Since we are in the FIFA World Cup season I see it fit to write about the origins of soccer. Having 24 countries lined up to kick a ball across the field into a net, one would wonder, where did this tradition come from which has evolved into a multi-million dollar or pound business, as well as the most popular form of entertainment worldwide?
The game has its origins dating back as far as 2500BC as the Greeks, Egyptians and Chinese played a variety of feet based games involving a ball. The most relevant being the Chinese game of Tsu- Chi, or “kick ball” ( 255BC) which involved kicking a leather ball into a net strung between two poles. The main difference with modern soccer being that the net was hung about 30 feet from the ground.
Soccer began to evolve in Europe in the 9th century as entire towns in England would kick a pigs bladder from one point to another without any form of rules, and was banned for some time by King Henry(IV) because it would take people away from important tasks for long periods of time.
Football was more of a combination of Rugby and soccer as there was no set code of rules for how to play. It only began taking a consistency of rules and boundaries and seen as a sport in the seven major public schools of England in the early 1800’s.
In 1863, in England, when rugby and association football branched off on their different courses the Football Association in England was formed, becoming the sports first governing body.
The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) reflected an international agreement between codes and countries and was formed in 1904. In 1930 the first ever FIFA World Cup was held in Uruguay and has remained the pinnacle of the soccer world ever since.