football

THE STORY OF FOOTBALL (SOCCER)

Football has a long fascinating history, according to sources it has been found that the sports were first introduced in 1170 in an account which describes a group of youngsters going to play the ‘game of ball’.

Traits of the game can be traced back to China in the second and third century BC. Record taken from the military books describe the Chinese playing a game which was an exercise known as Tsu’Chu where the players used a ball made of leather stuffed with hair and feathers. The main aim of the game was to put the ball into the net fixed on bamboo sticks and at the same time defend themselves from attacks.

Variants of the game were also found in documentations of Greek and Egyptian society which proves that the game has been played through ancient history.

The English use an animal bladder for the ball which was inflated. People were getting infatuated with the game and in the 1300’s Edward II had to impose a ban on playing the game as people stopped practicing archery and played football, archery was important for the war.

Edward II was not the only one to ban the game, Edward III, Oliver Cromwell and Henry IV also followed his footsteps and banned football. The game was not lost and re-emerged and continued to grow in acceptance, principally amid the waged classes, playing football was a chance for them to socialize with people who belonged to the same class.

Since there were no referees or any rules the players often got into fights and took is personally most of the time and carried their grudges outside the field and destroyed each other’s homes, property, and business. One of the causes was too many players in a field, it often reached 1000.

The problem rose so much that in the 1830 highway act was passed, which stated that anyone playing football on the highways would be fined.

Addiction to football rose above the divisions of society and in the 18th century became famous at schools. This became the background for the creation of a certain set of rules for the game. A meeting of 1848 at Cambridge finalized the rules delineating throw-ins, goal kicks and goalies rights which are still in use today. These were stepping stones to the rise of football club teams and bigger national and international events.

The English have played an important role in the widespread of the game, in its present initiation, across the globe. The first match to be held outside Europe was in 1867, Argentina which was hosted by many British who worked abroad in those days. Initially played solely by men the women have also been playing the game from the end of the 19th century.

The game became quite famous at the time of World War I when women took over the jobs which were always done by men. Women who worked in industrial labor always met together to play the game. A women’s team from Preston was the first to enter into an international game against Paris.

The Football Association considered women’s football to be incongruous and there was a ban on the game for some time after the World War I. The English Women’s FA removed the ban in 1971, since then the game has become popular in Britain and other countries. Teams like Everton, Arsenal, and Chelsea have female teams who play both for home and international games.

The game has also been associated with disasters of 1985 and 1989 the Heysel Stadium disaster and Hillsborough disaster respectively. Football has become a long way from its modest beginnings many years ago.

The game

The game of football involves two teams with eleven players each, the payers use all parts of their body except their hands and arms to navigate the ball into the goal of the opposite team. They are allowed to use their hands for a throw-in only and on the field, they use their feet to kick the ball, their upper part of legs, torso and even their head. Team which scores the most number of goals is declared the winner of the match. A match will last 90 minutes and if there is a tie the match is extended to extra time (two times 15 minutes).

A penalty shoot decides the winner if the match is still after the extra time. The rules were set by The Football Association, England in 1863 but the rules have been modified several times since then. International Football Association Board (IFAB) controls the laws of Football now and half of the members of the board are FIFA representatives.    

FIFA is the international governing body of football and is also responsible for organizing the most significant event – FIFA World Cup. The event is held every four years and men’s national team of the member states play for the cup. Football hardly required anything to play which is why it is so common among the kids also. You just require an open space, something to mark goal-posts and a ball. The kids and teens enjoy the games on streets, school playgrounds, parks, and beaches.

To take it to a higher level one needs to be trained by trainers who are certified with ‘Nasm ces’, there are few things which are important besides a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, a player should have shin guards, football boots with studs on the out-sole and a goalkeeper needs a pair of gloves. People have bought variations in the game for fun and enjoy it as indoor football, beach football, five-a-side football, and Futsal.

Early History

Ancient games: The Romans and Ancient Greeks played a number of ball games using their feet. The Roman game known as ‘harpastum’ has been mentioned in one of the Greek playwrights, Antiphanes in 388-311 BC, the name reoccurs in the Christian theology ‘Clement of Alexandria’. The game seemed to be similar to rugby football. Cicero, a Roman politician describes how a man was killed while having a shave in the barber’s shop when the ball hit him.

