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Début : 15 juin à 00:00 ET
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The FIFA World Cup, occasionally called the Football World Cup or Soccer World Cup, but usually referred to simply as the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not contested because of World War II.

The current format of the tournament involves 32 teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation(s) over a period of about a month – this phase is often called the World Cup Finals. A qualification phase, which currently takes place over the preceding three years, is used to determine which teams qualify for the tournament together with the host nation(s).

During the 18 tournaments that have been held, seven nations have won the title. Brazil have won the World Cup a record five times, and they are the only team to have played in every tournament. Italy, the current champions, have won four titles, and Germany are next with three titles. The other former champions are Uruguay, winners of the inaugural tournament, and Argentina, with two titles each, and England and France, with one title each.
The World Cup is the most widely-viewed sporting event in the world, where an estimated 715.1 million people watched the final match of the 2006 World Cup held in Germany.[1] The next World Cup will be held in South Africa, between 11 June and 11 July 2010, and the 2014 World Cup will be held in Brazil.


History of the FIFA World Cup
Previous international competitions
The world's first international football match was a challenge match played in Glasgow in 1872 between Scotland and England,[2] with the first international tournament, the inaugural edition of the British Home Championship, taking place in 1884. At this stage the sport was rarely played outside the United Kingdom. As football began to increase in popularity in other parts of the world at the turn of the century, it was held as a demonstration sport with no medals awarded at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics (however, the IOC has retroactively upgraded their status to official events), and at the 1906 Intercalated Games.

After FIFA was founded in 1904, there was an attempt made by FIFA to arrange an international football tournament between nations outside of the Olympic framework in Switzerland in 1906. These were very early days for international football, and the official history of FIFA describes the competition as having been a failure.

At the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, football became an official competition. Planned by The Football Association (FA), England's football governing body, the event was for amateur players only and was regarded suspiciously as a show rather than a competition. Great Britain (represented by the England national amateur football team) won the gold medals. They repeated the feat in 1912 in Stockholm, where the tournament was organised by the Swedish Football Association.

With the Olympic event continuing to be contested only between amateur teams, Sir Thomas Lipton organised the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy tournament in Turin in 1909. The Lipton tournament was a championship between individual clubs (not national teams) from different nations, each one of which represented an entire nation. The competition is sometimes described as The First World Cup,[5] and featured the most prestigious professional club sides from Italy, Germany and Switzerland, but the FA of England refused to be associated with the competition and declined the offer to send a professional team. Lipton invited West Auckland, an amateur side from County Durham, to represent England instead. West Auckland won the tournament and returned in 1911 to successfully defend their title, and were given the trophy to keep forever, as per the rules of the competition.
In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament as a "world football championship for amateurs", and took responsibility for managing the event. This paved the way for the world's first intercontinental football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympics, contested by Egypt and thirteen European teams, and won by Belgium.

Uruguay won the next two Olympic football tournaments in 1924 and 1928.
First World Cup

Due to the success of the Olympic football tournaments, FIFA, with President Jules Rimet the driving force, again started looking at staging its own international tournament outside of the Olympics. On 28 May 1928, the FIFA Congress in Amsterdam decided to stage a world championship organised by FIFA.[8] With Uruguay now two-time official football world champions (as 1924 was the start of FIFA's professional era) and to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay as the host country of the inaugural World Cup tournament.

The national associations of selected nations were invited to send a team, but the choice of Uruguay as a venue for the competition meant a long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean for European sides. Indeed, no European country pledged to send a team until two months before the start of the competition. Rimet eventually persuaded teams from Belgium, France, Romania, and Yugoslavia to make the trip. In total thirteen nations took part: seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America.
The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously on 13 July 1930, and were won by France and USA, who defeated Mexico 4–1 and Belgium 3–0 respectively. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent of France.[9] In the final, Uruguay defeated Argentina 4–2 in front of a crowd of 93,000 people in Montevideo, and in doing so became the first nation to win the World Cup.

World Cups before World War II
After the creation of the World Cup, the 1932 Summer Olympics, held in Los Angeles, did not plan to include football as part of the schedule due to the low popularity of the sport in the United States, as American football had been growing in popularity. FIFA and the IOC also disagreed over the status of amateur players, and so football was dropped from the Games.[11] Olympic football returned at the 1936 Summer Olympics, but was now overshadowed by the more prestigious World Cup.

