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Football History: Everything You Need to Know

World’s most popular game has a very complicated history as well. The origin of the game is not as simple as you might think. But the question is what is it that you need to know because when it comes to football history, one can write an entire book. That’s why we are here with some straightforward and significant facts about the history of Football as you already know that it has not developed to this point in a day.Football History

Contemporary History

History of Football is so vast that it is classified into two parts – contemporary and classic history. Contemporary football originated in 1963 in England as it was standardized with a universal set of rules and regulations. Rugby was also introduced in the same year as some people played football by hand in earlier times. To distinguish between both games the classification was made.

Earlier Times

Some people and history books state that football has been played for thousands of years which is also not untrue. But what was played in the name of football back then doesn’t collide with the modern football we play today. The original ball game has been developed over the years and what we see today as football is much more modified form of the same.

The first known football traces back to China in the third century BC. It was invented by a local ruling Dynasty of China called Han and known as Tsu’ Chu. But it was a far more different game. The ball size and methods of playing differed way more than you can imagine. The ball was made of leather and filled with feathers and hairs.

Greeks vs Modern Football 

The Greek word ‘Harpastum’ also referred to a game resembling football. But the ball they used to play with was smaller than the Normal size of a football. It is Still used in some other ball games in modern times. Although the size of football varied, Laws of the game were same as of Modern football.  It shows how different cultures and games affect or influence our modern games or life.

Britain and Football

Some people still think of football as a fierce and violent game. But it is nothing compared to what it was like in earlier times. England’s ban on football proves this. Due to the fierceness and violent nature of football, it was banned by the Lord of Mayor in London in 1314. At that time it was so strictly prohibited that if you were seen playing football, you could be imprisoned. This ban continued for a very long time as all the kings and queens accused it of shifting Focus from military practices. 

Even though so many people protested and criticized this game, it went on to exist in the hearts of people. In the seventeenth century it returned to England with a more standardized and safe form of football. But before 1863, the standardized form of football was rarely played anywhere. The Sunday League we play today resembles the village Vs village games of that time where teams play against each other from different villages without a marked field and following proper rules.

Standardization of RulesFootball History

The first meeting was organized in 1848 in England to agree on a set of unified rules. The only aim of this meeting was to standardize the rules and regulation of football to make it a universal fair game.  Many meetings were held to achieve this goal till 1863. In 1863, a combination of rules was implemented for football players. But the standardization of the ball took eight more years to take place. Until then, matches were played with the ball both teams agreed to use.

Standard duration of game

The standard duration of a football match decided by IFAB is 90 minutes. This duration was first introduced and implemented in 1866 when London and Sheffield played against each other. From this game onwards, 90 minutes was set as the standard duration for a match although many modern underage games do not use this format.

Football with a Global Perspective

Football became the norm in school in the beginning of the 19th century. But every school had developed its own football standard Rules that did not differ much from Modern football rules. Many schools came up with their own variation in football games as they adjusted what they had. For example, if a school had a smaller concrete ground that couldn’t fit the regular size of the field, it was left with no choice but to work with what they had.

The Football Association was founded in 1864, while in 1872 it established 50 member clubs. The FA Cup was also introduced in the same year with the first championship in 1888. 1872 was the year when the first international match was played between England and Scotland and it attracted a huge crowd and popularity. The establishment of the Football Association and lack of other European contemporary variants of football led to football becoming more of a  British sport. 

At first football spread out of the UK at a slow pace. But soon it made everyone from the corner of the world its fan. As it reached out to more people and gained popularity, countries started establishing their own football Association. Netherlands and Denmark formed their football association in 1889, followed by many other countries including New Zealand in 1891, Argentina in 1893, Chile, Belgium and Switzerland in 1895.

FIFA and Football Clubs

The federation international de Football Association came into existence in 1904. It is the football governing body established in Paris introducing the world cup in 1930. 7 countries are the founding members of FIFA including Denmark, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden. By the 1950s the number of FIFA members reached 73. Stanley Rouse went on to become FIFA president. 

In 2007, FIFA had 208 member football clubs around the world. Though it is hard to tell how many football clubs there are in the world, England alone has over 600 clubs. The number of these clubs is constantly growing throughout the world.

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