments ever.
Belgium and the Netherlands were selected as co-hosts on 14 July 1995 by the UEFA Executive Committee at a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Football hooliganism was a significant problem in the Netherlands in the 1990s the fierce rivalry between AFC Ajax and Feyenoord. There was concerns. Many instances of violence occurred, including several football riots in Rotterdam between 1995 and 1999, which would host the Euro 2000 final. One of the most infamous incidents was the Battle of Beverwijk in 1997. Although the violence is associated with domestic clubs, there were concerns that it could attach to the Dutch national team. Violence did occur during the Euro 2000 finals, albeit not involving the Dutch team. On 17 June, 174 England fans were arrested in Brussels, following violence with Germans ahead of an England v Germany match. One of the biggest surprises of the tournament was Portugal, winning Group A with three wins, including a 3–0 win against Germany, with Sérgio Conceição scoring a hat-trick, a 3–2 win over England, in which they came back from 2–0 down.
Romania was the other qualifier from the group, beating England with a late penalty in their last group game. Belgium had a surprise exit in the group stage, winning the tournament's first game against Sweden, but losing to Turkey and Italy, they finished third behind Italy and Turkey. The other co-host and favourite, the Netherlands, progressed as expected from Group D, along with World Cup winners France; the Netherlands won the group, by beating France in their last group match. In Group D, Denmark's three losses with eight goals conceded and none scored set a new record for the worst team performance in the group stages of a Euros. Group C was memorable for the match between FR Spain. Spain needed a win to ensure progression, but found themselves trailing 3–2, after Slobodan Komljenović scored in the 75th minute; the Spanish side rescued their tournament by scoring twice in injury time to record a 4–3 victory. FR Yugoslavia managed to go through as well, despite losing because Norway and Slovenia played to a draw.
Italy and Portugal maintained their perfect records in the quarter-finals, beating Romania and Turkey and the Netherlands started a goal-avalanche against FR Yugoslavia, winning 6–1. Spain fell 2–1 to France. Italy eliminated the Netherlands in the semi-finals, despite going down to ten men and facing two penalty kicks. Italian goalkeeper Francesco Toldo, drafted into the starting XI as Gianluigi Buffon missed the tournament through injury, made two saves in the penalty shootout to carry the Italians to the final. In the other semi-final, Portugal lost in extra time to France after Zinedine Zidane converted a controversial penalty kick. Several Portuguese players challenged the awarding of the penalty for a handball and were given lengthy suspensions for shoving the referee. France won the tournament, defeating Italy 2–1 in the final with a golden goal by David Trezeguet after equalising with a last-minute goal, became the first team to win the European championship while being world champion.
In Britain, Match of the Day named Stefano Fiore's goal against Belgium the Goal of the Tournament, ahead of Patrick Kluivert's against France and Zinedine Zidane's against Spain. Qualification for the tournament took place throughout 1998 and 1999. Forty-nine teams were divided into nine groups and each played the others in their group, on a home-and-away basis; the winner of each group and the best runner-up qualified automatically for the final tournament. The eight other runners-up played an additional set of play-off matches to determine the last four qualifiers. Belgium and the Netherlands automatically qualified for the tournament as co-hosts; the composition of pots 1 to 3 was based on the teams' UEFA coefficient at the end of 1999. The finals draw took place on 12 December 1999. Prior to the draw, the seeded teams in Pot 1 were assigned positions: Germany to A1, Belgium to B1, Spain to C1, the Netherlands to D1. Teams were drawn consecutively from Pots 2 to 4 into a group, with each team being assigned a specific position.
The draw resulted in the following groups: Capacity figures are those for matches at UEFA Euro 2000 and are not the total capacity that the stadium is capable of holding. The 16 national teams each stayed in their own "team base camp" during the tournament; each national team had to submit a sq
For people with this surname, see Hoogstraten Hoogstraten is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises Hoogstraten, Meerle, Meersel-Dreef and Wortel. Hoogstraten has a population of over 20,000, lies in Flanders at the northern border of Belgium within an enclave surrounded on three sides by the Netherlands. Today, about 15% percent of the population consists of Dutch people; the town is named after the hoge straat or "high road" – a military highway that linked the old towns of Antwerp and's-Hertogenbosch. In the town’s early days, little trade existed. Villages and towns produced just enough for their own support, with little or no surplus to be ‘sold’ to other areas. Thus, most travelers along this high road were armies. Today Hoogstraten is internationally known for its strawberries. Veiling Hoogstraten is one of the largest of the Benelux; every year more than 30,000 tonnes of strawberries are traded there. However its main agricultural crop is the tomato.
