Every summer, FIFA, which is the govern body for soccer across the world puts forth a major TV viewing tournament that grabs the attention of not just soccer fans, but sports fans in general.
While FIFA has taken a boat load of criticism over the years, they have done something that other sports like hockey and basketball have not done. For instance, over a four year cycle, FIFA has been able to spread out the four most important tournaments on the FIFA Calendar.
The four most important soccer tournaments around the world globally are the FIFA World Cup, Euro Cup, Confederations Cup and FIFA Women’s World Cup, whom have made an effort to make these tournaments focal points in the four-year cycle.
In fact, with everything going on in the soccer world globally, such as a 48-team 2026 World Cup and a rapidly growing women’s game, FIFA has found a way to maximize their marquee events. Here is a brief overview of how these four soccer tournaments gain exposure, and how it compares to the level of international tournaments with the four other professional sports.
FIFA World Cup – This is held every four years because of how long the qualifying process takes and the amount of money the host country uses to put on the successful event. The four-year gap makes the event special and a worthy wait. Around the world, non-soccer fans watch even when their birth country didn’t even qualify.
Euro Cup – A very highly anticipated event that takes place on every other even year as the World Cup does. Some people prefer this tournament over the World Cup because of the quality of soccer UEFA has. It is watched across the world.
Confederations Cup – Currently on now and it’s a icebreaker for the World Cup the following year. Each confederation has a Cup, the winner of each Cup plus the host and previous World Cup all take part in a eight-team group stage tournament. This is only really watched by the soccer faithful or if your country is participating. That being said, it is a good appetizer for what the following year holds.
FIFA Women’s World Cup – Still in it’s infancy compared to the Men’s World Cup, the Women’s World Cup is rapidly increasing in popularity every year. In 2015, Canada hosted the first ever 24-team tournament and was a success. The event is watched fairly well across the world especially where a women’s sport is taken seriously.
NHL – Hockey contains a highly-hyped Olympic tournament that the majority of the NHL doesn’t take part of. They tried a Hockey World Cup but that wasn’t very successful as fake teams such as Team Europe and North America U-23 were inserted.
Nothing, but the Four Nations Cup exists on the women’s side. The Olympic ice Hockey Tournament is watched well but only in two countries. Canada and USA.
NBA – A rebranded World Cup, which we don’t know how it will unfold until it’s inaugurated season in 2019 in China. Eurobasket is big, but only in Europe, as it’s only watched if your country is taking part. FIBA Women’s World Cup is a top-tier basketball across the world, however, it never receives publicity and happens every four years.
Overall, this illustrates how well FIFA does of showcasing their top four events. The only reasons why there aren’t more soccer tournaments followed globally is because of the lack of English broadcasting.