The first international game took place in 1888 between England and Scotland, finishing 0-0. In the early 20th century with international games becoming increasingly popular a man named Jules Rimet came up with the idea that football could be the ideal ways for opposing nations to compete in a friendly situation. His idea was that every four years a tournament would be held to determine which country was the best at football, the World Cup. Suprisingly the idea was not greeted with much enthusasium, at the first World Cup held in Uruguay only eight teams participated, England who were asked to go, refused, believing it to be of no importance. The tournament however continued regardless and the hosts Uruguay were crowned the greatest side in the world after conquering Brazil in front of over one hundred thousand people in Montevideo. Since this inaugural competion, the World Cup has grown from strength to strength; it is now considered by many to be the number one sporting event in the world. So popular have such international tournaments proved that many continents have formed their own competitions. The European Championships for example, which are competed for by countries exclusively from Europe and the Copa America were countries only from South America are allowed to attend.
This was not enough for many however, spectators and clubs alike wanted more games, the friendly and cup games did not satisfy their demands. This wish to further expand led to the worlds first league with structured fixtures, The Football League forming in 1885 Twelve teams entered in this first league, including such famous clubs as Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Derby, Everton and now the lowly Accrington Stanley. It can be noted no southern clubs. The forming of the FA and The Football League also witnessed the ending of the multiple codes. One set of rules came to dominate. So successful was this league structure that less than 10 years later a second division had been formed, including for the first time many from the south. The popularity of the game had reached such a point it had now become professional. The elite players were now paid and the amateur relegated to an almost secondary role, though the amateur game continued to flourish until the early 1970s when the football authorities decided, regardless of status that all players could be paid. . From this time, the game was dominated by the large, well-supported, wage paying clubs, such as Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End, and West Bromwich Albion.
It was at this time that men of vision such as Ebenezer Marley realised that the game could be organised on national level. On Monday, October 26 1863 representatives met at the Freemasons Tavern, London to form the Football Association. This association set up the world’s first organised football structure. One idea that was proposed at this meeting was the starting of an annual cup competition. This came to fruition in 1871 when 15 clubs first competed for the famous FA Cup.