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History of World Football

16th Century

How it Began

It began in Mesoamerican cultures, which today compromises Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. In the first-ever recorded ballgame, teams kicked and threw a ball made of rock, representing the sun, through hoops. This early ballgame resembled basketball more than it did soccer.

206 B.C. and 220 A.D.

First Soccer-like Game

The earliest sport that resembles modern-day soccer is an ancient Chinese game from the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. and 220 A.D.) called Ts’u-chü (roughly translated to “kicking the ball”). Ts’u-chü or Cuju was a game most likely used as a military training exercise. The goal of Cuju was to kick a small leather ball into a net that hung 30 feet from the ground. A square area was the boundaries of the game. These soccer-like sports games quickly started appearing throughout the world: Pahsahëman, Marn Grook in Australia, and Kemari in Japan are some of the early adopters. Many parts of the world play Kemari until this day. People have enjoyed the beautiful game throughout history in different iterations.

Middle Ages

Modern Soccer

Modern-day soccer started to develop in the Middle Ages. Entire towns in England would kick a pig’s bladder to and from different landmarks. Teams consisted of massive groups that acted more like mobs. The sport did not have standardized rules, and as such, many games were violent and caused property damage and casualties. These games got banned due to persistent violence. Luckily, the sport would become legal again in 1605.


Cambridge Rules

Due to a lack of standardization, schools had different rulesets for the game. With two schools being most prominent, Rugby and Eton, Rugby college allowed for hands to play the game, while Eton College would establish a set of rules that had the game played exclusively with feet. In 1848, Cambridge set standardized rules. Schools, Colleges, and Universities adopted and recognized the new Cambridge Rules. In 1863, 11 London schools and clubs went to Freemason’s Tavern and formed the first Football association, where the size and weight of the ball standardized. Also, a decision to disallow the use of hands in the game created the official divide between rugby and soccer.


Formation of The Football Association

The Football Association, commonly referred to as FA, is the English football governing body formed in 1863. Hence, it the oldest recognized organization. The FA supervises, promotes, and develops English football at all levels. Following its vision, the organization hosts several competitions, with the FA Cup being the most prominent. In addition, the men’s, women’s, and youth national team managers get appointed by the FA.


First Official International Football Match

The first official international football match took place in 1872. Scotland and England played to a nil-nil draw at Hamilton Crescent, the West of Scotland Cricket Club‘s ground in Partick, Glasgow. William Ralston’s (1848–1911) illustration of the game was published in the illustrated newspaper two weeks later and is still the only visual record of this event. The sketches show just how physically talented the players were with some performing skillful ticks. Also observed is where match officials and a large crowd in attendance.


Formation of The First American Football Association

The American Football Association (AFA) of 1884 was the first attempt at organizing a football body in the United States. The organization formed with an initiative to standardize the rules of the game. The AFA oversaw both league and cup competitions and operations of member leagues. Also, it established the American Cup, which was the highest competitive soccer competition in the United States for several decades. By 1909 The American Football Association becoming a member of The Football Association. Yet, the AFA would cease its operations for the first time in 1924.


Formation of English Football League

English Football League EFL was founded in 1888 as the Football League. Until 1992 it was the highest level of football in England. The result of the League’s top twenty teams breaking away to form the Premier League. The EFL features professional clubs from England and Wales.


Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) organized the first FIFA World Cup in 1930. The tournament was hosted by Uruguay, who also ended as victors of the competition. The World Cup is the world’s most popular sporting event in the world. The contest is held every four years, and the winner is considered the crowned champion of the world.


Formation of Bundesliga League

The Bundesliga is at the top of the German football league pyramid. The season runs from August to May, with eighteen teams that battle to be crowned champions. Also, to avoid relegation to 2. Bundesliga.


Formation of English Premier League

The Premier League is the highest level of English professional football and was established in 1992. During the Premier League season, twenty teams play each other twice. The first is a home fixture, and the second away for a total of thirty-eight games. Clubs are awarded three points for a victory, two points for a draw, and none for a loss.


Formation of Major league Soccer

Top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. Three teams qualify to play in the CONCACAF Champions League.

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