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The Origin of Soccer
Although it is impossible to say precisely when and where the game of football originated, history has shown us glimpses of a game similar to our current version played for over 3000 years.
Around the 2nd or 3rd century BC, it was documented that the Chinese army in the Han dynasty played a game of throwing a ball into a small net.
A game similar to football was played by the ancient Greeks and Romans, but their game could include up to 27 players on one side compared to the modern game of 11 players on one side.
Football has become one of the most popular sports among the masses due to its popularity as a war game. A game of “football” as the British called it, was played in eastern England in the 8th century where the head of a defeated Danish prince was used as a ball.
In medieval times, villages and towns clashed in game battles that could last all day. There were no structured rules to follow and the kicks, bites, slashes and punches turned the game into a virtual battle for survival. These matches became so violent that the English authorities made numerous attempts to have the football banned.
King Edward III of England passed laws in 1331 to abolish the game, and Queen Elizabeth I pushed through a law that provided a one-week jail term for anyone caught playing football.
Despite these efforts, football became so popular in England over the following centuries that it became the most popular sport of its time.
At this point, the sport’s only flaw was its lack of rules or standards. In 1815, Eton College, a famous English school, established a set of rules to be implemented by other schools, colleges and universities.
A standardized version of these rules was later adopted in 1848 by most colleges and universities in England, known as the Cambridge Rules.
Unfortunately, at this point, two different sets of rules were still in use. Some colleges preferred rugby rules that allowed carrying the ball with the hands, tripping and kicking the shins. contrary to Cambridge rules.
In 1863 the Football Association was formed by eleven English football clubs and schools to establish a single set of rules to be applied when playing against each other.
Proponents of the School of Rugby rules opposed the changes and the two groups went their separate ways. The Football Association then changed the rules in 1869 where they banned the use of hands except by the goalkeeper which led us to the game of football as we know it today.
The English still called it a game of “soccer” because the ball was mainly played with the feet, but in the late 18th century the word “soccer” was first used by a university student. of Oxford named after Charles Wreford Brown. . Oxford students were known to use slang where they added “er” to the end of words they intentionally shortened. The game of rugby was called “rugger”. Brown shortened the word “association” and added “uh” and the term “soccer” was born.
Since the 19th century, the game has evolved into what it is today. It is the game in the world that is played by more people than any other sport and is universally recognized as the most popular game in sports history.
The World Cup, held every four years to crown a world champion, attracts millions of spectators to the 32 matches played and is watched by billions of fans around the world through modern satellite TV technology.
Soccer’s popularity continues to grow as organized youth soccer programs engage a young fan base from an early age, which will fuel its growth for years to come.
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