The Roman were aware of the balls filled with air and called them ‘follies’. The Chines were aware of such ball games in the second and third centuries in the rule of the Han dynasty and called the game as ‘Cuju’ or ‘Zuqiu’ or ‘Tsu’Chu’. The Japanese called it ‘kemari’ and it became famous in the Asuka period. The game was played in the Imperial court of Japan in 600 AD. Several people stood in a circle and kicked a ball without dropping it on the ground. The game disappeared somewhere in the 19th century but was revived once again in 1903 and continues to be played to date in important Japanese festivals.

There are many accounts of ball games being played by people of the ancient times in various parts of the world. For instance, an explorer name John Davis played football in 1586 with his men and the Eskimos of the Greenland where his ship landed. There are records of the game being played by the Eskimos on ice. In 1610, a colonist of Jamestown, Virginia by the name of William Strachey recorded an account of a game played by the native Indians which they called ‘Pahsaheman’. Historians described Marn Grook to be played by many tribes of Australia, they played several games with a stuffed ball, which they used to catch and kick.

The most recent record is from a book by Robert Brough Smyth written in 1878 known as ‘The Aborigines of Victoria’ were a known as Richard Thomas has witnessed the Aboriginal tribes playing ball in 1841 in Victoria, Australia. The ball was made of possum skin. Ki-o-Rahi was a game played by the Maori people of New Zealand where there were seven players in a playground and the ground was divided into zones. One could score if they touched the boundary markers or ‘pou’ and if you hit the main target ‘tupu’.

The Mesoamericans played with rubber balls these games resemble modern volleyball or basketball. The ‘Iroquois’ who were the North-eastern Americans also used ball to play but they used net racquets to throw and catch a ball, even though there was use of leg in the game, it was not classified under the modern football. There are many ball games that trail far back to ancient times but the main sources of the modern football code point to Western Europe, specifically England.

Medieval and Early Modern Europe:

The middle ages saw football gain much popularity in Shrovetide (Shrove Tuesday which was marked by eating pancakes on this day) football matches all over Europe, especially in England. Reference of a ball game being played in early Britain comes from the 9th century in ‘Historia Brittonum’ which explains how some boys were playing with a ball. The French also have a few references of the game in the 12th century and was referred to as ‘La Soule or Choule’, people used feet, hands, and sticks to propel the ball.

From 1174 to 1183 William FitzStephen described how ‘mob football’ was prevalent among the people of England. This involved unlimited people of two neighboring towns playing in teams and who moved something which was usually an inflated bladder or an animal, this inflated item was usually taken to geographical places like the opposite team’s church, etc. FitzStephen described the game to have taken place on a Shrove Tuesday which was an annual festival. There are many references that speak of a ball game but none of them specify that the ball was kicked about to play the game.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London, Nicholas de Farndon, released a ban on the game of football in 1314. This is the first reference that uses the term ‘football’. King Edward III of England used the same ban in 1363 and included other games such as coursing, cock-fighting, hockey, football, and handball. The use of term handball makes it clear that football was different from other games that used other parts of the body like – handball. Football faced the same fate in Scotland as it did in England and was also banned under the Football Act 1424. King Henry the IV of England also resented the game and forbade the game in 1409.

There are many other references from medieval and modern eras some of them are: Football was first mentioned as a ball rather than a game in 1486. Its reference can be found in the ‘Book of St.Albans’ written by Dame Juliana Berner. In 1526, King Henry VII of England had ordered a pair of football boots. Philip Sidney described women involved in the game in one of his poems written in 1580. John Nordan and Richard Carew in 1584 and 1602 respectively refer to ‘goals’ and Carew also described how the goals were made. He was also the first to describe how goalkeepers defended their posts and about the passing of ball among the players.

John Day’s play ‘The Bling Beggar of Bethnal Green’ first refers to scoring a goal. The play was performed in 1600 but published only in 1659.

Calcio Fiorentino

The citizens of Florence got together in Piazza Santa Croce and celebrated the time between Epiphany and Lent by playing ‘Calcio Storico’ (historic kickball), in the 16th century. The young grandees dressed up in fine clothes and indulged themselves in the intense game. The Calcio players could kick, hit with shoulder and punch their opponents but such moves were not permitted below the belt.

The game was originally played as a military exercise. The game of football was not played from January 1739 and was revived only in May 1930. Disapproval and Attempts to Ban Football. Football has faced several restrictions through history starting from the middle ages to modern-day. The first ban was placed in England in 1314, and there were more than 30 bans after that from 1314 to 1667.

