Soccer is the most widely played game in the world, without an iota of doubt. The sport traces its origin in many parts of the globe. Ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, China, and Rome claim that the game originated there. Ragtag/wooden/rocky/leather ball or rudimentary animal hide etc were objects meant for kick and rush game. In most parts, the ball was a symbol of the sun. Phaininda was a Greek ball game. Cuju was a similar game in China in the 2nd or 3rd century BC. From Rome, it reached Britain (Britannica).

Players enjoying ‘Caju’ in China

England gave football its current shape. It developed here in the 12th century according to the first-ever recorded history. The game was very rough and violent. Around Florence in the 16th century, it was called Calcio. Larger parts of the town population enjoyed Calcio. For a long time, there was no distinction between soccer and rugby. Length of game, players in the team, size of the ball, etc were the discretion of the participants or organizers. Rugby and Eton were the first two places that gave shape to these two games. Rugby, at rugby, was called ‘The running game’. At Eton, the game was played exclusively with feet and the name was ‘The dribbling game’. At Cambridge in 1848, some rules were framed but objective could not be achieved. The first soccer association was made in London in 1893. Carrying the ball by hand was stopped, the weight and size of the ball were also standardized. Now, these two games were divided into Association football and rugby.

The oldest football club’s name has a dispute. Well, most of the people agree that Notts County, which was formed in 1862, is the oldest among all. It still exists. 

With the spread of English people, it touched all corners of the globe, especially South America. Workers used to enjoy it more. English clubs were dominant with resistance from Prague, Budapest, and Sienna. Women started showcasing their skills in the late 19th century, faced exclusion for a long time. In Greemason’s Tavern in Great Queen Street, London, after rounds of meetings in 1863, the first comprehensive set of rules were made. It led to the formation of the First football association. Other milestones follow. FA Cup started in 1871, and the first international game between England and Scotland followed next year at Hamilton Crescent (ended in a goalless draw). 4000 people witnessed it. 

1872  FA Cup Final Match – Wanderers vs Royal Engineers

The first game outside Europe was played in Argentina, the year was 1867, and the first domestic league was English League, established in 1888.

The Olympic family included it in 1900. FIFA was founded in 1904, and the first-ever FIFA world cup was held in 1930 in Uruguay. Red and Yellow cards were introduced in 1970 WC finals. Traffic lights gave them the idea of colour. Yellow means ‘Safe and Go,’ Red means ‘Stop.’ Goalkeepers were banned from handling deliberate back passes in 1992. The red card penalty for back tackling started in 1998.

Red Card to Christiano Ronaldo

Currently, more than 250 million players enjoy it in over 200 countries. Its popularity, revenue, and passion are only and only growing. So, enjoy ‘The Beautiful Game.’


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