History of Soccer
The history of association football, which is usually known simply as football, can be traced to traditional football games played in Europe, particularly Medieval England, in ancient times. The modern game has its roots in the formation of the The Football Association (FA) in England in 1863. Several clubs met in London, to create a National code, that would allow clubs to play each other without dispute. At the time, football clubs all played by their own, individual codes of rules, and game-day rules had to be agreed upon before they could play one another.

The FA code was immediate, as sport was still very much an amateur activity. The first professional clubs were formed after working class people took up the sport, and entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to make money from spectators coming to see star players. Once professionalism took hold and Football became a Working Man's Game, The popularity of the game became immense and was soon spread throughout the world by British expatriates.

1 The Football Association
1.1 Foundations of a competition
1.2 First FA Cup
1.3 First International
1.4 From amateurism to professionalism
2 Football spreads around the world
2.1 Continental Europe
2.2 South America
2.3 United States
2.4 FIFA Men's World Cup
2.5 FIFA Women's World Cup

The Football Association
Main article: History of The Football Association
During the early 1860s, there were increasing attempts in England to unify and reconcile the various football games that were played in the public school of England as well in the Industrial North with the Sheffield Rules. In 1862. J. C. Thring, who had been one of the driving forces behind the original Cambridge Rules, was a master at Uppingham School and he A issued his own rules of what he called "The Simplest Game" (these are also known as the Uppingham Rules). In early October 1863, another new revised version of the Cambridge Rules was drawn up by a TO seven member committee representing former pupils from Harrow, Shrewsbury, Eton, Ruby, Marlborough and Westminster.

Ebenezer Cobb Morley, a solicitor from Hull, wrote to Bell's Life newspaper in 1863, proposing a governing body for football. Morley was to become the FA's first secretary (1863-6) and its second president (1867-74), but is particularly remembered as it was he who drafted the first Laws of the Game at his home in Barnes, London, that are today played the world over. For this, he is considered not just the father of the Football Association, but of Association Football itself.

On the evening of October 26, 1863, representatives of several football clubs in the Greater London area met at the Freemason's Tavern on Long Acre in Covent Garden. This was the first meeting of The Football Association (FA). It was the world's first official football body and for this reason is not preceded with the word English. Charterhouse was the only school which accepted invitations to attend. The first meeting resulted in the issuing of a request for representatives of the public schools to join the association. With the exception of Thring at Uppingham, most schools declined. In total, six meetings of the FA were held between October and December 1863. Committee member J. F. Alcock, said: "The Cambridge Rules appear to be the most desirable for the Association to adopt."

After the third meeting, a draft set of rules were published by the FA. However, at the beginning of the fourth meeting, attention was drawn to the recently-published Cambridge Rules of 1863. The Cambridge rules differed from the draft FA rules in two significant areas; namely running with (carrying) the ball and hacking (kicking opposing players in the shins). The two contentious FA rules were as follows:

IX. A player shall be entitled to run with the ball towards his adversaries' goal if he makes a fair catch, or catches the ball on the first bound; but in case of a fair catch, if he makes his mark he shall not run.

X. If any player shall run with the ball towards his adversaries' goal, any player on the opposite side shall be at liberty to charge, hold, trip or hack him, or to wrest the ball from him, but no player shall be held and hacked at the same time.

At the fifth meeting a motion was proposed that these two rules be removed from the FA rules. Most of the delegates supported this suggestion but F. W. Campbell, the representative from Blackheath and the first FA treasurer, objected strongly. He said, "hacking is the true football". The motion was carried nonetheless and — at the final meeting — Campbell withdrew his club from the FA. After the final meeting on 8 December the FA published the "Laws of Football", the first comprehensive set of rules for the game later known as association football. The game also came to be called "soccer" as a shortening of "Association" around the same time as Rugby football, colloquially referred to as "rugger", was developing as the main carrying of the ball version of English football, and "soccer" remains a common descriptor in countries with other prominent football codes today.

These first FA rules still contained elements that are no longer part of football, but which are still recognisable in other games (Rugby Union, Australian rules football): for instance, a player could make a fair catch and claim a mark, which entitled him to a free kick, and; if a player touched the ball behind the opponents' goal line, his side was entitled to a free kick at goal, from 15 yards in front of the goal line.