Women were discouraged from playing the game and were forbidden to play and in 1921 were forbidden to play in the Scottish and English Football League grounds. The order was removed only in 1970, females continue to face problems in many parts of the world till today.

Establishment of Modern Codes English Public Schools

Football was famous throughout Britain but its public schools have been accredited with four main achievements in the codes of modern football.

 a) According to evidence public schools played an important role

 b) Students of these schools had described much about the game in their records.

 c) The teachers, former students, and students of the schools codified the game to be played among schools.

 d) The terms ‘kicking’ and ‘running’ was first made clear in the football games of the schools.

A student from Eton College, Richard Mulcaster was known as the “greatest sixteenth-century advocate football”. His evidence provides proof to organized football and also refers to teams, position, referee and coach. The violent version of football was a more organized ‘football’, according to Mulcaster. A Latin book under the name ‘Vocabula’ written in 1633, by a teacher from Aberdeen, David Wedderburn contains many elements of modern football. A more detailed version was found in the ‘Book of Games’ by Francis Willughby written in 1660.

 His book also includes a diagram depicting a football field. The first offside rules were made in the 18th century. Earlier according to this the objective of the players was to stand between the ball and the goal and was not permitted to pass the ball by hand or foot. They could move the ball in a scrum or dribble with their feet. This offside law began to change and develop with time and it was different for every school as was found in references to schools from Harrow, Rugby, Winchester and Cheltenham between 1810 and 1850.

 In the 19th century, the British worked for twelve hours for six days a week and most of the children worked. This led to a decline in the street game and schoolboys who did not work organized the game with formal codes of rules. Football was encouraged in the youth and every school had different set of rules and two thoughts of schools developed in terms of rules; one played the game by dribbling and kicking the ball played by schools of Westminster, Eton, Harrow, and Charterhouse whereas the other school permitted the ball to be carried and was in practice by schools of Marlborough, Rugby, and Cheltenham. The development of transportation through rail in the 1840s gave way to inter-school competitions. However, since there were different rules in various schools the students were unable to play the game against each other. As a solution, half of the match was played by the rules of the home school and the other half by the visiting school.

Firsts Clubs

Clubs dedicated to football like London’s Gymnastic Society was founded. From 1824 to 1841, the first club bearing the title with reference to being a football club was ‘The Foot-Ball Club’. The club was situated in Edinburgh, Scotland. The club encouraged holding, pushing and picking up of ball but discouraged tripping.

Competitions

One of the longest known competitions which still seems to be running since 1858 every year is for the contest for Cordner-Eggleston Cup. The match is played between Scotch College, Melbourne and Melbourne Grammar School. The Caledonian Challenge Cup was the first football trophy tournament played in 1861 under Melbourne rules and the cup was donated by the Royal Caledonian Society of Melbourne.

United Hospitals Challenge Cup is the oldest football league is a rugby football competition played since 1874 and Yorkshire Cup is the oldest rugby trophy which is being played since 1878. Established on 30 April 1877 South Australian Football Association is the oldest Australian rules football competition. Youdan Cup is the oldest soccer trophy that still survives since 1867 and standing strong since 1871 is the English FA Cup which is the oldest soccer competition.

The longest-running Association Football league is ‘The Football League’ since 1888. On 5 March 1870, the first international football match took place between Scotland and England at the Oval. Modern Balls Earlier the footballs were made of inflated pig bladders. Covers made of leather were used in the later years to give the ball their shape. Shoemakers, William Gilbert and Richard Lindon from Rugby displayed round and oval-shaped balls in the Great Exhibition of 1851 held in London.

Linden was also acknowledged with the making of ‘brass hand pump’ and ‘rubber inflatable bladder’, he won several medals. U.S. inventor Charles Goodyear made a ball with an exterior of vulcanized rubber panels and exhibited in the Exhibition Universelle at Paris. The normally used balls with pentagons and hexagon gained its popularity very recently in the 1960’s and was first used in 1970, World Cup.

Modern Ball Passing Tactics

First records of ‘scientific football’ have been found in Lancashire in 1839 and in the modern game of Rugby in 1862 and Sheffield FC in 1865. The first to play a passing game was the Royal Engineers AFC in 1870, they became famous by 1872 as a team who played the game together beautifully. March 1872 records the first double pass from Derby school playing against Nottingham Forest. The 2-3-5 pyramid formation was first perfected by the Cambridge University AFC.

