#TrendingNews Blog Business Entertainment Environment Health Lifestyle News Analysis Opinion Science Sports Technology World News
History of Football

The FIFA World Cup in Qatar is in full swing, with the semifinals happening Tuesday, the 13th, between Croatia and Argentina, and Wednesday, the 14th, between Morocco and France. Many soccer fans will be tuning in to see if their team will make it to the finals that are happening on Sunday, December 18th, aside from the controversy that has stirred regarding the location of the Cup Tournament. Most fans may not even be aware of the history of the sport, but I'm here to share with fans and novice watchers alike the history of soccer, as known in the United States and Canada, or football around the world.

Football, as most people know it nowadays, originated in England in the middle of the 19th century and was initially entertainment for the white working class of Britain. There were many earlier versions of the game that used rocks or rubber balls as the main props for scoring. It took a long time for the features of modern football to take hold. Early versions were more like rugby than what we know as modern football, with a lot of the game rules being much looser than they are today. There weren't even any jerseys or uniforms to help distinguish teammates.

Football in England was quite rough in the 12th century, with fists and punches to the ball being allowed during the game. This is widely different from today's football, where a foul or penalty would be placed on the player and team for touching the ball with the hands. Crazy fans of football aren't new either! These games in England would attract large crowds that would even go so far as to cause damage to the city and even the deaths of participants in attendance. The Scottish ultimately helped progress by passing the ball from one teammate to another as opposed to the rugby style of running forward with the ball.

It's up in the air when the first official football club was formed, but many historians believe the 1824 formation of the Football Club in Edinburgh was the first. Industrialization played a big role in the emergence of teams, with many people meeting outside of factories, churches, and pubs to play after a day's work. Football started with schoolboys making up the majority of players, but with the introduction of a professional opportunity in the sport for older men, the majority shifted over to the working class.

At a meeting in Cambridge, England, in 1848, it was decided that the use of hands in football would no longer be accepted and that the standard size and weight of the ball would be in place. This meeting described the distinction between football and rugby and separated the sports indefinitely. The first football association was formed in 1863, shortly after these rules were decided in London, England. The rules of the game would remain very flexible for a long time after the establishment of the association.

Most games took place in Europe since the sport was originally a British phenomenon. The first game to take place outside of Europe was in Argentina in 1867, which thus expanded the sport even more. In 1871, the first football competition was run, called the Football Association Challenge Cup, or FA Cup. In 1883, the first international tournament took place, though it only included the Western European countries of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

Professional football was legalized in 1885, and in 1888, the Football League was established. 12 teams joined the league in the first season, and it continued to expand widely throughout the years. The British continued to have the upper hand in competition and dominated the sport with many wins. White British men also dominated the sport, and the first black man to join the league was Andrew Watson, who played for Scotland. Around this time, women were allowed to join the sport as well, with the first official women's match happening in Inverness in 1888.

FIFA, the​​Fédération Internationale de Football Association, was finally established in 1904, with France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland joining from the start. The British, bitter about the formation of the association since they believed they invented and popularised the sport and saw no need to subordinate themselves to an organisation, didn't join until 1905.

Football was included as an official Olympic sport in 1908, shortly after the formation of FIFA. FIFA World Cup tournaments wouldn't start until years after the association's formation, so Olympic football would be the most prestigious stage of the sport. The first World Cup tournament would take place in Uruguay in 1930, and from there on out, it would take place every four years except for two periods due to World War II. The British, though part of FIFA, wouldn't participate in the World Cup until 1950. The first World Cup for women was held in China in 1991 to further advance women's sports.

And there you have it! A compressed history of football. A game that was originally played in England and other European countries and quickly spread throughout the world. It was sparked by rugby but was able to become its own game with new rules and many teams establishing their league. Early football clubs and leagues were able to establish rules and eventually come together to form FIFA, a modern association that is one of the most popular in the entire world of sports. Hopefully, you find yourself having a greater appreciation for the World Cup as you cheer on your team in the FIFA Finals.

Share This Post On


Leave a comment

You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in