Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio

The beginning


The Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio was founded in Turin on 16th March 1898 and it has paid a role in making football the most popular sport in the country. Now, in terms of registration, there are almost 14,000 clubs affiliated (13,491), around 60,000 teams (61,435), 1.4 million players registered (1,394,602) and roughly 600,000 (609,790) matches taking place each year.
The FIGC’s history is also the history of Italian football and that of its international successes with four World Cups (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006), one European Championship (1968), one Olympic gold and one Olympic bronze (1936, 2004) and that’s without going into youth football and clubs’ successes in FIFA and UEFA competitions.

Formed in Turin on 26th March 1898 following the decision made by a committee on 15th March, the FIGC promoted the first league championship that was held on a single day in Turin that was won by Genoa.
The Italian National Team first appeared on 15th May 1910 at the Arena di Milano with Italy beating France 6-2 while wearing white shirts. The following year, the iconic Azzurri shirt was worn for the first time against Hungary to honour the House of Savoy’s ceremonial colour. After a pause during the First World War, Italian football continued to evolve. In 1922, the first Coppa Italia was held with Vado winning the trophy. In the same year, the Confederazione calcistica italiana (C.C.I.) split before rejoining the FIGC in the following year. The 1930s brought glory for Vittorio Pozzo’s Italy side as they won back-to-back World Cups in 1934 and 1938 and they were interspersed by an Olympic gold medal in 1936. 
The Post-War Period
Football was one of the tools which helped Italy to rise from the devastation of war. They were the years of the Grande Torino side who won five straight league titles but also the Superga disaster in 1949. The loss caused by the plane crash had an impact on the Italian National Team who were eliminated at the first round at the 1950 and 1954 World Cups while they failed to qualify for the 1958 edition. Following on from those results, the Commissioner Bruno Zauli reformed the FIGC in 1959. Three leagues were formed (professional, semi-professional and amateur), the Technical Sector was born as was the Educational and Youth Sector. Italian football returned to its past glory. The first successes came through club sides, especially Inter and Milan. In 1968, Ferruccio Valcareggi’s Italy won the European Championship and reached the final of the 1970 World Cup in Mexico where they were defeated by Brazil in the final. Successes also came off the pitch, the FIGC President Artemio Franchi became the UEFA President in 1973 and the FIFA Vice-President in 1974.
The 1980s and 1990s
After an unfortunate showing at the 1978 World Cup ended with a four-place finish and the ‘Calcioscommesse’ scandal, Italian football’s pride was restored once more as Enzo Bearzot’s side won the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
The Italian game moved into the 1990s with enthusiasm as Juventus imposed themselves on the main international competitions while Italy had the right to host the 1990 World Cup where the Azzurri eventually finished third after losing to Argentina on penalties in the semi-finals. Arrigo Sacchi’s AC Milan began their period of success in 1991 while the Italy National Team lost the final of the 1994 World Cup to Brazil in a penalty shootout. The Under-21 National Team enjoyed sustained success
with Cesare Maldini’s teams winning the 1992, 1994 and 1996 European Championships before Marco Tardelli’s side took the edition held in the year 2000 and Claudio Gentile oversaw another winning campaign in 2004. The 1990s ended with two disappointing tournaments in France with Italy eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the 1998 World Cup on penalties before losing the Euro 2000 final via Golden Goal in extra time. In December 1998, the FIGC celebrated its centenary with a match between the Azzurri and FIFA All Stars which Italy won 6-2.
The Current Era
Italian football underwent some great changes between the 1990s and 2000s. Pay TV emerged in 1991 bringing up the question of television rights. International club competitions were reformed in 1992, the Bosman ruling was made in 1995 and in 1999, a decree reformed the Federation’s structure. The Under-21 National Team took a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens while in 2003, the Champions League final was an all-Italian affair for the first time in Manchester with AC Milan facing Juventus. In 2006, Marcello Lippi’s National Team won the World Cup by beating France on penalties in the final in Berlin during a difficult time with the ‘Calciopoli’ scandal dominating the news. In the following year, Giancarlo Abete was elected as FIGC President, winning further elections in 2009 and 2013 while he was nominated as the FIFA Vice-President in 2011.
Cesare Prandelli’s side inspired the nation during Euro 2012, making the final before eventually falling to Spain. Elimination at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil then led to the departures of Prandelli and Abete.
2014 to 2016
On 11th August 2014, the LND President Carlo Tavecchio was elected President of the FIGC. Michele Uva took on the role of CEO. The new leadership brought about a number of reforms with a particular focus on the use of young home-grown players, financial sustainability at professional clubs and reorganisation within the FIGC, promoting various projects on the topics of discrimination and social responsibility. 
In support of these activities and in the spirit of transparency, the FIGC published a number of documents such as the Report Calcio, the Integrated Report, the Management Report and the Financial Statement on Italian Football.
Antonio Conte’s Italy qualified for the 2016 European Championship in France where they were eventually knocked out after an incredible adventure by Germany on penalties. Gian Piero Ventura took on the job on the bench and vowed to oversee a generational change which would deliver a successful future while aiming to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
After four matches, Italy are at the head of Group G alongside Spain with ten points after three wins and one draw.