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Soccer - Fifa

Association football as it is officially known is also known as soccer in some countries, apparently derived from a slang abreviation of the word 'association', which first appeared in English terminology in the 1880s. Football internationally falls under the governing body of the 'Federation Internatonale de Football Association', commonly referred to as FIFA, and according to their information, the earliest game of football can be traced back to about 200-300 BC, played in China as a game called 'Cuju'.

The game was played in early Europe in various countries who all had their own versions of how the game should be played. By the mid 1800s schools in England were all playing differing versions of the game, so a number of schools got together at Trinity College in 1848 and drew up the first rules to create a uniformity for the game. These were known as the 'Cambridge Rules' and form the basis of the 'Laws' of the game as it is played today.

Football lays claim to the most widely played and watched sport in the world. According to a 2001 survey done by FIFA, over 240 million people in over 200 countries play football regularly, with a viewership that runs into billions.

The most important competiton of this sport is their 'World Cup', played every four years, in a different country to the previous. The last 'World Cup' boasted world wide viewership double to that of the summer Olympics.

Teams competing in the World Cup are chosen from various 'continental competitons' such as:-

  • European Championship - Known as UEFA Cup
  • Copa America - Known as Conmebol
  • African cup of nations - Known as CAF
  • Asian Cup - Known as AFC
  • Concacaf Gold Cup - Known as Concacaf
  • OFC Nations Cup - Known as OFC.

The game is played by two teams of 11 players on a field (also known as a 'Pitch'), 45-50m wide x 90-120m long, officiated by a referee and assisted by two linesmen. A maximum of three substitutes are allowed by each team in the case of an injury or for any other reason deemed necessary by the team coach. Once a player has been substituted he may no longer take part in that game. Teams are identified by their differing 'kit', ie the shirt/jersey, pants and socks worn during a game.

Soccer Quotes

Soccer is an art more central to our cultures than anything the Arts Council deigns to recognize.
Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple.
Soccer is the ballet of the masses.


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