Hoogstraten existed as a small group of thatched cottages, with one which served as an inn. Passing travellers would pay for a meal of bread and stew and the opportunity to lie on a straw pallet in an upper room for the night while their horse was tended in a stable attached to the cottage. Apart from the innkeeper who also sold beer, most of the men in Hoogstraten laboured for the principal landowner while their wives tended to the family, to the garden and to chickens and a pig or a sheep that they might own; the animals and children ran free in the town along its earthen street. There was no natural lake or hill around which the cottages might have been grouped so the town’s focus was the main street, the "Vrijheid". There was a small river, the Mark, but given the tendency for rivers to overflow in this flat land, townspeople were wise to avoid building too close to it; the town was chartered in 1210, when it was granted the title of ‘free town’. This gave it a charter with certain privileges: exemption from some taxes or exemption from ecclesiastical territorial sovereignty.
Both helped the growth of a town. A watermill was built outside town on the River Mark, it was an old mill when it was first mentioned in 1391. In 1380 a Beguinage was established to house poor old women. A large brick church was built in 1524, a matching town hall next door was built in 1530 before the church was completed in 1546. By 1564, a drawing shows the town still consisted of houses on both sides of the wide unpaved Vrijheid. Cattle and dogs still ran along its length; the number of houses had grown to more than a hundred and they were no longer thatched but were fine upstanding wooden buildings some three stories high. The church, St. Catherine’s Church, formed the centre of the town. Behind the church on a slight hill a few kilometres distant stood the castle of the Count who owned all the land for miles around. Under the ownership of Count Antoon de Lalaing and his wife, Countess Elisabeth van Culemborg, the ‘Land van Hoogstraten’ became a county, a title bestowed by Margaretha of Austria.
The ` county' encompassed the whole the Count's land in. It is now marked by the boundaries of his property, one of three bulges of northern Belgium each of which are surrounded by The Netherlands. Between 1 September 1602 – 18 May 1604 the Mutiny of Hoogstraten took place - the longest mutiny by soldiers of the Spanish Army of Flanders during the Eighty Years' War. While Hoogstraten lies within modern Belgian Flanders, prior to 1794 the town was in the Duchy of Brabant since old Flanders reached no further North West than Antwerp. Hoogstraten remained in the hands of the Lalaing-Culemborg family until 1709 after which the town was transferred to the Salm-Salm family. In 1740 Hoogstraten was elevated to a Duchy by Emperor Charles VI, but half a century during French rule, it lost its titles of ‘town’ and ‘duchy.’ The status of a town depended on whether the townspeople were considered supporters or not, so one might infer that the area was seen to have anti-French feeling. Over two hundred years in 1977, Hoogstraten was combined, as it had been in the past, with a mixture of dependent municipalities: the villages of Meer, Meersel-Dreef and Wortel, which clustered around its edges, none of these villages was more than 15 kilometers from each other.
Since 1985 Hoogstraten has once more been entitled to call itself a ‘stad’ – a town. The HOOGSTRAETEN post-office opened on 1 February 1845, it used a Distribution postal code 26, 182 with points before 1874. MEERLE opened on 18 July 1902. Postal codes since 1969: - 2320 Hoogstraten - 2321 Meer - 2322 Minderhout - 2323 Wortel - 2328 Meerle; the Vlaamse Aardbeiencross is a February cyclo-cross race held in Hoogstraten, part of the Superprestige. Official website Local Heritage a colourful history of St Catherine's church in English Local heritage, contains an Image Bank, several old movies, old artifacts etc Local heritage
Koninklijke Lierse Sportkring simply known as Lierse, was a Belgian professional football club from the city of Lier in the Antwerp province. Lierse have won two Belgian Cups. Lierse was one of the six Belgian clubs to have played in the UEFA Champions League group stage, the other being Anderlecht, Club Brugge, Standard Liège and KAA Gent; the club was founded in 1906 and they first promoted to the first division in 1927–28. Lierse was successful in the first division until the end of World War II, winning two titles and finishing only four times outside the top five. At the end of the 1947–48 season, they were relegated to the second division. Lierse enjoyed two more spells at each time with a championship win. Lierse spent five more years in first division between 2010–11 and 2014–15, but since played in the second division. Lierse played their home matches at the Herman Vanderpoortenstadion in Lier, known as Het Lisp, because the stadium is located in a neighbourhood named Lisp, they had black colours.
