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[A brief history of soccer]
Who invented soccer? When did soccer start?

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world. Millions of people around the globe enjoy watching and playing this sport. But where did soccer come from? Who invented it? When did it start? Let’s kick off with a brief history of soccer to find out!

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What is soccer?

Soccer, also known as football or association football, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. The game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by using any part of the body except the hands and arms to get the ball into the other team’s goal. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins.

Soccer or football?

If you live in the United States you are probably more familiar with the term “soccer”, while the term “football” is more commonly used in Europe. Due to this difference, many people assume that the term soccer is an Americanism. However, that is a misconception.

The sport of football was developed under the Football Association’s rules and sometimes was referred to as “association football”. This in time would be shortened to “asoccer” and later to simply “soccer”.

In the 19th century, a new sport emerged in the United States, resembling both rugby and association football, and which would become more popular than both of them. Its full name was “gridion football”, but for convenience it was more commonly referred to as simply “football”. As a result, to distinguish between the two forms, American association-football players increasingly referred to their sport as “soccer.”

When did soccer start?

Soccer is a popular sport that has been played for centuries, but the exact origins of the game are unclear. The earliest evidence of soccer can be found in ancient China, during the Han Dynasty, around 206 B.C to 220 A.D. Back then the game was called Tsu Chu, meaning “kicking the ball” and it was a military training exercise that involved kicking a ball through an opening in a net.

Others argue that soccer originated in Ancient Greece, or Rome. There is also evidence that indigenous people in Central America played a similar game called Tlachtli.

In England, soccer was played as far back as the Middle Ages in the towns and villages around the country and involved an unlimited number of players. Nowadays, we refer to those early forms of football as “mob football”, “folk football” or “medieval football”, as they had few rules and were often quite violent. In 1314, King Edward II even tried to ban the game, deeming it too dangerous.

Despite these early setbacks, football continued to grow in popularity and soon became one of the world’s most popular sports.

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Who invented soccer?

The modern game of soccer as we know it today started in England in the 19th century with the foundation of the Football Association.

In its early days, soccer suffered from a lack of formalization, as many teams played by different rules. So in 1983, The FA’s founding members came together with the aim of creating a unified set of rules that would be used by all teams. Some of the most important rules that were introduced included the banning of players from carrying the ball and the introduction of the offside rule.

A key figure in the history of soccer is Ebenezer Cobb Morley, known as the “father of soccer”. He was the founder of Barnes FC and its captain for many years and he played a crucial role in creating the first official rules which transformed soccer into the game we all know today.

First soccer game

The first official soccer game which followed the rules of the game as we know it today was played on 19 December, 1863, between Barnes FC and Richmond FC and finished as a 0-0 draw. The style of play that emerged from this was quickly adopted across the country and eventually transported around the world.

Soccer player with orange boots about to kick a ball

First international soccer game

The first international soccer game was played between England and Scotland on 30 November, 1872 at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Glasgow. The game ended in a 0-0 draw and was watched by around 4000 spectators. The first international soccer game was an important step in the development of the sport on a global scale.

As the game started gaining more and more popularity, more teams began joining the Football Association. The FA also helped to create the first-ever competitive football tournament, the Football Association Cup. Today, the FA remains the governing body for football in England, overseeing everything from grassroots level up to the professional game. FA is also responsible for selecting the England national team and organizing England’s participation in international tournaments such as the World Cup and the European Championship. The FA is responsible for promoting and developing the game of football in England, and it continues to play a leading role in the sport both domestically and internationally.

Soccer in America

Early versions of soccer were played in American colleges at the beginning of the 19th Century, but the rules were loose and fluctuated frequently.

In 1872, the first game of soccer as an organized intercollegiate sport was played between Rutgers and Princeton University, at New Brunswick, N.J, where Rutgers won the match 6-4. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that soccer started to gain popularity in America.

The sport experienced a boom in the 1920s, thanks in part to the large number of immigrants from Europe who were brought over to work in the United States. Soccer became a popular pastime for these workers, and it quickly spread to other parts of the American society.

However, the Great Depression and World War II led to a decline in the popularity of soccer in America. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the sport started to regain its footing, thanks in part to the establishment of the professional North American Soccer League. This would eventually develop into The Major League Soccer (MLS), the highest level of men’s professional soccer in the United States.

Different other governing bodies were formed in the United States to regulate the game at different levels of play, such as The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for colleges and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) for schools.

Soccer is now one of the most popular sports in America, with millions of people playing at all levels, from grassroots to professional.

International soccer development

With the worldwide spread of soccer, a need for an international governing body to oversee the organization of the sport emerged. In 1904, FIFA (the Fédération Internationale de Football Association) had been founded with seven member countries: France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Since its inception, FIFA’s role is to promote and develop the sport of soccer around the world, and to organize international competitions such as the World Cup. The World Cup is the most prestigious soccer tournament in the world, and it is held every four years. The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay and featured 13 teams from around the world. Since then it has become the biggest sporting event on the planet.

Now, FIFA includes 211 member countries and as the largest governing body in world football, FIFA plays a vital role in promoting and developing the sport globally.

The future of soccer

Soccer has come a long way since its humble beginnings in England in the 19th century. The sport has grown to become one of the most popular in the world, with an estimated global following of over three billion people. 

Like many other industries, soccer starts to see an increase in the use of technology. One of the latest innovations in soccer is a line marking robot which marks the lines on the field all by itself. It can paint a soccer field in under 25 minutes


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