Editor's note: The Associated Press, in its report on WADA's suspension of the doping laboratory in Rio de Janeiro, said the decision is an embarrassment to Brazil, which is hosting the Olympic Games in August. Two years ago, a testing operation in Rio was shut down ahead of the 2014 World Cup. - Tom
The 2014 FIFA World Cup was the 20th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for men's national football teams organized by FIFA. It took place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014, after the country was awarded the hosting rights in 2007. It was the second time that Brazil staged the competition (the first was in 1950), and the fifth time that it was held in South America.
Thirty-one national teams advanced through qualification competitions to join the host nation in the final tournament. A total of 64 matches were played in 12 venues located in as many host cities across Brazil. For the first time at a World Cup finals, match officials used goal-line technology, as well as vanishing foam for free kicks. FIFA Fan Fests in each host city gathered a total of 5 million people, and the country received 1 million visitors from 202 countries.
Every World Cup-winning team since the first edition in 1930 – Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Uruguay – qualified for this tournament. Spain, the title holders, were eliminated at the group stage, along with England and Italy. Uruguay were eliminated in the round of 16, and France exited in the quarter-finals. Brazil, who had won the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, lost to Germany 7-1 in the semi-finals and eventually finished in fourth place. In the final, Germany defeated Argentina 1–0 to win the tournament and secure the country's fourth world title, the first after the German reunification in 1990, when as West Germany they also beat Argentina in the World Cup final. Germany became the first European team to win a World Cup staged in the Americas, and this result marked the first time that sides from the same continent had won three consecutive tournaments (following Italy in 2006 and Spain in 2010).
As the winners, Germany qualified for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.