Soccer is the most popular game around the world. It is also known as football. The FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) tournament holds the biggest testimony to the popularity of football, as the excitement generated throughout the season spreads around the globe. According to FIFA’s most recent survey, there are about 265 million players who are actively engaged in soccer. This is approximately 4% of the global people. Soccer’s popularity may interest you about its history regarding its invention and how it became so popular. Well, we are going to talk all about the history of soccer in this article.
When Was Soccer Invented?
The game of kicking a ball around and trying to score a goal has been enjoyed for centuries. There are several countries that claim to have invented soccer, but it is usually considered that Soccer was first invented in 1860, in England. And the first organization for governing football was formed in 1863 called ‘The Football Association’. By forming the organization, a set of rules to play soccer were made and people all over the world started following them.
Throughout soccer’s development, new rules were established and more historical landmarks were created. For instance, penalty kicks date back to 1891. The International Football Association Board of Great Britain adopted FIFA as a member in 1913.
How Was Soccer Invented?
In the past, this sport consisted of kicking an animal-hide ball around, but it has evolved into the sport played in the World Cup today. The first F.A Cup game of football was played in 1872. The first league was formed in 1888; 128 teams participated in some capacity. Eventually, South America became acquainted with the game through its popularity in England. The F.A. was officially founded in 1907 with twelve members around the world.
The 1970 World Cup finals saw the introduction of red and yellow cards. In 1992, goalkeepers were banned from handling deliberate back passes and in 1998 tackling from behind was rated a red card offense are the recent changes that we still see in the present.
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A Global History of Soccer
Football has survived and evolved throughout time almost as long as human civilization itself. There is a popular theory that modern soccer was introduced to England when rugby separated from soccer. Historically, soccer dates back to the second century B.C. China was the home to the ancient form of soccer known as Tsu Chu during the Han Dynasty. As time went by, soccer spread from Greek, Roman, European, Central American, and Scottish lands to even all parts of the world.
Let us take a glimpse at the primary countries where soccer was played for a long time-
255–206 B.C. is the earliest known date of soccer being played in China. Chinese soldiers used to play football as a part of their training regimen during the Han Dynasty. Tsu-Chu literally means “kicking the ball”. Also, the shoulders, chests, and backs could be used to move the ball. Tsu’chu was the first ancient culture to forbid hands from being used in ball games. In this game, a leather ball was stuffed with feathers and hair. There was a 35 cm wide ball in the Tsu Chu. In order for the players to control the ball with their legs effectively, extensive skill would be necessary.
There were two bamboo poles attached to a net that was 30 feet high. A modern goal, meanwhile, is ground-based and measures 8 feet tall and 24 feet wide. This form of playing a ball with your feet aground spread all over the globe later on.
World football was arguably ‘born’ in Linzi, China, where Tsu-Chu was a regular sport. Sepp Blatter, the head of FIFA at the time, declared this in 2005.
From Tsu’Chu onward, five centuries later, the Japanese took this idea and adapted it. Foot-centric sports were found in many cultures and the Japanese game Kemari is still played today.
The Greek Episkyros traces its origin back to 2500 BC when soccer was first played in Greece. The players had to move the ball over the opponents’ boundary marks to win this game. With patience, speed, and a lot of passing ticks, they were able to accomplish this. To win, the players needed to move the ball over the opponent’s boundary marks.
Mesoamericans were known to play soccer about 3200 B.C. In this case, it represented the sun. The losing team’s captain was sacrificed as a punishment
In Rome, soccer was called Harpastum in ancient times. It was a possession-based ball game. Harpastum was a game where both sides attempted to keep control of a small ball until the end.
Parts of America
Soccer appears to have been played in Central America almost 4000 years ago. A total of around 1,300 courts have been found there as well as the rubber balls that they used to play with have been found in remarkably good condition in marshes.
From the medieval period onwards, soccer developed in modern Europe. The game was a mix of rugby procedures and typical soccer tactics at that time. In England, there was a version of football played by entire towns in the 9th century. People of towns used to kick pig’s bladders from one landmark to another around. It was even forbidden during some periods in British history since the game was considered an irritation and madness.
During the late 19th century, soccer was reinvented in England. A mix-up of rugby and football techniques still characterized soccer at this time. Even with the ball in their hands, players may still grapple with each other. British public schools played this kind of soccer. In those days, there were no rules defining the size of a soccer ball, the length of a game, or the number of players a team could field.
