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Kajsa Palmblad watches her team's World Cup match against Paraguay on June 15, 2006 at Slate, a New York City nightclub.<br />
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The World Cup, held every four years in different locales, is the world's pre-eminent sports tournament in the world's most popular sport, soccer (or football, as most of the world calls it).  Qualification for the World Cup is open to any country with a national team accredited by FIFA, world soccer's governing body. The first World Cup, organized by FIFA in response to the popularity of the first Olympic Games' soccer tournaments, was held in 1930 in Uruguay and was participated in by 13 nations.    <br />
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As of 2010 there are 208 such teams.  The final field of the World Cup is narrowed down to 32 national teams in the three years preceding the tournament, with each region of the world allotted a specific number of spots.  <br />
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The World Cup is the most widely regularly watched event in the world, with soccer teams being a source of national pride.  In most nations, the whole country is at a standstill when their team is playing in the tournament, everyone's eyes glued to their televisions or their ears to the radio, to see if their team will prevail.  While the United States in general is a conspicuous exception to the grip of World Cup fever there is one city that is a rather large exception to that rule.  In New York City, the most diverse city in a nation of immigrants, the melting pot that is America is on full display as fans of all nations gather in all possible venues to watch their teams and celebrate where they have come from.

Kajsa Palmblad watches her team's World Cup match against Paraguay on June 15, 2006 at Slate, a New York City nightclub.

The World Cup, held every four years in different locales, is the world's pre-eminent sports tournament in the world's most popular sport, soccer (or football, as most of the world calls it). Qualification for the World Cup is open to any country with a national team accredited by FIFA, world soccer's governing body. The first World Cup, organized by FIFA in...
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Melting Pot: World Cup Watching in NYC