29¢ Soccer Player Kicking
World Cup Soccer Championships
Issue Date: May 26, 1994
City: New York, NY
Printed By: J.W. Fergusson & Sons for Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
For one action-packed month millions of viewers around the globe tuned in to the world’s most popular sporting event as twenty-four teams vied for the championship. Sponsored by the Federation Internationale de Football Association, the World Cup is soccer’s most famous and spectacular international competition.
Proposed by Frenchman Jules Rimet, the first World Cup was held in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1930. Since then the competition has been held every four years, except during World War II. Qualifying rounds held two years prior to the event determine which twenty-two teams will join the host nation and the defending champion. Unlike Olympic soccer however, World Cup teams are not limited to amateur players.
For the first time in the World Cup’s 64-year history, the event was held in the United States and to honor the occasion the Postal Service issued three commemorative stamps. Various denominations made mailing letters home easier for the international athletes, coaches, and officials. A souvenir sheet was also issued. Although the 1983 airmail stamp issued for the ’84 Olympics featured a soccer player, this was the first time stamps had been issued to specifically honor the sport of soccer.