The issues facing the early World Cup tournaments were the difficulties of intercontinental travel, and war. Few South American teams were willing to travel to Europe for the 1934 and 1938 tournaments, with Brazil the only South American team to compete in both. The 1942 and 1946 competitions were cancelled due to World War II and its aftermath.

Organisation and media coverage

See also: List of FIFA World Cup broadcasters
The World Cup was first televised in 1954 and is now the most widely-viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding even the Olympic Games. The cumulative audience of all matches of the 2006 World Cup is estimated to be 26.29 billion. 715.1 million individuals watched the final match of this tournament (a ninth of the entire population of the planet). The 2006 World Cup draw, which decided the distribution of teams into groups, was watched by 300 million viewers.

Each FIFA World Cup since 1966 has its own mascot or logo. World Cup Willie, the mascot for the 1966 competition, was the first World Cup mascot. Recent World Cups have also featured official match balls specially designed for each World Cup.

Records and statistics

Main article: FIFA World Cup records
Two players share the record for playing in the most World Cups; Mexico's Antonio Carbajal and Germany's Lothar Matthäus both played in five tournaments. Matthäus has played the most World Cup matches overall, with 25 appearances. Brazil's Pelé is the only player to have won three World Cup winners' medals, with 20 other players who have won two World Cup medals.

The overall top goalscorer in World Cups is Brazil's Ronaldo, scorer of 15 goals in three tournaments. West Germany's Gerd Müller is second, with 14 goals in two tournaments. The third placed goalscorer, France's Just Fontaine, holds the record for the most goals scored in a single World Cup. All his 13 goals were scored in the 1958 tournament.

Brazil's Mário Zagallo and West Germany's Franz Beckenbauer are the only people to date to win the World Cup as both player and head coach. Zagallo won in 1958 and 1962 as a player and in 1970 as head coach.

Beckenbauer won in 1974 as captain and in 1990 as head coach. Italy's Vittorio Pozzo is the only head coach to ever win two World Cups. All World Cup winning head coaches were natives of the country they coached to victory.

As of the end of the 2006 tournament, Brazil and Germany have both played 92 matches, the most by any nation, with Brazil scoring the most goals, 201.

The two teams have played each other only once in the World Cup, in the 2002 final. (Credit Wikipedia)



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Centrebet is an Australian bookmaker licensed in the Northern Territory.

Centrebet originated from Alice Springs, Northern Territory and was the first bookmaker to be licensed in Australia in 1993 and the first bookmaker to go online in the Southern Hemisphere. Centrebet was acquired by its biggest domestic rival, the SportOdds Group in 2003 for the sum of AUD$46.55 million. In 2005, SportOdds merged its Centrebet, and businesses into one entity, known as Centrebet.

Con Kafataris is the CEO of the company while Peter Foot acts as chief bookmaker.

Centrebet is the second largest private bookmaking company in Australia (Sportsbet is the largest) and one of the biggest bookmakers in the world, with betting across all sports (both within and outside of Australia), horse racing and other events, including Australian elections and television shows. The Centrebet Group offers over 4000 individual betting options every week.

The Centrebet Group has recently commenced expansion of its core operations to include online gaming, including poker and casino. However, due to Australia's Interactive Gambling Act 2001, the Group are not permitted to offer gaming products to Australians. In 2006, the company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.


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Centrebet flags strong profit growth, by Teresa Oo - 8th July 2009
(Credit: The Australian)


CENTREBET has flagged strong profit growth next year, as it takes a bigger share of the country's online wagering revenue.

"Centrebet is well positioned to deliver strong profit growth in the 2010 financial year, supported by continued growth in the Australian market, a rationalised cost base and marketing investment adjusted to reflect the change in industry dynamics," deputy managing director Michael McRitchie said.

The company also confirmed full-year profit guidance for 2008-09 at the upper end of its April forecast of between $10 million and $11 million.

In February, Centrebet said it was on track to deliver a full-year profit of $14.3m, but two months later it downgraded this forecast by 30 per cent.

The company was stung by an $800,000 bad debt from one of its customers, former Billabong chief executive Matthew Perrin, who filed for bankruptcy in March.

