What is the history of Soccer/Football? What are its origins? Where did Soccer/Football come from? Who invented it? Read on to learn all about the history of Soccer/Football, also known as football throughout the world.
How Old Is Soccer/Football?
The most basic forms of Soccer/Football in recorded history first appeared around 200 B.C. during the Chinese Han Dynasty. This game, known as Tsu’ Chu, included the most basic elements of present-day Soccer/Football, such as kicking a ball into a goal. The ancient Japanese “Kemari” also resembles Soccer/Football, as players used their feet to play the ball, but this game was non-competitive and is more comparable to hacky sacks than Soccer/Football. Kemari is still played in Japan ritualistically.
Which Country Started Soccer/Football?
Organized Soccer/Football in the modern era was born in England. Many variations of Soccer/Football existed at English public schools, and in the mid-19th century, deliberations began about the rules and organization of “football.” This led to the formation of the Football Association, or “FA,” in 1863. The FA was the first governing body of Soccer/Football, and the FA Cup is the oldest competition, having existed since 1872. The first league of Soccer/Football teams was also born in England in 1888.
Who Invented Soccer/Football?
No single person can be credited with the invention of Soccer/Football, as it was invented at English schools in the early 19th century. The Football Association, founded in 1863, is often considered the official beginning of organized Soccer/Football as we know it today. The FA held meetings to standardize the rules of “football,” which at the time included a variety of gameplays from Soccer/Football to rugby. One of the FA’s accepted rules banned carrying the ball and tripping players, which led to the splintering of rugby and Soccer/Football.
Ebenezer Cobb Morley is often credited with the invention of Soccer/Football. He led the creation of the FA after writing a letter to a newspaper outlining the need for a governing body in the sport. Morley was the FA’s first secretary and led the establishment of the first rules, but he was not the sole inventor of the sport.
When Was Soccer/Football Established?
After being played in England’s public schools for the better part of the 19th century, Soccer/Football was first officially established in 1863 with the creation of the FA. The first official competition, the FA Cup, was first played in 1872, as was the first international match between Scotland and England. The first league was established in 1888. The International Football Association Board (IFAB), which is in charge of the laws of the game, was formed in 1886. The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) was created in 1904 and joined the IFAB in 1913. The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay.
Women were participants in Soccer/Football for as long as men. The first organized women’s match was held in 1892. The women’s game grew in popularity until 1921 when the FA effectively banned women from competing for almost 50 years. The FA later formally apologized for this ban in 2008. Women’s Soccer/Football has grown once again, with the FIFA Women’s World Cup beginning play in 1991.
When Did Soccer/Football Become Popular?
Britain’s worldwide empire helped spread the game as early as the 1800s. European countries were the first to catch on, but the popularity of the game was so strong that a World Cup tournament of 13 nations was first held in 1930. However, Belgium, France, Romania, and Yugoslavia were the only European countries to initially participate. Soccer/Football has steadily grown in popularity since its inception but is still rapidly growing in countries like the United States.
Most Popular Countries That Play Soccer/Football
Every country in the world plays some form of Soccer/Football. FIFA currently includes 211 member associations from different nations. According to FIFA, these are the top six nations with the most registered Soccer/Football players:
Other countries where Soccer/Football is extremely popular include:
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
Key Facts and Timeline
- 200s B.C.: oldest records of Soccer/Football-like games in Ancient China.
- 700s A.D.: British townspeople began kicking around the severed head of a defeated enemy in a violent game.
- 1331: “Football” is banned by various leaders in England.
- 1424: Football was banned by King James I of Scotland.
- 1573: Banned by Queen Elizabeth I of England.
- 1605: Football became legal in England once again.
- 1800s: Children in English schools began playing an organized but unregulated version of the game.
- 1863: The first-ever Football Association is established in England.
- 1904: FIFA was founded in Paris.
- 1930: First FIFA World Cup is held in Uruguay.
- 1991: First FIFA Women’s World Cup is held.