The laws of the game agreed on by the FA members stipulated a maximum length and breadth for the pitch, the procedure for kicking off, and definition of terms, including goal, throw in, offside. Passing the ball by hand was still permitted provided the ball was caught "fairly or on the first bounce". Despite the specifications of footwear having no "tough nails, iron plates and gutta percha" there were no specific rule on number of players, penalties, foul play or the shape of the ball, captains of the participating teams were expected to agree on these things prior to the match.

Foundations of a competition
The laws laid down by the FA had an immediate effect, with Sheffield and Nottingham (now Notts County) playing an annual fixture on the FA code among others. Over the next two years Chesterfield and Stoke joined the code, which meant that the codified form was no longer an exclusive sport of public schools. By this time teams had settled into 11 players each, and the game was played with round balls. It previously stated that all players in front of the ball were offside, eliminating passing of the ball forwards, much like in rugby today. The rule was relaxed. A Sheffield against London game in 1866 had allowed the FA to observe how the rules were affecting the game; subsequently handling of the ball was abolished except for one player on each team, the goalkeeper. A red tape was added between the two goalposts to indicate the top of the goal, and a national competition was proposed. 1867 saw the introduction of the first competition and oldest existing trophy in soccer, the Youdan Cup.

First FA Cup

The Royal Engineers team that reached the first FA Cup finalOn July 20, 1871, C. W. Alcock, a gentleman from Sunderland and a former pupil of Harrow School proposed that "a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the [Football] Association",Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag. But this name still won by a majority vote and was selected. The competition guaranteed fixtures and members for all of its member clubs. The clubs were split equally among North and Midlands teams and Southern teams, who were still strictly amateur.

A rival English league called the Football Alliance operated from 1889 to 1892. In 1892 it was decided to formally merge the two leagues, and so the Football League Second Division was formed, consisting mostly of Football Alliance clubs. The existing League clubs, plus three of the strongest Alliance clubs, comprised the Football League First Division.

First International

The first international football match, Scotland v. England, November 30, 1872.Charles Alcock, who was elected to secretary of the FA at the age of 28, devised the Idea of an international competition, inaugurating an annual Scotland-England fixture. His put advertisements in papers in Glasgow, informing people of an international between the two countries. After the appeal, a team of Scottish players was put together and captained by Robert Smith, one of the three brothers who helped found Queens Park FC. His team was composed entirely of Scots, living in England.[1]. The first international (which took place on the 30/11/1872, Glasgow, Scotland) ended in a goalless draw between the two sides and thus, one of the most bitterly disputed fixtures in footballing history was born. The 2nd game between the two sides, on the 8/3/1873, ended 4-2 in favour of England, the Scots then went on to win the next game 2-1. The fourth game ended in a 2-2 draw after which the Scots enjoyed a 3 game winning streak (every recorded result between these two sides can be found using the official FIFA website). Current head to head statistics between the two sides stand as...

The first non-European international was contested on the 28 November 1885, at Newark, New Jersey, between the USA and Canada, the Canadians winning 1-0

From amateurism to professionalism
See also: British Football Association and Amateur Football Association
When football was gaining popularity during the 1870s and 1880s professionals were banned in England and Scotland. Then in the 1880s, soon after Wanderers disbanded, in the north of England, teams started hiring players known as 'professors of football', who were often professionals from Scotland. This was the first time professionalism got into football. The clubs in working class areas, especially in Northern England and Scotland wanted professional football in order to afford playing football besides working. Several clubs were accused of employing professionals.

The northern clubs made of lower class paid players started to gain momentum over the amateur 'Gentleman Southerners'. The first northern club to reach the FA Cup final was Blackburn Rovers in 1882, where they lost to Old Etonians, who were the last amateur team to win the trophy.

During the summer of 1885, there was pressure put on the Football Association to accept professionalism in English football, culminating in a special meeting on 20 July, after which it was announced that it was "in the interests of Association Football, to legalise the employment of professional football players, but only under certain restrictions". Clubs were allowed to pay players provided that they had either been born or had lived for two years within a six-mile radius of the ground. There were also rules preventing professional players playing for more than one club in a season, without obtaining special permission, and all professional players had to be registered with the F.A.[2]

Early English women's teams, such as the Dick, Kerr's Ladies from Preston, were so popular that their matches raised money for charities. The first recorded women's football match, on 23 March 1895, was held in England between a northern and southern team. The fundraising matches continued, in spite of objections. A maximum wage was placed on players, players challenged this and came close to strike action in 1909, but it was not to be for another fifty years before the maximum wage was abolished. In 1921, women were banned from playing on FA league grounds. FA history states that this ban "effectively destroyed the game" in England for the next 40 years.[3] Hakoah Vienna was probably the first non-British club to pay their players during the 1920s[citation needed].

