Football, also known as soccer in the United States, is a sport that places two teams, made up of eleven players each (ten field players and a goalkeeper), to face each other. The objective is to get the ball into the opposing team’s goal, respecting a series of rules.
The main rule of football is that the ball cannot be touched by players with their arms or hands, with the exception of the goalkeeper ( who is responsible for preventing the ball from entering his goal so as not to concede a goal).
The football field is rectangular and covered with grass. The goals are located opposite each other on each side of the field, and each team must defend its own goal and score goals in the other. The winning team is the one that has scored the most goals at the end of the match. It should be noted that football matches, which last 90 minutes, can end in a tie.
Football is the most popular sport in the world and it moves billions every year. Because of this, it is something of political and economic interest.
According to data released by FIFA, football is such an important sport for the world economy that there are more than 270 million people involved, directly or indirectly, in the sport. This includes referees, players, coaches, assistants, among others.
Football originates in England. The Football Association developed, in 1863, most of the rules of the game , which continue to govern this sport. Currently, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the body that governs football at international level.
But the concept of this sport had been sent to England by the Italians, since before that, in Italy, the nobility practiced a sport called “Calcio”, where the objective was to make the ball pass the other team’s post.
However, even long before that, there are records of a similar sport practiced by the Chinese thousands of years ago. To be more exact, the oldest known vestige is of a similar sport practiced as far back as 3000 BC.
There are still records of sports similar to football practiced in Japan, Greece, Egypt and also in Ancient Rome.
However, a characteristic of these ancient football-like sports was the presence of violence, both to win victory (anything went for that) and also as a way of celebrating the enemy’s execution. As an example of the latter, we have China, where the enemy’s head was decapitated and used as a ball.
Every four years, FIFA organizes a World Cup, which brings together the best teams in the world, qualified for the competition through a draw for the qualifiers. The World Cup is the event with the highest number of spectators in the world. The last world championship took place in 2010 in South Africa, and the winning country was Spain. The next one will take place in Brazil in 2014.
In addition to the World Cup, there are also competitions that take place on the continents, with several of them taking place in Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania, South America, North America and Central America.
And then there are the national competitions, which take place within each country, with teams from each state competing against each other. Such as the Brazilian Football Championship (in Brazil), the Portuguese Championship (in Portugal) or the Ukrainian Football Championship (in Ukraine).
List of Acronyms Related to Soccer