The FAFA World Cup was hosted by the USA in 1994, and was a huge success despite Football (soccer) being a minor sport in that country. In the Final, Brazil beat Italy 3-2 in the penalty shoot out, after the score was 0-0 after extra time.
- After playing with Spain in a qualifying match in 1993, the Albanian coach asked his players not to swap shirts, as they had no money to make new shirts, and wanted to save the shirts for the next match. The financially beleaguered Albanian team had to go to the stadium at their own expense, and they even did not have a full complement of shirts before the match.
- Did you know that Chile was not allowed to participate in the 1994 qualifying competition? It all came about because a Chilean goalkeeper faked his injury in a qualifying match. In a decisive qualifier in Brazil on 3 September 1989, Brazil were leading 1-0 with 23 minutes left. In an attempt to disqualify the match, the Chilean goalkeeper Roberto Rojas pretended to have been hit and seriously hurt by the firecrackers thrown from the Brazilian crowd. The whole Chilean team walked off in protest, and the match was abandoned. FIFA later discovered the hoax from TV and awarded Brazil a 2-0 victory, banned Rojas for life and banned Chile from the 1994 World Cup.
- In USA 94, Belgium goalkeeper Michael Preud'homme abandoned his good luck ritual of wearing a Standard Leige shirt (his first club) under his national jersey because of the heat.
- Italian Striker Gianfranco Zola was sent off on 28th birthday, when he played in a 1994 finals match. He was sent off in the 76th minute in a Second Round match against Nigeria on 5 July 1994. Italy won the match 2-1 and went on to reach the Final.
- German midfielder Stefan Effenberg sent home early by coach Berti Vogts in USA 1994 after he gave the finger to a fan during a finals match. Stefan Effenberg was sent home immediately after the incident, and has refused to rejoin the national squad since.
- Colombian player Andreas Escobar was killed by a soccer fan soon after he returned home from USA 94. Colombia were one of the favorites, and their early exit shocked the Colombian people. Escobar scored a clear own goal in their loss to USA in a crucial First Round game on 22/6/94. Two weeks later, he was shot dead by an angry fan in his home town. The killer Humberto Munoz was sentenced to jail for 43 years, but was released on 6 October 2005 after serving just 11 years.
World Cup Firsts
- The first Final decided on penalty shoot-out was the 1994 Final in which Brazil beat Italy 3:2 on penalty shoot-out after the match finished in a 0:0 tie.
- The first match played indoor was at the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit, USA on 18/06/1994, in a match between USA was Switzerland.
- The first player to take penalty shootout in a final was Franco Baresi of Italy, taking the shootout in the 1994 final but blasted it over the bar.
- The first goalkeeper to be sent-off was Gianluca Pagliuca of Italy in a match against Norway on 23 June 1994.