The World Cup Finals is the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world, with an estimated 715.1 million people watching the 2006 tournament final.
With the rising popularity of the FIFA World Cup, fan clubs are being formed, merchandise carrying the popular team's logos is being sold like hot cakes, discussions among sports lovers and children too is centered around the World Cup.
As to hosting the World Cup, from 1958 to 1998, since countries from America and Europe had the maximum participation till recently, to avoid controversies, each continent was allowed to host an alternate event. Now, however, FIFA's Executive Committee decides the country which gets to host the game, depending on the members' votes.
The popularity of the game has spread world wide, including Asian and African countries. The 2002 World Cup was jointly hosted by Japan and South Korea. This was the first time in its history that it was held in Asia and two countries hosted it jointly.
Needless to say, the popularity of the World Cup is growing by the day. Not only football lovers, but intellectuals, housewives and children, irrespective of their age or nationality are interested in the game. With the world becoming a global village, fans are not restricted to any one country. There are fans of the Italian team all over America, Asia and Africa.