Cambridge Rules

A meeting was called at Trinity College at Cambridge University in 1848, by J.C.Thring and H.de Winton. The meeting comprised of 12 representatives from Rugby, Eton, Shrewsbury, Harrow, and Winchester. The meeting lasted for eight hours and the first set of modern football rules were formed known as Cambridge rules. There is a revised set of rules found in Shrewsbury School in 1856. The game allowed kicking and handling of the ball was permitted only if a player caught the ball directly from the foot which earned them a free-kick.

 Another offset rule discouraged the players from roaming around near the opponent’s goal. The Cambridge Rules were not popular outside the schools and universities of the English but had the most important impact on the committee members of the Football Association who were liable to draft the rules of Association football. Sheffield Rules Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest founded the Sheffield Football Club in 1857 in the city of Sheffield. The club played football according to Sheffield rules initially and they lacked an offside rule. Some innovations which were introduced to football by Sheffield Football Club were corner kicks, free kicks, crossbar, handball, and throw-ins. Their code dominated the north and midlands of Europe.

Australian Rules

Traces of an organized football game in Australia are found in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1858 when Tom Willis who was an Australian but learned in Rugby School, England wrote a letter, for a football club with a set of code of laws to keep the cricketers busy in winters, to Bell’s Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle. The first match was played between Scotch College and Melbourne Grammar School on 31 July 1858; the match was umpired by Tom Willis himself.

On 14 May 1859 Willis along with Thomas H.Smith, William Hammersley and J.B.Thompson formed the Melbourne Football Club, which is also the oldest surviving football club in Australia. The rules of the club were distributed widely and many other clubs adopted them. The game spread far and wide but saw a significant decline during World War I but soon came out emergent and now Australian Football League is one of the world’s leading professional competitions. Football Association An important figure in the formation of Cambridge rules, J.C.Thring formed his own set of rules in 1862 and called them ‘The Simplest Game’ or ‘The Uppingham Rules’.

A committee comprising of seven members revised the Cambridge rules in 1863, the members were all former students from schools of Rugby, Harrow, Westminster, Eton, Shrewsbury, and Rugby. On 26 October 1863 many representatives of different football associations of London met at the Freemason’s Tavern, this was the initial meeting of The Football Association (FA). The association aimed at unifying the code, there were many public schools that were requested to join the association.

Uppingham and Charterhouse were the only ones who joined. From October 1863 to December 1863 there were many meetings in which many laws were added and removed and finally, on 8 December 1863 FA released the ‘Laws of Football’ which was the first complete set of rules for football and was later known as Association Football. The initial FA rules contained many elements which are no longer in use however; they are still followed in many games like rugby football and Australian football.

Rugby Football

There were more than 75 clubs all together by 1870 in Britain who played variations of rugby. There were rugby clubs in Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, and Australia. Despite the number of clubs there In 1871, 21 rugby clubs from London formed the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the first set of official rules was adopted in June 1871. The rules permitted the passing of the ball.

North American Football Codes

Students of universities and North-American schools played football among themselves. For instance, a game known as Old division football was commonly played by the students of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, in the 1820’s. This was a variant of association football codes.  Like Britain, mob-style football was common and the players had to lead the ball to the goal area and would use any means to do it. They pushed, punched, kicked and used all sorts of violent ways to do so and on doing so there were many casualties and injured players on the playground.

The violence of the games led to protests and universities were pressurized to ban the game. Yale and Harvard’s Universities were forced to ban the game by the city of New Haven and the game was shut down in 1860 and 1861 at Yale and Harvard University respectively. To substitute football there were kicking and running games introduced and a combination of the two games was the ‘Boston Game’ which was played by Oneida Football Club. Many historians consider this club to be the first official club of football in the United States of America. The club was founded in 1862, by schoolboys who played the game on Boston Common.

The game found its way back to school and college grounds by 1860s and Rutgers, Brown, Yale and Princeton all started to play this kicking game. The rules of the English Football Association were used by Princeton to play the game. The first football match to be documented was on 9 November 1861 and was a practice game played at the University of Toronto, Canada. One of the players of the game was the late Chancellor of the school, Sir William Mulock.

