By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (May 21, 2024) – In this edition of Fun with Maps we visit the football, futbol, soccer world.  

Most popular game

What organization has more nation members than the United Nations (UN)?

FIFA (translated to English: the World Football – Soccer – Federation) does by a decent margin: FIFA 211 vs. UN 193. 

No wonder that football / soccer is the most popular, most played, and most watched sport in the world.

Back to why FIFA has more members than the UN – it depends how one defines a nation.  Most are clearcut.  Hungary is a nation, and it is part of FIFA.  Where it gets tricky is where the footballers have their own organization below a true UN-recognized national level.  An example is the United Kingdom: it is part of the UN, but parts of the United Kingdom are separately FIFA members: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  Even the US has multiple FIFA members, all populated by US citizens: US, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands.

It’s messy, as is FIFA politics, but that is for another time.

FIFA was founded 120 years ago, on May 21, 1904 in Paris.  So here is an official folding map of Paris from 1902.  FIFA folks might have used this or another example to get around Paris in those days.

Paris -Circa 1902 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.