The Complete History Of Soccer

The need to create a regulation for the sport we now call soccer was born in the middle of the 19th century, in order to delimit the game in relation to other similar sports. 

Football in its British version (Association Football or Soccer) is the most widespread and popular sport in the world. The simplicity of the rules and the ability that practically everyone has to play ball, contribute to the dissemination of the sport to the general public and having fans actively checking games, keeping updates on latest news and events, placing bets on NetBet Sport and watching games live whenever possible. Football is played in the open air by two teams, each of which consists of 11 players. The goal of each team is to send the ball into the home of the opposing team by kicking it or pushing it with any part of the body except the hands. Whichever team scores the most goals wins the game.

The highest authority of the sport is FIFA, which has under its jurisdiction 6 confederations (one for each continent) and 209 national federations. FIFA estimates that footballers are estimated at 250 million worldwide, while football fans reach 1.3 billion.

From antiquity there were games in which two teams tried to kick a ball in the opposite direction and send it to the home of the opposing team by kicking, pushing or other means. In China from the 11th century BC. they played cuju, a ball game stuffed with women’s hair, which they moved on foot. In ancient Greece there were games that resembled football, with the most famous being “Episkyros”, a combination of rugby and football. This game spread to Rome, where it was played in the 2nd century BC. with the name “Harpastum”. A sculpture on display at the Archaeological Museum of Athens, shows a teenager perfectly controlling a ball with his foot, with a technique that even the best modern football player would envy. FIFA recognizes the game “Episkyros” as a forerunner of modern football.

During the Middle Ages various games were played, combining rugby and football, and rivalry was expressed between neighboring cities or villages or between factions of the same city. In the 14th century in Florence the “calcio” (calcio = kick) was played, the period from the Epiphany until the beginning of Lent. Children of the local aristocracy participated, and the games took place in Santa Croce Square.

At the same time in Western European countries, “melees” were played, ball games, which was an inflated bladder of an animal, which was promoted by kicking, pushing and using hands. About 100 people, coming from two cities or neighborhoods, started from a central point and headed to the opponent’s home, which was usually the border of each city or neighborhood. King Richard II of England forbade it, due to the quarrels, which usually occurred. Later monarchs brought it back to the 15th century, with some rules, but without success.

Later, this type of football was limited, mainly in England, to a stadium that was 70 to 90 meters long, about the length of a modern football field. At its ends were placed two stakes, spaced from 60 to 90 cm apart. The ball was made of animal bladder, which was placed in a leather case. When a team managed to pass the ball through the opponent’s home, the game was over.

A milder form of football has been played since the 17th century among the private schools of the British aristocracy. Each school had its own regulations. Some of them allowed the ball to be transported by hand and others did not. When the graduates of these schools continued their studies at a university, they could not play football, except with their old classmates, who knew the rules.

The need to create a regulation for the sport we now call football was born in the mid-19th century, in order to delimit the game in relation to other similar ones, such as rugby, that were played in English schools.

The first rules were laid at the famous Cambridge College in 1848, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eaton, Harrow, and Rugby Colleges. Nine years later, the first football club, Sheffield, added its own and differentiated others.

All these efforts culminated in 1863. On October 26, representatives of teams and a college gathered at the “Masonic Tavern” in London, where they agreed to establish the Football Association (FA) and to establish the rules governing the sport until today. Then the term “soccer” was born. The word comes from the abbreviation of two words: Social Ceremony. October 26, 1863 is considered the official date of birth of modern football and England as its homeland.

The problem of professionalism arose very early in England. Many teams gave some kind of compensation to their players for the time they lost from their main job. The English federation was in favor of amateur football from the beginning, but when in 1884 two teams threatened to withdraw, the federation changed course and allowed professionalism. In 1888 there were 12 fully professional teams in Great Britain and in 1892 there were 28.

From 1880 football began to spread to the rest of the world by the British. Let us not forget that at that time the British Empire was at the height of its glory and influence in the rest of the world. In almost every country there was a British community, while in every port a warship or merchant ship was moored. In 1880 they played ball in Central Europe, but also in Brazil. In 1887 the Russians found out and in 1895 the first football match took place in Istanbul between British and Greek residents of the city.

By the beginning of the 20th century, football had spread throughout the world and it was necessary to establish a supreme authority to supervise it, but also to be responsible for the regulations that would govern it. Thus, on May 21, 1904 in Paris was founded the International Football Federation (Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA), which, among other responsibilities, organizes every four years, since 1930, the Football World Cup. In honor of its contribution to the sport, Great Britain is the only country that maintains four national teams, those of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

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