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The first moving images documenting an official football match were taken in 1898 during a Blackburn Rovers game against West Bromwich. This first football film, preserved in the National Film and Television Archive of the British Film Institute, marks the beginning of the connection between football and film. In the meantime, this first tender connection has turned into a love affair. After the soccer film was at times traded as a box-office poison, one can now rightly claim that the football film is booming. And that has its reasons.
Football and film have a lot in common: Both last at least 90 minutes and offer pure drama, tragedy and comedy, great stories and small anecdotes, with heroes, villains, fallen angels and purified monsters, with beauties and beasts. The outcome of the drama is open. Anything can happen and that is why there is tension. Football and film are collective efforts, mostly only succeeding as teamwork. Both have movement as a central moment and both are capable of triggering strong emotions in the spectator.
So the football film has established itself as a genre of its own. The diversity of topics shows that the social phenomenon of football has now grown far beyond its historical dimension. The social and cultural background of the sport is shown, which can mean norm and rebellion, wealth and poverty, community spirit and fanaticism in different places at the same time. And good stories are now being told.
The story of the first football world championship, which took place in Uruguay in July 1930, is a story as yet untold as film. Three months before its opening, it was not yet foreseeable whether it would even take place. At the beginning of the tournament, games had to be played on alternative pitches because the newly built stadium was not yet finished. What followed was a furious tournament with triumphant victories and bitter defeats, celebrated heroes and tragic losses. In the end, a whole country went into ecstasy. The first World Cup went down in history as the Big Bang of football. The stories behind the story are at least as varied as those in a well-written film script.
Football and film, this is a love story full of passion and emotion. I look forward to retelling this story with colleagues from Argentina, Uruguay, England, USA, Brazil and France in a four-part documentary series. In order to make the phenomenon of the first World Cup understandable, we will start from the historical beginnings and conditions and finally look ahead to our time. What has passed and what has remained of an event that is considered the Big Bang of what is now celebrated every four years as the world’s most successful event of humanity? That football is much more than just a game is the story of our four-part documentary.
Matthias Aberle


Here we go with a new book release by Pierre Arrighi. The book “36 Lies of Jules Rimet: Review of the influential book The Wonderful History of the World Championship” contains some explosives. Since we are preparing a film about the 1930 World Cup, we are naturally very interested in the book. Director Matthias Aberle did an interview with Pierre Arrighi.
Interview with Pierre Arrighi about his new book
36 Lies of Jules Rimet: Review of the influential book The Wonderful History of the World Championship
Jules Rimet was FIFA President from 1921 to 1954. The first part of his book “The Wonderful History of the World Championship” is the basis for FIFA’s official history. “It is indeed an uninterrupted series of lies,” says Pierre Arrighi,
a professor at the University of Amiens, who has just published a critical book on the theme of the first World Cup.
Pierre Arrighi
Professor at the University of Picardy, Member of the CRAE
Founder of GREFU (Faculty of Human Sciences)
The interview was conducted in French.
Find translations in English, and in Spanish.
Find the book here:
Treinta y seis mentiras de Jules Rimet