No matter where you are in the world now you will see football. It truly is a worldwide game and has reached every country in the world. It’s accessible and inclusive. Millions play the game every year and even more watch but where did it all begin? We are going to find out who invented football and look into a brief history of the game.
It’s hard to know exactly where the game originally came from at its very basic level but many historians point towards China as the first real players of ‘football’. There are reports from as early as the Han Dynasty playing a game called Tsu’ Chu in the third century BC. This game involved kicking a leather ball made out of feathers into a goal area.
Development of football
The modern game of football would start to be played in England throughout the 13th and 14th century. During this time people would be in the street kicking balls about into goals. So much so the Kings outlawed the game they were playing as it was causing chaos and these men should be instead turning their focus towards being a soldier.
Time would pass and the game became outlawed but people still played. The games would be a set of localised games that worked on a village by village basis and different rules were played from village to village. As the playing continued, the rules developed with the Cambridge rules coming into place in 1848 before the Sheffield rules in 1858 laid the groundwork for the FA.
Establishment of rules and FA
The governing body of football and the first time the game would be organised into the game as we know it was in 1863 when the English Football Association was created. The creation of this body organised the game into one set of rules and laws. By combining the rules into one handbook the game could become structured and more professional. The ball would become standardised, minutes in a game decided upon whilst the number of players and specific rules over fouls and cards were established.
Development as an actual game
Following this establishment of rules the game would only continue to grow in popularity throughout the globe. It started with the first international fixture between Scotland and England in 1870, the creation of the FA cup in 1872 and football started getting played in schools. The FIFA governing body would start with 7 main countries in 1904 before quickly expanding and having around 73 members after WWII.
The Modern Game
The popularity of football has exponentially continued to grow throughout the decades. The second half of the 20th century saw the game explode with fans, matches and teams. Club football has hundreds of thousands of teams and there are now 208 teams in the FIFA rankings. The rules have changed with the times and the game to incorporate goal line technology and VAR now too.
It is not just on the pitch the game has changed. The game now utilises huge backing from bookies which allow money and wealth to reach the teams and create even better footballing moments. Nowadays you can bet on anything from match results to both teams to score bets. Not only this but there is countless merchandise and fans have finally – following covid – been allowed back into the stadiums in their thousands.