Who was Jules Rimet?
Jules Rimet was a French football administrator, best known as the longest-serving president of
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the driving force behind the creation of the World Cup. Rimet became president of FIFA in 1921, having served as acting president for six months previously and held that position until two years before his death, aged 73, in 1956.
On May 28, 1928, Rimet proposed the creation of a football world championship to his FIFA colleagues. They agreed and, with the reigning Olympic champions Uruguay offering to pay travelling expenses, the inaugural World Cup kicked off in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo, on July 13, 1930. Thirteen teams took part, including just four – France, Belgium, Romania and Yugoslavia – from Europe, because of the time involved in travelling to South America by sea. Nevertheless, from difficult beginnings, the World Cup has flourished into what is probably the most popular sporting event on the planet.
The original World Cup trophy, previously known as ‘Victory’, was renamed the Jules Rimet Trophy in his honour in 1946. Of course, that was the trophy won by England in 1966, hence the line ‘Jules Rimet still gleaming’ in the song ‘Three Lions’, which has become an anthem for the English national team in recent years. The Jules Rimet Trophy was presented, permanently, to Brazil when they won the World Cup for the third time in 1970, but was stolen in 1983 and never recovered.