The strangest presentation of the facts about our entry into FIFA is to associate the date of 20 April 1923 with the FIFA Congress in Geneva. This cannot happen.
Delegate at the FIF A Congress in Geneva on 20 and 21 mm. the professor. doctor. Jan Weyssenhoff “- we can read in the” Official Department “, where the official announcements of PZPN were published. And already in the previous issue – May 17 – “PS” in the “National News” section reported that “Prof. Jan Weyssenhoff will leave on behalf of PZPN to attend the FIFA Congress, which will take place on Pentecost.
This information uses the colloquial name of Pentecost, which is animated and in 1923 celebrated
May 20th. There are also other documents to be found, even on the Internet, that confirm the date of the first FIFA Congress after World War I – it was on May 20 and 21, 1923. The previous FIFA Congress was in 1914.
Therefore, no one from the Polish Football Association can participate in the Geneva conferences a month before they actually take place. There is no doubt about this. However, it is much more difficult to say where April 20, 1923 came from, as the date of the Polish Football Association’s accession to FIFA.
“PrzeglÄ…d Sportowy”, whose credibility as a historical source is confirmed by the fact that it was the official organ of the PZPN, from the beginning of 1923 until May 1923 does not provide any information about FIFA! He didn’t mention her. However, the newspaper published all of the Polish Football Association’s advertisements (including the resulting warning to representatives of regional football associations that “Przegląd Sportowy” is obligated to subscribe and read).
The announcements of PZPN were quite detailed, as evidenced by the official information we remembered today about the organization of the upcoming meeting with Yugoslavia, which should be considered historical. This was the first match Poland played while it was an official member of FIFA. Thus, from the fourth point of the “Contacts of the Board of Directors” we learn that “ticket prices for the Yugoslavia-Poland match have been established: a seat in the box and in the middle stand – 20,000 Mkp, a seat in a side stand – 15,000 Mkp, additional chairs – 10,000 Mkp, admission 5,000 Mkp ., admission to dormitories and students 3000 Mkp.
These prices were not particularly high – for example, in relation to the cost of sports journalism. With the great inflation of the years 1922-23, the price of a copy of our newspaper came to 3,000 Polish marks, which means that entry to a national team match in the most economical edition cost less than two copies of Przegląd Sportowy. Currently…the cheapest match option is closer to our magazine yearly subscription. However, we have no complaints about it, we present it as a curiosity that reminds you that the sports business has been developing at a completely different pace than the publishing business over the past 100 years. And a hundred years ago, football players in our country were not professionals. In the country that has the greatest traditions in the professional game of football players – in England, you can find another phrase that very interestingly demonstrates how quickly the football industry is developing in comparison with other spheres of life. Although the list does not cover a hundred years, being only fifty, it gives an interesting view of the situation. At the start of the 1970s, the average annual salary for a footballer in the top English entertainment tier was three times the average in the country, and now… it is almost seventy times as much!
Perhaps the Polish Football Association cleverly avoids giving the exact date of joining FIFA – the official website of our association contains only the following information: “In 1923, the PZPN was officially accepted as a member of FIFA (International Federation of Football Associations), which resulted a year later From the White and Red performance at the Olympic Games in Paris.
We are of the opinion that the date of Poland’s accession to this Organization should be May 20, 1923, and not any other date. In a publication published by FIFA on the occasion of a congress – so we assume it is based on documents collected by the federation – we found some interesting information. Firstly, the Geneva Conference of 1923 confirmed Jules Rimet as President of FIFA, but in fact he ran the organization from August 1920 as Secretary General, becoming President on March 1, 1921. This date is considered to mark the beginning of his “assuming office”, a very important moment that was … Naming the trophy awarded to world football champions in his name. It happened in 1946 to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Rimet’s leadership of the Union.
The trophy called Golden Nike or Winged Nike “on property” was won by Brazil in 1970, when it won the world championship for the third time. However… First of all, it is not known whether the players received the original statue, because it was stolen for the first time in 1966, when the World Cup was held in England. And secondly, even if the English – after a bargaining theft – recover the real trophy, still … There is no Rimet Cup in Brazil. Because in the 1980s it was stolen again and this time the statuette could not be recovered. However, its history is a topic for a separate text, especially since in 1923 the FIFA World Cup was not even thought of. Well, maybe Rimet thought, but in many letters you can find information that he became the father of world football tournaments, because he was inspired by observing successful football tournaments during the Olympic Games in Paris and Amsterdam. And the tournament he invented because he was … an opponent of the ideas and thoughts of the “father of modern Olympics” Pierre de Coubertin, for whom amateurism in sports was important. and limiting the Olympic competition to athletes from this group … excluding a large group of football players.
Putting aside the question of Rimet’s influence on world football, we are sure that Poland’s accession to FIFA took place at the same congress that “confirmed” his presidency.
– After World War I, FIFA was on the brink of disintegration due to internal friction and the position of the British demanding the exclusion of the countries that lost the World War – led by Germany. He somehow managed to survive this crisis, but almost five years had to pass from the end of the war to the first FIFA congress, says Leszek Jarosz, chief publicist and football historian. Of course, the release of two different dates for Poland’s admission to FIFA does not surprise him. – I know there are two, but in my opinion May 20, 1923, the day of the FIFA Congress, should be considered the official day. There is no doubt when this happened.
Poland joined FIFA “accompanied” by eleven national associations – Portugal, Turkey, Brazil, Egypt, Estonia, Ireland (accredited as the Irish Free State), Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Yugoslavia and Uruguay.
So in very diverse company when it comes to the level of football, but attention should be paid to Uruguay, which was certainly the strongest footballing country in the world in the 1920s – two consecutive victories in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics, and then triumphant efforts to stage the first tournament absolutely universal and win it. More successes cannot be accumulated.
As mentioned, on May 24, 1923, preparations were underway for a meeting with Yugoslavia. And one thing is beyond doubt – on June 3 in Krakow, two teams of national associations already belonging to FIFA were supposed to meet.
There remains one unexplained issue – what happened on April 20, 1923, as this day is recognized in many sources as the day PZPN joined FIFA. We can only guess or speculate. – Trying to find out the reason for this, I also looked through the foreign press. For example, French. But I did not find anything confirming that on April 20, FIFA made any decisions to expand its ranks. I suppose that on that day … an invitation to the congress in Geneva would have come to the PZPN, which was treated as an expression of our readiness to be admitted to the International Federation. Officially, however, we have been at FIFA since May 20 – says Leszek Jarosz, and we share his point of view one hundred percent on Poland’s 100th birthday in FIFA.