One of the most popular games played in the world, Soccer has a history that dates back to almost 3000 years. It used to be one of the popular pastimes in ancient China, Japan, Italy, Greece and Persia. In fact, even in South and Central America, a similar game by the name of ‘Tlatchi’ flourished. Soccer is a game that has evolved with time and has had minor changes, though sticking to its initial game principles. Check out some interesting information on the background of soccer.
During the ancient times, football was actually banned by rulers like Edward III, Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V, due to the ruckus it created when people used to practice. They used to abandon military tasks and used to avoid honing up their warring skills and instead used to spend time playing the football. Soccer basically began to take shape and assume a form in England. During the year 1863, two football association teams namely, association football and rugby football split off, going on different directions due to disagreement on setting rules and regulations for playing the game.
The first Football Association thus, was founded in England. Eight years after its formation, the Football Association had 50 member clubs. The spread of football outside England basically took place due to the British influence in other continents. The associations that were formed after the English Football Association were Scottish FA (1873), FA of Wales (1875) and Irish FA (1880). The sudden matches that were organized resulted in attracting huge crowds and that led to mismanagement of many things. One of those was professionalism. However, professionalism was legalized in 1885 and players used to get paid and were given remuneration according to set rules.
Other football associations to be formed in the late 19th century and early 20th century were New Zealand (1891), Argentina (1893), Chile (1895), Switzerland, Belgium (1895), Italy (1898), Germany, Uruguay (1900), Hungary (1901) and Finland (1907). FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) was founded in Paris in May 1904 and it had 7 founding members - France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The community grew steadily and in 1912, 21 national associations got affiliated to FIFA. The first World Cup for soccer was held in 1930 and the number increased to 41. today, FIFA has 204 members in every part of the world, recorded after the 2000 FIFA congress.