Mr McRitchie said deregulation had forced Centrebet to spend more on marketing, reducing profits.

"Centrebet has now completed an extensive cost rationalisation process to mitigate the cost impact of industry changes and refocus on key priority markets -- total annualised saving of over $2m is expected on a pre-tax basis," he said.

The company has trimmed costs and cut staff numbers by 15 per cent, resulting in 34 job losses.

Managing director Con Kafataris said: "While deregulation of the industry has presented some short-term cost challenges, it has created an attractive outlook for Centrebet to grow market share.

"We expect the overall industry to show strong growth over the medium term and Centrebet is well positioned to maximise our share of the growth through customer-focused product offerings, targeted marketing investment and disciplined risk and cost management."

In February, Centrebet made a $22m offer for International All Sports but was rebuffed. Darwin-based Sportsbet and its parent, Irish betting group Paddy Power, have since made a takeover bid for IAS.

Based on unaudited accounts, Centrebet said its total revenue had risen 6 per cent to $66.2m, driven by growth in the Australian online wagering market.

Australian online revenue rose 23 per cent to $32.9m -- 50 per cent of total revenue. Its on-course revenue fell 31 per cent to $3.3 million, which only made up 5 per cent of revenue.

European revenue, excluding poker, remained flat at $26.1m. European poker revenue decreased 17 per cent to $3.8m.

Centrebet's successful launch of its fixed odds management contracts with West Australian, ACT and Tasmanian TABs was a "positive start".

The company would manage more than $200m a year in fixed costs betting turnover on behalf of the TABs.

Centrebet's share price rose 3c yesterday to close at 93c.



Centrebet has good odds on recession - 16th December 2008
(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)


Not all economists would punt on Australia falling into recession, but betting agency Centrebet is offering good odds on the economy bottoming out.

The bookmaker has Australia a $1.12 favourite to fall into recession in the next 12 months and $5.50 if it is avoided.

Centrebet media chief Neil Evans said the effects of the production meltdown in industries such as car manufacturing had yet to hit Australia's economy.

"The global financial downturn has not even gone close to bottoming out through Australia's economy," Mr Evans said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Allowing for fearful retail and wholesale forecasts through the Christmas-New Year period, it will be a miracle if Australia avoids recession."

Economic forecasts from JP Morgan and Citigroup both predict Australia will suffer a technical recession - face two quarters of negative economic growth in early 2009.

Other economists predict the economy will be flat, avoiding recession through measures like the federal government's economic stimulus package and cuts in interest rates.

Earlier this month, the Australian Business Economists executive committee, including economists from Westpac, nabCapital and Reserve Bank of Australia, placed the chance of recession at 40 per cent.

Centrebet has also released its latest market for the Reserve Bank's next interest rates decision, with a 75 basis point rate cut the favourite at $2.35, ahead of a 50 basis point cut at $2.40, and 100 basis point drop at $3.50.



Chris Munce market pulled in bid to ease tension, by Brendan Cormick - 12th December 2008
(Credit: The Australian)

A Northern Territory betting outlet was yesterday asked to withdraw a market framed on the return to race riding of convicted jockey Chris Munce because it threatened to inflame the strained relationship between Hong Kong and Racing NSW further.

Corporate bookmaker Centrebet prepared to bet $5.50 about the Melbourne Cup-winning jockey riding a winner and making a fairytale return to the racetrack at Randwick's Kensington course today. Punters could take $1.15 about Munce going winless on his first day back at the "office".

"The (Northern Territory) Government stepped in and put an end to the market before it had a chance to see the light of day," said the source, who did not wish to be identified. "The authorities felt it was too sensitive, given all the tension between NSW and Hong Kong."

Centrebet considered Sheezvalue, in the fifth race, the best of Munce's rides. His book of mounts was reduced to two yesterday when trainer David Hayes withdrew Swoop And Destroy from the opening event on the twilight card.

Munce's clearance by Racing NSW will be a topic of discussion at the Australian Racing Board's monthly meeting this morning in Sydney.

Racing NSW elected not to acknowledge a 30-month disqualification, handed down by the Hong Kong Jockey Club this month. Backdated to March 1, 2007 and still with 10 months to run, the disqualification would normally have been routinely endorsed in Australia.