The club was bought by Egyptian businessman Maged Samy, who owns KV Turnhout and Wadi Degla in Egypt. The most capped player at the club is Bernard Voorhoof with 61 caps for Belgium, all when he was at Lierse. With 30 goals, he was the topscorer of the Belgium national football team together with Paul Van Himst, until Romelu Lukaku surpassed this record. On May 9th, 2018 the team announced. After the bankruptcy of the team negotiations started with Oosterzonen. Two teams with the name Lierse were formed: K. Lyra-Lierse and K. Lierse Kempenzonen. K. Lierse Kempenzonen will play with the old Lierse S. K. logo at the Herman Vanderpoortenstadion. In 1904, Gustaaf Van Den Roye learned about the game of football in Antwerp and got fascinated about it, he bought an authentic ball to play the game in his hometown of Lier. The first games were played on a terrain owned by the local graf Marnix de Sainte-Aldegonde. Local farmers were not pleased and the police had to intervene, who prohibited any further games.
The graf was informed of what happened and he asked Van Den Roye to come and see him. When Van Den Roye told the Graf about his intent to start an actual football club and pointed out the difficulties he was faced with, The Graf promised him a terrain which could serve as a football ground. On March 6, 1906, during a meeting in a local pub called De Roskam a football club was founded, named Liersche Sportkring. Lierse was born and a first board was established: Gerard Quaeyhaegens as chairman, Gust van den Roye as secretary and Georges Peeters as Treasurer. Graf Marnix de Sainte-Aldegonde agreed to become honorary chairman. Two years after its foundation, in September 1908, Lierse became a member of the Royal Belgian Football Association, where it started playing in the lowest tier of Belgian Football. In 1913 the club made its first impact in Belgian football, when it became the first club out a regional league to reach the quarter-finals of the Belgian Cup; the club climbed through the ranks of Belgian football.
In 1922, after winning a national play-off round Lierse gained promotion to the national levels of Belgian Football, which they would never leave until present. Five years after reaching the national levels, in 1927, Lierse became champions in division 1 the second tier of Belgian football, with a 2 points advantage over RSC Anderlecht. In doing so, Lierse succeeded promotion to the highest level for the first time in its history; this first spell in the top tier proved to be successful as Lierse became champions for the first time in 1932. In the 12 seasons that followed they finished only 1 time outside the top 5, becoming runner up in 1935 and 1939, winning the championship again in 1941 and 1942. One of the major factors of the success of the club in this period was Bernard Voorhoof, who scored 350 goals in 529 matches for the club, he was voted "Lierse player of the century" when the club celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006. Until now Voorhoof is still the topscorer of the Belgium national football team with 30 goals in 61 matches and he is one of the four players worldwide to have competed in all 3 FIFA World Cups before World War II.
The second World War had its impact on the club though. 2 players of the club, national goalkeeper Frans Christiaens and Frans Vervoort died during allied bombardments on a factory in German-occupied Mortsel. Jules Van Craen, topscorer of the Belgian League in the 1943 season died during the war. In the season 1944–45 Lierse, together with three other clubs from the Antwerp area, did not compete in the league, due to the German bombardments on the Port of Antwerp; these facts, combined with some of the older players retiring caused the club to decline until they finished bottom of the league in 1948. After 21 years at the highest level, Lierse were relegated for the first time in its history. Five years in 1953 Lierse secured promotion to the highest level again. In 1960, K. Lierse S. K won their third championship title, distinguished themselves at European level. In 1969, Lierse won the Belgian Cup for the first time. 21 September 1971 is. Two weeks earlier, Lierse had lost 0–2 at home to the far superior Leeds United in the first round of the UEFA Cup.