Fredrick A Bethune, Barlow Cumberland, and Christopher Gwen drafted the rules based on rugby football, in 1864 at Trinity College. In 1868, Canada, a game that resembled rugby football was taken up by Montreal Football Club. The first intercollegiate football of America was played between Princeton and Rutgers on 6 November 1869. The players used a round ball for the game and the rules were improvised. Football played by North America today is mainly based on the match played between Harvard University and McGill University in 1874.

 The players of both sides changed between McGill and Boston rules which were used by Harvard. After some years Harvard was following the rules of McGill and convinced the other universities to follow them too. A meeting was called in Springfield, Massachusetts at Massasoit Convention on 23 November 1876 and representatives of Princeton, Harvard, Columbia and Yale together agreed to adopt the Rugby Football Union rules with a few changes.

Walter Camp, coach of Yale who was the fixture at Massasoit House convention bought in many changes in 1880 and two of the most significant Differentiated rugby from American game was that the ‘scrummage’ was replaced with the ‘line of scrimmage’ and ‘down-and-distant’ rules were created. Despite the changes, American football continued to be played violently causing several casualties and even death at times.

The acting President of United States of America, President Theodore Roosevelt called a meeting on 9 October 1905 where the representatives from Princeton, Hale, and Harvard were summoned and advised to make radical changes in the game. One such rules introduced in 1906 was ‘legal forward pass’. This was the most influential change brought about which affected the modern game of football. American football was developed by the Canadians in order to differentiate the game from one which was more rugby oriented. Ontario Rugby Football Union implemented the Burnside rules in 1903 which used the down-and-distant system and line of scrimmage from American Football. In 1929, the also applied the legal forward pass in the game. The football codes of Canada and America are both different.

Gaelic Football

In County Kerry, Ireland ‘caid’ a form of traditional football was popular during the 19th century. According to Father W. Ferris, there were two types of ‘caid’ played in the country:

a. First was the ‘field game’ where the players aimed at putting the through goals that looked like arch’s and were made from the boughs of two trees.

b. The other was the ‘cross country game’ was played on a Sunday and lasted an entire day. The team that took the ball across the boundaries of the parish won. Carrying the ball, wrestling, opposing players, and holding everything was allowed. Association ball and rugby became popular games by the 1870s in Ireland and Trinity College of Dublin had a good hold on Rugby.

The set of rules laid by the English Football Association had spread wide and the ancient forms of ‘caid’ gave way to a more rough game that permitted the players to trip each other. The Irish did not make any attempts to codify and unify the different variations of football until the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) was established in 1884.

The GAA promoted many Irish sports including hurling and demotivated foreign games like Association football and Rugby. Maurice Davin first drew a set of Gaelic football rules and got it published in the Irish magazine ‘United Ireland’ on the 7 February 1887. The rules laid by Davin were influenced by many Irish games and wish to solemnize a separate Irish code of football. A prominent example of this was that an offside rule was missing; this was an element that was common only among the Irish and Australian football players.

Schism in Rugby Football After the International Rugby Football Board (IRFB) was established in 1886, the code started being eroded as professionalism crept into the different football codes. In the 1890’s there was a long term ban placed of England, this caused tension and turmoil within rugby football, as there were many players who lived in Northern England and belonged to the working class and could not spare time to travel, play the game and recuperate from their wounds. The same situation arose ten years back in soccer in Northern England but the reaction of the authorities was quite different, who tries to estrange the working-class support in Northern England.

After a disagreement which rose in 1895, about a player who received broken wages was, this substituted wages lost as an effect of playing rugby, representatives of the northern clubs got together to form Northern Rugby Football Union (NRFU). The new club earlier allowed only different types of player wages replacements but in two years NRFU players were remunerated provided they were employed outside the sport.

The professional association verbalized that rugby needed to become a ‘spectator’ sport. In a few years, the NRFU rules started separating from the RFU and the most noted one was the elimination of ‘line-out’ and ‘ruck’ was replaced by ‘play-the-ball ruck’ with which two players could compete between the tackler at marker and the player tackled. If the ball carrier was held the ‘mauls’ were stopped was replaced by a play-the ball-ruck.

In 1901, Northern Rugby League was formed when Yorkshire and Lancashire competitions of NRFU combined, this was also the first time that the word ‘rugby league’ was formally used in England. With time the RFU form of rugby played by clubs that continued to be members of national federations affiliated to IRFB were known as ‘rugby union’. Globalization of ‘association football’ As the international matches gained popularity the necessity of one single community to look after the affairs of association football had become obvious by the 20th century.