People of Britain used to play “folk football” which is still known in various forms. Usually, the captain’s house was designated as the scoring area. The distance between scoring destinations would often be a few miles. Some of the folk football versions included – two massive mob teams who fought one another in brutal fashion. Teams could play through towns, trying to score against each other. Other European countries played versions of folk football as well, including Germany, France and Italy.
Lord Mayor of London, announced that football would be banned from the city due to its chaos-causing nature in 1314. The game could lead to imprisonment if caught. King Edward II, Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V all banned football in the United Kingdom because it was seen as a distraction from military discipline, which was more valuable at the time.
The declining popularity of folk football was due in part to the growing cities and reduced leisure time for workers as the country industrialized. A lot of times, violence was the result of the lack of standard rules. Also, the violence contributed to legal concerns. So, it was being legally restricted by the authorities. Another reason for the loss of popularity was the low scoring of the games.
In spite of opposition, football flourished in Britain during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but standardized versions were still few and far between as regional variations were often preferred.
Soccer and rugby were popular in other parts of the world before American football developed. A rugby-like game took place between Princeton and Rutgers on November 6, 1869, when the universities first played American football.
American football was born in the era of Yale University’s Walter Camp, who won most of his games on US soil and created many new rules for the sport. In 1876, Camp drafted the first football rules after it became popular at universities across the East Coast and Canada.
During Camp’s time, football rules were drafted to limit the number of players on each team from 15 to 11 and replace rugby scrums with center snaps to put the ball in play. Following the rules, players kick the ball to get possession of it. In American football, one cannot gain possession with the hands.
From Rugby to Modern Soccer
Although there are many contradictions about the matter if soccer has originated from Rugby or not, history has some significant proof regarding the fact. Apparently, rugby and soccer were once one sport, but went their separate ways and were governed by a new governing body, the Football Association.
Soccer was codified in British public schools at the turn of the 19th century. The modern shape of soccer was being developed in the private school system, where it was permitted to use the hands during periods of play and to grapple.
In addition to the barless goals, goalkeepers, tactics, and the ban on high tackles were also enacted. There were many rules, and some were similar to rugby, but others favored kicking and dribbling. Although the game was violent at its beginning, its addition of restrictions tempered it.
In the 1800s, soccer clubs were formed in British schools as the rules and regulations evolved. As with rugby, the rules of this semi-organized sport spanned from the earliest forms of it to today’s version of soccer. School teams began competing against each other over time. The players could still use their hands during this time, except they could only pass the ball backward like in rugby.
Cambridge University established the “Cambridge Rules” in 1848. Graduating players could continue handling the ball, while adult football clubs enjoyed a greater level of participation. The modernized game of soccer was still undergoing a lot of transitions.
Even the modern version of soccer in America evolved from rugby.
The Formation Of FIFA
Soccer or Football has a deep connection with FIFA. FIFA was founded in Paris in 1904. Members of the founding group were -France, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden. In 1886, the laws of football were written and rationalized by Stanley Rous, who later became FIFA President. In 1997, the laws were updated.
FIFA had more than 73 members by the 1950s, following the Second World War. In 1930, the world’s first FIFA competition took place. In 1905, Great Britain officially became a member of FIFA. However, they would not participate in a World Cup until 1950. During the 1950 World Cup, about 200,000 people watched soccer at Rio de Janeiro’s legendary Maracana Stadium.
Every four years, FIFA hosts the World Cup, two years after/before the Olympic Games and UEFA’s Euros. Teams from all over the world are welcome to participate. In the most recent competition, 32 finalists participated and it keeps increasing in every world cup.
Soccer in Olympics
The Olympic Games included soccer for the first time in 1908. Soccer had already become an obsession of many people all over the world by this time. South America and India adopted soccer admirably. The epic sport had also become the subject of massive investments.
Globalization of Soccer
At present, the most globally popular sport is soccer. The world governing body of Soccer FIFA currently has 211 national associations. Globalization has undoubtedly had a positive impact on international soccer, also known as football throughout the world. The World Cup does not deal with race, ethnic and nationality. It is bringing people, culture, and economy together. The World Cup can be seen as a celebration of globalization for many reasons. Nevertheless, there has also been enough evidence to challenge the widely held theory that globalization will lead to greater tolerance, understanding, and multiculturalism.
Soccer’s history has been fascinating over time, beginning with a simple kickball game in 225 BC to now being viewed by over two billion people worldwide. It is impossible to classify it as simply a “game” when it has won places in military and political history and captivated people of all ages. It has emerged as a paradigm of global culture with an unprecedented history. It is now tied with people’s emotions and part of life.