Goal! Goal! Goal! Goal! Anyone who watches soccer on a regular basis will have heard that cry from excited commentators as they announce that a team has scored. Soccer, or football as it is known in Europe, has a long and illustrious history. The game's early beginnings are far reaching with the first form of the sport likely dating back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C. in China. Many variations of the game flourished over the centuries, particularly in England where repeated attempts to prohibit the sport failed. The contemporary history of soccer goes back more than a century to 1863, when the world's first football association-the English FA-was founded by 11 London, England, clubs and schools. Within eight years, the English FA had 50 member clubs and international matches were taking place.
The increasing popularity of international matches prompted the need for a single body to oversee the sport worldwide, and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded by representatives from France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland on May 21, 1904. The first FIFA World Cup took place in Uruguay in 1930 and, since then, the championship's popularity and prestige have continued to rise. The FIFA U-20 World Cup, formerly known as the FIFA World Youth Championship, is the world championship of soccer for male players under the age of 20. Some of the biggest names in the sport have made their first mark on the world stage in this competition.
The first FIFA U-20 World Cup, which was won by the Soviet Union, was hosted by Tunisia in 1977. Thirty years later, in 2007, Canada will host the championship for the first time in its history. Over a three-week period, between June 30 and July 22, 52 games will be played in six major cities: Victoria, Burnaby, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montréal.
On June 26, Canada Post will issue a domestic rate (52¢) stamp to mark the historic nature of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007, and to honour all of the players and fans who will travel to Canada from around the world to participate and watch.
"I wanted to create a stamp that captured all the elements of the game," explains stamp designer Debbie Adams of Adams and Associates, in Toronto. "And that also communicated the speed, action and excitement of soccer at its best. The Canadian players featured on the stamp give an incredible sense of movement to the design, while the ball is the epicentre of the game."
The result is a dynamic stamp design that features members of the Canadian soccer team in action, an image of the official 2007 U-20 World Cup game ball and green turf.
"It's a great honour for Canada to be chosen to host the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup," says Liz Wong, manager of Stamp Design and Production at Canada Post. "We feel this stamp is a fitting tribute to soccer, FIFA and the U-20 World Cup-and to all the people involved with the event."
More information about the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 can be found at: