Football - not only the most popular of sports, but also one in which spectacle and big business play their roles - has held its premier event, the World Cup championship, since 1930. It takes place every four years and this year sees its fifteenth incarnation. As is the tradition, there are various venues but the actual host country on this occasion is a newcomer to the great world of football - the USA. It should be mentioned, however, that there are oral records of long-standing which tell of Indian football in the pre-Columbian era, as well as written records of 1634 from the state of Massachusetts.
Among the players from 24 countries who made it through the tough qualifying rounds, our own squad is not, alas, to be found. The joint Czech and Slovak team, twice World Cup runners-up (1934, 1962) and once European champions (1976) succumbed to Romania and Belgium.