In 1934 the Swedish club Malmö FF was relegated from the top division after it had been discovered that they paid their players, something that was not allowed in Swedish football at the time.

Football spreads around the world

Continental Europe
The oldest club in continental Europe could be the Swiss club Lausanne Football and Cricket Club, founded 1860.

Football was introduced in the Danish club, Kjøbenhavns Boldklub (KB) by English residents,[4] and in the Swiss club FC St. Gallen in 1879. This makes KB and St. Gallen the oldest still existing football clubs on Continental Europe. The Danish Football Association was founded in 1889. Italian football was played in regional groups from its foundation in 1898 until 1929 when the Serie A was organized into a national league by the Italian Football Federation. La Liga, Spain's national league, had its first season in 1928, with its participants based on the previous winners of the Copa del Rey, which began in 1902. The modern German national league, the Bundesliga was late in foundation, especially for European countries, given it wasn't founded until 1963. The German Football Association was founded as early as 1900 with the first German football champions being Leipzig in 1903. However, prior to the formation of the Bundesliga, German football was played at an amateur level in a large number of regional leagues.

South America
The first recorded football match in Argentina was played already in 1867 by English railway workers. The first football team in South America, Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata (now in professionalism) was created in Argentina, in 1887. The Argentine professional leagues (previously, football was an amateur sport) were founded in 1931 by the Argentine Football Association, which itself was founded by a Scottish schoolteacher Alexander Watson Hutton in 1893[5]. The first ever championship to take place in Argentina was the AAF Championship of 1891[6] making Argentina's the oldest football league outside mainland Britain[7].

In the 1870s an expatriate named John Miller who worked on the railway construction project in São Paulo together with some 3000 other immigrant families from the British Isles in the last decades of the 19th century. Mr. Miller decided to send his young boy Charles William Miller to England for his education. In 1884 Charles aged 10 was sent to Bannisters school in Southampton. Charles was a natural footballer who quickly picked up the arts of the game. The football association was being formed at the time. Eton, Rugby, Charterhouse and other colleges all had developed their own rules to the game. As an accomplished winger and striker Charles held school honours that were to gain him entry first into the Southampton Club team and then into the County team of Hampshire.

In 1892 a couple of years before his return to Brazil, Miller was invited to play a game for the Corinthians, a team formed of players invited from public schools and universities.

On his return Miller brought some football equipment and a rules book with him. He then went on to develop the new rules of the game amongst the community in São Paulo. In 1888, six years before his return, the first sports club was founded in the city, São Paulo Athletic Club. São Paulo Athletic Club won the first three years championships. Miller's skills were far and above his colleagues at this stage. He was given the honour of contributing his name to a move involving a deft flick of the ball with the heel "Chaleira".

Charles Miller kept a strong bond with English football throughout his life. Teams from Southampton and Corinthians Club came over to Brazil and played against São Paulo Athletic Club and other teams in São Paulo. One on occasion in 1910 a new local team was about to be formed after a tour of the Corinthians team to Brazil and Charles was asked to suggest a name for the team. He suggested they should call themselves after Corinthians.

In 1988 when São Paulo Athletic Club celebrated its centenary and the English Corinthians Team came across again to play them at Morumbi Stadium. The end of the tour was against the local professional Corinthians Paulista team with Sócrates and Rivelino amongst its players. This game was played at Paecambu Stadium in São Paulo and true to Corinthian principles of good clean football the score was 1 to 0 in favour of the locals when as agreed Socrates changed shirts to play alongside the English amateurs. This did not affect the score unfortunately although a largely packed stadium was cheering on for a drawn result.

The Brazilian Football Confederation was founded in 1914, and the current format for the Campeonato Brasileiro was established in 1971.

United States
The first football club in the United States was the Oneida Football Club of Boston, Massachusetts, founded in 1862. It is often said that this was the first club to play football outside Britain. However, the Oneidas were formed before the English Football Association (FA); it is not known what rules they used[1] and the club wound up within the space of a few years. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, the club is often credited with inventing the "Boston Game", which both allowed players to kick a round ball along the ground, and to pick it up and run with it.

The first U.S. match known to have been inspired by FA rules was a game between Princeton and Rutgers in 1869, although the game included features such as extremely physical tackling and teams of 20 each. Other colleges emulated this development, but all of these were converted to rugby-oriented rules from soccer-oriented rules by the mid-1870s on, and they would soon become famous as early bastions of American football. (For more details see: History of American football.)

