The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in the rear of the headquarters of the Union Française de Sports Athlétiques at the Rue Saint Honoré 229 in Paris on 21 May 1904. When the idea of founding an international football federation began taking shape in Europe, the intention of those involved was to recognise the role of the English who had founded their Football Association back in 1863. Over the past 25 years football has enhanced its status as the world's leading game, reaching into other branches of society, commerce and politics. Football, more than any other factor, has enveloped whole regions, people and nations. With approximately 200 million active players it now constitutes a substantial chunk of the leisure industry, having opened up new markets for itself and for the rest of the business world.
The potential has yet to be exhausted, especially in Asia and North America. As of mid-2007, FIFA has grown to include 208 member associations, thus making it one of the biggest and certainly the most popular sports federation in the world.
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