Nobody expected that Lierse would win in Leeds, but 90 minutes the scoreboard read that Lierse had improbably won 0–4, Leeds, the Cup holders were knocked out. In 1986 Lierse were again relegated, but were promoted back to the top division in 1988. Keepin
Belgium national football team
The Belgian national football team has represented Belgium in association football since their maiden match in 1904. The squad is under the global jurisdiction of FIFA and is governed in Europe by UEFA—both of which were co-founded by the Belgian team's supervising body, the Royal Belgian Football Association. Periods of regular Belgian representation at the highest international level, from 1920 to 1938, from 1982 to 2002 and again from 2014 onwards, have alternated with unsuccessful qualification rounds. Most of Belgium's home matches. Belgium's national team have participated in three quadrennial major football competitions, it appeared in the end stages of thirteen FIFA World Cups and five UEFA European Championships, featured at three Olympic football tournaments, including the 1920 Olympic tournament which they won. Other notable performances are victories over four reigning world champions—West Germany, Brazil and France—between 1954 and 2002. Belgium has long-standing football rivalries with its Dutch and French counterparts, having played both teams nearly every year from 1905 to 1967.
The squad has been known as the Red Devils since 1906. During the national player career of forward Paul Van Himst, the most-praised Belgian footballer of the 20th century, Belgium took third place at Euro 1972. After that, they experienced two golden ages with many gifted players. In the first period, which lasted from the 1980s to the early 1990s, the team finished as runners-up at Euro 1980 and fourth in the 1986 World Cup. In the second, under guidance of Marc Wilmots and Roberto Martínez in the 2010s, Belgium topped the FIFA World Rankings for the first time in November 2015 and finished third at the 2018 World Cup. Belgium participates in League A of the first UEFA Nations League edition. Belgium was one of the first mainland European countries to play association football, its practice in Belgium began on 26 October 1863, after an Irish student walked into the Josephites College of Melle with a leather ball. An elitist pastime, during the following decades association football supplanted rugby as Belgium's most popular football sport.
On 1 September 1895, ten clubs for football, athletics and cycling founded the Belgian sports board Union Belge des Sociétés de Sports Athlétiques. On 11 October 1900, Beerschot AC honorary president Jorge Díaz announced that Antwerp would host a series of challenge matches between Europe's best football teams. After some organisational problems, on 28 April 1901, Beerschot's pitch hosted its first tournament, in which a Belgian A-squad and a Dutch B-team contested the Coupe Vanden Abeele. Belgium won, beat the Netherlands in all three follow-up matches. On 1 May 1904, the Belgians played their first official match, against France at the Stade du Vivier d'Oie in Uccle. Twenty days the football boards of both countries were among the seven FIFA founders. At that time, the Belgian squad was chosen by a committee drawn from the country's six or seven major clubs. In 1906, the national team players received the nickname Red Devils because of their red jerseys, four years Scottish ex-footballer William Maxwell replaced the UBSSA committee as their manager.
From 1912, UBSSA governed football only and was renamed UBSFA. During the Great War, the national team only played unrecognised friendlies, with matches in and against France. At the 1920 Summer Olympics, in their first official Olympic appearance, the Red Devils won the gold medal on home soil after a controversial final in which their Czechoslovak opponents left the pitch. In the three 1920s Summer Olympics, they achieved fair results, played their first intercontinental match, against Argentina. However, over the following decade, Belgium lost all of their matches at the first three FIFA World Cup final tournaments. According to historian Richard Henshaw, "he growth of in Scandinavia, Central Europe, South America left Belgium far behind". Although World War II hindered international football events in the 1940s, the Belgian team remained active with unofficial matches against squads of other allied nations. Belgium qualified for only one of eight major tournaments during the 1950s and the 1960s: the 1954 World Cup.
The day before the tournament began, the RBFA was among the three UEFA founders. Dutch journalists considered the draw of the 1954 Belgian team in their opener against England to be the most surprising result of that match day more than Switzerland's victory over the Italian "football stars". However, Belgium were eliminated after a loss to Italy in the second group match. Two bright spots in these decades were wins against World Cup holders: West Germany in 1954, Brazil in 1963. Between these, Belgium defeated Hungary's Golden Team in 1956; the combination of failure in competitive matches, success in exhibition matches, gave the Belgians the mock title of "world champion of the friendlies". The team's performance improved under manager Raymond Goethals. Dressed in white, as the White Devils, Belgium had their first victories at World and European Championships at the 1970 World Cup and Euro 1972. En route to that Euro appearance, their first, they eliminated reigning European champions Italy by winning the two-legged quarter-final on aggregate.
At the end stage, they finished third by winning the consolation match against Hungary. In 1973, the denial of a match-winning goal in their last 1974 FIFA World C