A Football History: from its origin to now

There is no clear documentation stating the date and place of origination of today's most popular sport - world football. However, most historians agree that some type of a ball game has been played for at least over 3000 years.

The origins of the game can be seen in games played in China, Japan, Egypt, Greece before our modern game developed in England.

Here is a brief outline of some of the events that have shaped the game of soccer throughout history.


A Football Timeline

5000-300 B.C. There is evidence in China that military forces around 2nd and 3rd century BC (Han Dynasty) played a game, originally named "Tsu Chu", that involved kicking a leather ball stuffed with fur into a small hole. Like Soccer, no hands were permitted during the play of the game.
2500 B.C There was possibly a version of a type of ball game played by young women in Egypt during the age of Baqet III, as images of this sport were depicted on his tomb, though there is not much known of this sport except that it was played with a ball.
1000 B.C. The Japanese version of 'soccer' was called Kemari, a game much like modern hackysacks, played with two to twelve players, and played a larger ball stuffed with sawdust. There was also a field designated by four trees (cherry, maple, pine and willow).
B.C. In ancient Greece, they played a game called Episkyros, in which two equal numbered teams would try to throw the ball over the heads of the other team. There was a white line between the teams and another white line behind each team. Teams would change the ball often until one of the team was forced behind the line at their end.
50 B.C. China's Tsu Chu players and Japan's Kemari players were the first to have an "International" game of their versions of soccer, believed to have occurred roughly 50 B.C.. There is a definite date of such a game occurring in 611 A.D.
600 - 1600 A.D. In Mexico & Central America the rubber ball was created, and used in a game on a recessed court 40-50 feet long shaped like a capital "I". In the middle of each wall, was a mounted stone or wooden ring and the object was to project the hard rubber ball through the ring.
700s The first Football games played in Britain was between the locals of east of England, starting after a 'legendary' game that involved kicking around the severed head of a Danish prince that they had defeated in a war. These games were violent, where injury and death were not uncommon
1331 Despite the violence of these celebratory games, they were still popular. This led King Edward III of England to pass laws in 1331 to stop the game
1424 King James I of Scotland also passed a law banning the game
1500 In Italy they played a game called "calcio" with teams of 27+ people. The game involved kicking, carrying or passing a ball across a goal line. In 1580, Giovanni Bardi published a set of rules of the game of calcio.
1572 Queen Elizabeth I of England, enacted laws that could sentence a football player to jail for a week followed by penance in a church.
1600 In Alaska and Canada the native Eskimos played a game called aqsaqtuk on ice, using balls stuffed with grass, caribou hair, and moss. One legend tells of two villages playing against each other with goals 10 miles apart.
1605 Football became legal again in England
1620 In North America, native American Indians in the original Jamestown settlement played a game called pasuckuakohowog, meaning "they gather to play ball with the foot." It was a rough game, played the beach, the field a half-mile wide with goals 1 mile apart, with as many as 1000 players at a time.
1815 Eton College of England established a set of rules for the games.
1820 In the USA, football was played among the Northeastern universities and colleges of Harvard, Princeton, Amherst and Brown.
1848 The rules were further standardized and a new version was adopted by all the schools, college and universities, known as the Cambridge Rules.
1862 The first soccer club formed anywhere outside of England was the Oneida Football Club, Boston USA.
1863 October 26 of 1863, the Football Association was formed when eleven London schools and clubs came together at the Freemason's Tavern to establish a single set of rules to administer any football match that were to be played among them. On December 8 1863, Association Football and Rugby Football finally split onto two different organizations. Later in the year, the first ever soccer match was played on Barnes common at Mortlake, London on 19th December 1863 between Barnes Football Club and Richmond Football Club. The game ended in a 0-0 draw.
1869 The Football Association rules were further amended to exclude any handling of the ball.
1872 The first official international football match was played, between the national teams of Scotland and England, played in Glasgow Scotland. The game was played on  30 November 1872, and finished with a 0-0 draw.
1883 The four British associations agreed on a uniform code and formed the International Football Association Board.
1885 The first international match played by teams outside of Great Britain was between USA and Canada, played in Newark and ended with Canada winning 1-0.
1888 Introduction of the penalty kick.
1904 Establishment of FIFA by delegates from France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland at a meeting in Paris on the 21st of May.
1900 Soccer played at the Olympic Games for the first time
1930 In 1930, The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) held soccer's first World Cup tournament in Montevideo, Uruguay, with 13 teams.
1932 Soccer was taken off the program for the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, due to a controversy between FIFA and the IOC over the definition of amateur and the reluctance of many strong soccer countries to travel the US because of the expense involved.
1991 The inaugural Women's World Cup in 1991 in China was won by the United States
1996 The American women's team won the first-ever women's soccer event at the Olympics.

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