The Origin of Soccer

While it may be impossible to say when or where the game of football began, history has given us glimpses of a game that has been played for 3000 years in a way similar to our current version.

Around the 2nd or 3rd century BCE, it was documented that the Chinese military during the Han dynasty played a game kicking a ball across a small net.

A game similar to football was played by the ancient Greeks and Romans, but their games could feature up to 27 players on a side, compared to the modern day game of 11 players.

Football became one of the most popular sports among the masses due to its popularity as a war sport. A game of “football”, as the English called it, was played in the east of England during the 8th century where the head of a defeated Danish prince was used as the ball.

During medieval times, villages and towns were pitted against each other in sporting battles that could last for days. There were no structured rules to follow and kicking, biting, gouging and punching turned the game into a virtual battle for survival. These matches became so violent that the British authorities made several attempts to ban football.

King Edward III of England passed legislation to outlaw the game in 1331, and Queen Elizabeth I passed a law punishing anyone caught playing football with one week in prison.

Despite these efforts, the game of football became so popular in England over the next few centuries that it developed into the most popular sport of its time.

At this point, the only shortcoming of the game was its lack of rules or standards. In 1815, Eton College, a famous English school, established a set of rules to be followed by other schools, colleges and universities.

A standardized version of these rules was later adopted by most colleges and universities in England in 1848, known as the Cambridge Rules.

Unfortunately, at this point two different rules were still being used. Some colleges supported rugby rules that allowed carrying the ball with the hands, tripping and kicking on the shins. Which was against the Cambridge rules.

In 1863, the Football Association was formed to enforce the rules for the eleven English soccer clubs and schools that played against each other.

Supporters of rugby school rules objected to the changes and the two groups split. The Football Association later changed the rules in 1869 where they prohibited the use of hands except by the goalkeeper, which led us to the game of football as we know it today.

The English still call it the game of “football” because the ball was played primarily with the feet but in the late 18th century, the term “soccer” was first used by a student at Oxford University by the name of Charles Wreford Brown. went. , Oxford students were known to use slang where they added “er” to the end of words that they intentionally shortened. The game of rugby was called “rugger”. Brown shortened the word “association” and added an “er,” and the word “soccer” was born.

Since the 19th century the sport has evolved to where it is today. It is the world’s sport played by more people than any other sport and is universally recognized as the most popular sport in sports history.

The World Cup, which is held every four years to crown a world champion, attracts millions of spectators to the 32 games played and is watched by billions of fans around the world, thanks to modern satellite television technology. .

Soccer continues to grow in popularity as organized youth soccer programs attract young fans at an early age which will fuel its growth in the years to come.

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