...the History of Soccer

Soccer History                           Back to Soccer Tricks  
So you want to know the history of soccer?  Soccer history is unique in that is goes back roughly 1700
years in one form or another, but really took hold in Britain eventually.  Below is the history of soccer as
we see it...
history of soccer
The history of soccer or associated football (futtball) evolved from different parts of the world, as many peoples
had their own version of kicking a ball with the feet.  Though the games differed, the concept was the same when
one looks at the history of soccer: kicking the ball with the feet.  Every continent has its share in soccer history and
may be why soccer is loved around the globe.   

According to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) the history of soccer began with the
Chinese: the "very earliest form of the game for which there is scientific evidence was an exercise of precisely this
skillful technique dating back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C. in China.”  Participants in this game used a ball
filled with feathers.  However, other countries and kingdoms had their versions of soccer.  Japanese players
juggled a ball in the air with each other like “hacky-sack,” without letting it touch the ground in 600 AD.  In addition,
the Romans had  games  called Harpastum, which was similar to soccer.  Eventually the history of soccer can be
traced into different forms being played in Medieval Europe.  This type of soccer goes down in history as being
called “Mob Football.”  It was loved by the people, but hated by authorities who sometimes opposed the games.  
Thus, many credit the history of soccer to Great Britain.  Having started around 800 AD in England,  this form of
Rugby grew so popular to the point that King Edward II banned the sport in the 1300s.  Still the game of soccer
survived and grew even more; even to the point that history shows it evolving worldwide in the 1800s.  

In the late 1800s, the history of soccer took an interesting turn.  Rugby, the forerunner of American football, was
also very popular and it too spread to other countries from travelers, traders and sailors during the Industrial
Revolution.  Soccer (association football) emerged from a meeting in 1863 of the London Football Association
(FA), when the game of Rugby football (played with both feet and hands) and soccer (played just with feet) were
distinguished.  By this point in soccer history, the game evolved into only being played in universities and schools,
but the game had its first set of rules created by the FA.  But in the next decade, soccer became popular with the
blue-collar work of Britain and therefore the game grew even more.  The first soccer cup was the FA Cup in 1871,
and helped to increase the fan base.  1872 marked the first international competition, when all-star teams from
England and Scotland met for the first time (still the oldest soccer competition to date).  Scottish footballers from
this first meeting were soon to join British soccer clubs after a draw match.  Professional players were first
recognized for soccer by the FA in 1885, as soccer history evolved even more.  The laws or rules of soccer are
determined by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).  The IFAB was formed in 1886 when three
soccer associations met in Manchester, England.  By 1888, the first professional soccer league was born out of
twelve soccer clubs in England.  

Apparently, soccer spread from England to the rest of the world, and gaining so much popularity that a worldwide
association needed to be arranged to organize the sport.  FIFA was formed in 1904, and it was the start of a new
history for soccer.  Seven European soccer  associations from Denmark, France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and
the Netherlands met in Paris, France and began FIFA.  FIFA’s headquarters eventually were established in
Geneva, Switzerland in the 1930s. By this time, professional soccer leagues were in many countries throughout
the world.  The first World Cup was therefore held in 1930.  There have been 18 FIFA World Cup tournaments as
of 2006, as soccer has grown even more in popularity over the last eight decades.  
See World Cup History

It is estimated that billions of people around the world watch soccer game on TV or in-person.  Many play soccer
at an amateur and professional level, as well.  FIFA estimates that 240 million people play soccer regularly in
more than 200 countries.  This is why soccer is claimed by many to be the most popular sport in the world.
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