Many dialogues took place among the English Football Association members on forming an international body but was apparently going unnoticed. Associations from seven other European countries then formed an international association and the countries comprised of; Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Spain, and Denmark.

FIFA

‘Fédération Internationale de Football Association’ or the much known FIFA was established on 21 May 1904 in Paris with Robert Guerin as its first president. The name and acronym has sustained throughout the globe ever since its formation. Divergence of Two Rugby Codes The rules of rugby deviated in 1906 from the ‘rugby union’ as the team reduced from 15 players to 13 players.

An official Australian rugby team toured Britain and Australia in 1907 and got a great response from the crowd, after which official rugby leagues were launched in Australia from 1908. Every country had its own set of rules and different bodies were required to get together and create an exact set of rules which would be applicable for every international match.

The situation continued as it was still 1948 when Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) was formed in Bordeaux after it was initiated by the French League. The latter part of the 20th century saw more changes in the rules and in 1996, the idea of ‘downs’ was taken from the American football by the rugby league officials.

 The rule stated that a team would be permitted to keep the ball for four tackles (rugby union follows the initial rule which states that a player who has been tackled and put to ground should let go of the ball instantly). In 1971, this number was increased from four to six and was known as the ‘six tackle rule’ in the rugby league.

By the 1990’s the game had full-time players and the five-meter off-side distance between the two teams was increased to 10 meters. The replacement rule was surpassed by many changes in rules. 20th century also saw changes in the laws of ‘rugby union’; the changes were considerably less as compared to the rugby league.

Some of the changes being that the goals from marks were removed, anyone kicking directly into touch from outside the 22 meter line would get a penalty, many new laws were created to decide who had the custody following an indecisive ‘maul’ or ‘ruck’ and the lifting of players in line-outs was made official. Rugby union was made an ‘open’ game in 1995, which means any professional players were allowed to participate.

Even though the actual difference among the two codes have now disappeared and the fact that officials from both rugby league and rugby union have mentioned about the probability of their union, the rules of both the codes and have deviated so much that an occurrence as such cannot be seen in the near future.

Use of Word Football

The term ‘football’ when used to refer a particular game could mean any one of the games which have been defined above and because of this much friendly disputes have arisen over the use of the word ‘football’, mainly because it is used in diverse ways in various parts of the ‘English-speaking world’. The term ‘football’ is normally used to refer to the code of football which is governing that specific area so it normally depends on where one uses the word.

In the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America the code is simply known as ‘football’ whereas in other places there is usually a qualifier. In Australia the term ‘football’ is either rugby league or Australian rules football, depending upon the popularity of the region. In New Zealand, it has been traditionally known as rugby union and lately been referred to as association football.

The Canadian code is ‘football’ whereas American football is referred to as ‘Football américain’ and association football is called ‘le soccer’. English is the official language of the FIFA and among the 45 affiliates most of them use ‘Football’ in their organizations; Canada and the United States use the word ‘Soccer’.

There are many FIFA affiliates who are now using ‘Football’ like In 2005 Australian’s association football changed its name from ‘soccer’ to ‘football’ New Zealand’s governing body followed Australia and in 2007 started using ‘football’ since then.  ‘Samoa Soccer Federation’ changed to ‘Football Federation Samoa’ in 2009.

Popularity

There are many codes that have gained popularity over the years in the world of sports. Association football has more than 250 million players across more than 200 nations of the world and is the most-watched game on television in sports. The annually played Super Bowl is one of the most popular sports enjoyed by the Americans and is among the top eight most-watched broadcasts in the history of U.S. television, making association football the most popular game in America.

The highest number of people watching football in Australia is the Australian rules football. Gaelic football captures the heart of Irish people and the All-Ireland Football Final is one of the most-watched events of the country. What started from a small inflated intestine of an animal has journeyed its way to fame and popularity. What was played for fun, enjoyment and physical exercise has now become professional?

There was a time when the players had to fight so they could be paid and today players of football are some of the richest people in the world. Football players today are stars and role-models for thousands of youngsters who aspire to be just like them. From disputes to bans and out in the field again, the game has endured all hardships and now shines in the world entertaining millions of people all over the globe.

3 thoughts on “THE STORY OF FOOTBALL (SOCCER)

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