Early football leagues in the U.S. mostly used the name football leagues: for example, the American Football Association (founded in 1884), the American Amateur Football Association (1893), the American League of Professional Football (1894), the National Association Foot Ball League (1895), and the Southern New England Football League (1914). However, the word "soccer" was beginning to catch on, and the St Louis Soccer League was a significant regional competition between 1907 and 1939. What is now the United States Soccer Federation was originally the U.S. Football Association, formed in 1913 by the merger of the American Football Association and the American Amateur Football Association. The governing body of the sport in the U.S. did not have the word soccer in its name until 1945, when it became the U.S. Soccer Football Association. It did not drop the word football from its name until 1974, when it became the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Two further football leagues were started in the 1967, the United Soccer Association and the National Professional Soccer League. These merged to form the North American Soccer League in 1968, which survived until 1984. The NASL also ran an indoor league in the later years.

Indoor soccer was a great success in the 1980s to the 90's, in part due to the input of the North American Soccer League. When the NASL folded, other leagues, including the Major Indoor Soccer League filled in to meet the demand. A new MISL exists today with eight teams slated for the 2007-2008 season.[8] However, it is unrelated to the original MISL.

The highest level of football in the United States is Major League Soccer.

The need for a single body to oversee the worldwide game became apparent at the beginning of the 20th century with the increasing popularity of international fixtures. The English Football Association had chaired many discussions on setting up an international body, but was perceived as making no progress. It fell to seven other European countries to band together to form this association. FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) was founded in Paris on May 21, 1904 - the French name and acronym persist to this day, even outside French-speaking countries. Its first president was Robert Guérin.

FIFA presided over its first international competition in 1906, however it met with little approval or success. This, in combination with economic factors, led to the swift replacement of Guérin with Daniel Burley Woolfall from England, by now a member association. The next tournament staged the football competition for the 1908 Olympics in London was more successful, despite the presence of professional footballers, contrary to the founding principles of FIFA.

Membership of FIFA expanded beyond Europe with the application of South Africa in 1909, Argentina in 1912 and the United States in 1913.

FIFA however floundered during World War I with many players sent off to war and the possibility of travel for international fixtures severely limited. Post-war, following the death of Woolfall, the organisation fell into the hands of Alexander Bartholomew[citation needed]. The organization had a new leader though after Bartholomew's death in 1919. It was saved from extinction, but at the cost of the withdrawal of the Home Nations, who cited an unwillingness to participate in international competitions with their recent World War enemies.

In 1946 the four British nations returned. On 10 May 1947 a 'Match of the Century' between Great Britain and 'Rest of Europe XI' was played at Hampden Park in Glasgow before 135,000 spectators - Britain won 6-1. The proceeds from the match, coming to £35,000, were given to FIFA, to help re-launch it after World War Two. This was followed by FIFA's first post-war World Cup in 1950, held in Brazil. FIFA, meanwhile, continued to expand so that by the time of its fiftieth anniversary it had 84 members.

FIFA Men's World Cup
Main article: FIFA World Cup
The first football world cup was played in Uruguay in 1930. In the first championship match between Argentina and Uruguay, both teams couldn't decide on a ball so they used Argentina's ball the first half and Uruguay's in the second. Many countries did not enter, with most of them coming from the Americas. By 1950 however, European teams took interest, and the competition blossomed into the world's biggest footballing event. From this, other championships emerged - The European Championship, South America's Copa América, Oceania's OFC Nations Cup, Asian Cup, African Cup Of Nations and North America's Gold Cup are the main competitions of each continent. The Brazilian team, known as "Seleção", is the biggest title holder in the World Cup, having won five times. The runner-up is Italy, with four titles, having won the latest edition in 2006.

FIFA Women's World Cup
Main article: FIFA Women's World Cup
The FIFA Women's World Cup was inaugurated with the FIFA Women's World Cup 1991, hosted in China, with 12 teams sent to represent their countries. Over 650,000 spectators attended the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup and nearly 1 billion viewers from 70 countries tuned in. By the FIFA Women's World Cup 2003, 16 teams competed in the championship finals. Of the four tournaments held to date (2006), the USA has won the championship twice, Norway once and Germany most recently. Women's confederations are the same as men's: Oceania (OFC), European (UEFA), North, Central America and Caribbean (CONCACAF), South American (CONMEBOL), Asian (AFC) and African (CAF).

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