Where did the game of soccer originate?
According to the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), approximately 265 million people play soccer around the world. Soccer has long since stopped being a simple game of kicking a ball around and has now transformed into a World Cup sport.
Like everything else, there have been myths surrounding the origins of soccer too, such as the one that the first football ever used was the head of a brigand.
Though there is no exact answer to where the game began, there is some evidence which shows the origins of soccer to come from ancient China, Greece, and Germany.
Soccer in Ancient China:
According to FIFA, there are traces of a competitive game known as cuju which translates into “kick ball”. Paintings of children playing cuju, in which they can be seen kicking the ball around, have also been found.
Soccer in Ancient Greece and Rome:
Many different ball games have been found in these nations, but the most prominent is episkyros.
Episkyros has been written about by various Greek and Roman playwrights and politicians. It is even recognized by FIFA as an early form of soccer.
But it was Britain which is credited with transforming soccer into the great game we know it as today.
England and Soccer:
The English are said to be the first to set uniform rules for this sport. They are also the first ones to forbid tripping your opponents and touching the ball with your hands.
Ban against Soccer:
However, in the 14th and 15th centuries in Britain, soccer started being looked down upon and was even banned.
King James I of Scotland went so far as to deliver a famous line against soccer, saying “Na man play at the Fute-ball” (No man shall play football).
The game was thought to cause chaos and disruption. This was because soccer at that time did not have any set rules against ill practices such as shin-kicking, tripping the opponent, handling the ball, punching and biting.
Once, it was banned because of all the windows that had been smashed during soccer games. Another time the ban was because the military would indulge in the game and miss their training.
The game was said to destroy the peace of towns and was an unruly game which would not be tolerated in a civilized society. Anyone who saw it fit to go against the laws and continued playing soccer was considered to be violating the law and was imprisoned immediately.
Modern History of Soccer:
The immense love for soccer could not be kept at bay despite some bans against it. Eventually, the government gave in, and Britain went on to become the home of soccer.