The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition attended by the senior men’s national teams who are members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Just like the World Cup, which brings people from all over the world together, the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) is participated in by people from almost every country in the world. 

Almost all the teams participating in the FIFA World Cup represent countries that have Scouting programs. This year, 94 percent of countries that are participating in the World Cup also participate in Scouting! The only countries participating in the FIFA World Cup that don’t have Scouting programs are Iran and Tunisia. Which country do you think has the most Scouts? *(Find the answer at the bottom of this article). 

Now, check out the countries from each Scouting region that are participating both in the World Cup and in Scouting and learn a little more about Worldwide Scouting.

FIFA Competitors that also Participate in Scouting by Scout Region

Africa Scout Region FIFA Teams: Nigeria, Senegal

About this Region: The World Scout Movement has over 40 million members, youth and adults, boys and girls, of which over 3.5 million are part of the Africa Scout Region.

The Region consists of Sub-Saharan countries. It has 40 member National Scout Organizations (NSOs), 7 potential members.

In Africa, Scouting started in 1908 in South Africa. On March 13, 1963, Scout Leaders from around the region met for the first time in Lagos, Nigeria to discuss the organization of the Africa Scout Region. While recognizing the contribution of Scouting in educating and molding young people, training adults, and providing invaluable services to local communities, on June 21-23, 1995 the 62nd ordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the Organization of the Africa Unity (now Africa Union) meeting declared March 13th to be the national Africa Scout Day.

Fun Fact: The First All-African Jamboree was held in Shere Hills, Jos, Nigeria in 1976.

Arab Scout Region FIFA Teams: Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia

About this Region: There are 284,000 registered members of the Arab Region. The role of the Arab Region is to support all the 5 million (registered and unregistered) members of its National Scout Organizations (NSOs). Scouting in the Arab region started in Syria and Lebanon in 1912. The first Arab Scout Conference (and Jamboree) was held at Zabadani, Syria in the summer of 1954, where the Arab Scout Committee was formed.

Fun Fact: The Arab Region is comprised of countries from both Africa and Asia!

Fifa World Cup scouts

Asia-Pacific Scout Region FIFA Teams: Australia, South Korea, Japan

About this Region: There are more than 30 million Scouts in the Asia-Pacific Region and supports 27 National Scout Organizations, one associate member, and several potential countries. The Asia-Pacific Region covers a total land area of 21 million square kilometers extending from Mongolia in the north to New Zealand in the south, from Pakistan in the west to French Polynesia in the east.

Fun Fact: Indonesia, which is part of the Asia-Pacific Region has the most Scouts in the world with over 21,599,748 members. 

Eurasian Scout Region FIFA Teams: Russia (Russian Federation)

About this Region: The Eurasia Scout Region is headquartered in Kiev, Ukraine and managed by the Eurasia Scout Committee, which is elected by the Eurasia Scout Conference which takes place every three years. The Eurasia Conference is the governing body of the Region. In conjunction to the Conference, a Eurasia Scout Youth Forum takes place. The aim of the Youth Forum is to increase youth participation in the decision-making processes of the organization.

In 1997, WOSM created the new Eurasian Region, to assist in the rebirth of Scouting in the 12 former Soviet Republics: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Several of the organizations in the Region were borne from existing Scouts-in-Exile organizations.

Because of the negative experience with the Communist youth organizations, Scouting in the Eurasian Region is having a slow rebirth.

Fun Fact: The first Eurasian Scout Jamboree took place in Byurakan, Armenia in August 2006.

European Scout Region FIFA Teams: Belgium, Germany, England, Spain, Poland, Iceland, Serbia, France, Portugal, Switzerland, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark

About this Region: This region boasts more than 1.7 million active members. It comprises of 41 National Scout Organizations that are members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, and services Scouting in Western and Central Europe, excluding the former Soviet republics (which comprise the Eurasian Scout Region, but inclusive, for cultural reasons, of Cyprus, Turkey and Israel. The WOSM recognizes at most one member organization per country. Some countries have several organizations combined as a federation, with different component groups divided on the basis of religion (e.g., France and Denmark), ethnic identification (e.g., Bosnia-Herzegovina), or language (e.g., Belgium).

All the formerly communist states of Central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union have developed or are developing Scouting in the wake of the renaissance in the region. Of these, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary have been most successful in regrowing their Scout movements and are very well-developed, thanks in part to the existence of Scouts-in-Exile movements for the diaspora of each nation.

Fun Fact: Unique to the European region, Roverway is an activity for both the WOSM and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. It is a ten-day event open for youth aged 16 to 22. The activity was introduced in 2003 and consists usually of two stages: a “journey” with small units of Scouts making their way to the main camp, which is the second stage.

Inter-American Scout Region FIFA Teams: Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, Peru

About this Region: There are over 4 million members in the Interamerica Region and is headquartered in Ciudad del Saber, Panama. The Interamerican Region services Scouting in the Western Hemisphere, both North and South America.

Fun Fact: The Youth of the Americas Award is the only award granted by the Interamerican Scout Committee. The award is given to persons who have made an impact at the international level.

Now that you know a little bit more about the worldwide members of Scouting, are you ready to choose a region to root for in the World Cup? Comment below who you are hoping takes home the Cup!

*South Korea has the most Scouts at 190,539 members!

Madison Austin
studies Public Relations at Brigham Young University and is a marketing specialist at the Utah National Parks Council. She is an avid hiker and enjoys being outdoors. Growing up in the mountainous regions of Colorado and Virginia enabled her to follow these passions. After moving to Utah to attend college, she has spent her time fostering both a career in Communications and a love for Utah's National Parks.

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