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A Brief History of the Game of Soccer

By Michael Shanks

In the second and third centuries BCE, the Chinese Han Dynasty military practiced a game that involved kicking a ball into a small net.

The Romans and the Greeks are said to have played earlier versions of the sport with teams that included 27 players. No one can pinpoint the invention of the sport of soccer, but one thing is certain: that some form of it has been played for the past 3000 years. The British are undisputedly the founders of the organized game of soccer (football), although the Scottish claim a co-founding with Britain.

The game was in fact originally a game of war. The first recorded instance of the soccer we know and love today was in fact played with the severed head of a Danish Prince that the British had defeated in battle! These matches were in fact so violent that the authorities tried to ban the sport.

Chinese Han Dynasty

In 1424, King James I passed a law banning the sport of soccer. Queen Elizabeth passed a law that jailed soccer players, and required them to do a penance in church. However, the game was too popular to be shut off like that.

In 1815, Eton College established a set of rules which other schools, colleges, and Universities began to use.

In 1863, 12 London clubs and schools sent their representatives to a meeting in the Freemason's Tavern to establish a single set of rules, creating The Football Association.

The 12 founding clubs were: Accrington (Old Reds) Aston Villa Blackburn Rovers Bolton Wanderers Burnley Derby County Everton Notts County Preston North End Stoke City West Bromwich Albion Wolverhampton Wanderers

In 1869, the rule was set in place that no handling of the ball would be allowed, which was a pillar in the creating of what the game is today.

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