History of Football

Generally speaking, football (or what in some parts of the world is known as soccer) is a sport with a history that is several centuries old. As a matter of fact, the history of the sport dates back to around 1863 in England. At the time, rugby football and what is now know as soccer became two separate sporting fields. It was around the same time that the Football Association in England was formed to govern the sport as a whole.


According to FIFA, the earliest forms of this sport go as far back as the 2nd and 3rd Centuries BC in China. However the more modern and currently followed rules have their roots in the mid 19th Century. There was need to standardize the rules of the game and this is why there was a general consensus to come up with some kind of framework and rule book as to how the game should be played; this was around the 8th Century.


On 26th October 1863, there was the first ever Football Association Meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. At the time, the sport was still gaining popularity and the only represented school was Charterhouse. This location was where more meetings of the kind would be held to pave way for what is known today as association football or soccer.


At the time, the laws and rules of the game were decided upon by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) which was formed around 1886. This association was formed after the coming together of associations from various countries. At the time, the meeting was attended among others by the Irish Football Association, The Scottish Football Association, the Football Association of Wales as well as the Football Association from within England.


The oldest football competition was the F.A Cup which was put in place by Charles William Alcock who was a very well recognized sportsman and administrator. He was one of the brains behind the development of not only football but also cricket. He was also responsible for what is widely recognized as the first ever official international football match. This was a match between Scotland and England in Glasgow in 1872. England is home to the oldest football league in the whole world and this league was started in 1888 by William McGregor who at the time was the director of Aston Villa. The original league had 12 clubs from the Midlands as well as North England.


Later on in 1904, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) was formed and since then, the sport has seen widespread growth and currently ranks as the most popular sport with over 250 million players in the world. Today, the sport is played at a professional level across the world and many people flock stadiums across the world to cheer their favorite teams on and billions watch the games over the internet and on television. Over the centuries, football has emerged as a uniting factor in the lives of many people and it has evoked great passions in the world. 


Written by Jason King

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