A Short History Of Football
Football-like games have existed for centuries in all regions of the world. Here we take a look at the evolution of the beautiful game.
- c2000 BCE. Mayans played Pok-A-Tok, where balls could only be touched with the elbows, hips or knees. Inuits played Aqsaqtuk, where they had to boot a heavy ball across the arctic tundra with goals as far as 10 miles apart.
- c800 BCE. Greek men played Episkyros, a ball kicking and throwing game played in the nude.
- 206 BCE. A game called tsu chu is played under the Han Dynasty in China.
- 146 BCE. Harpastum, in the Roman Empire, with Caesar using the game to maintain his soldiers' strength.
- 644. Kemal is played in Japan: standing in a circle, players must pass the ball to each other, trying not to let it touch the ground.
- 1314. In England, King Edward II issues an edict to stop his subjects from playing "mob football" due to the havoc it wreaked on towns and cities.
- 1337-1453. Four successive English kings, Edward III, Richard II, Henry iV and Henry V, make the playing of football punishable by law, as it is seen as detrimental to the practice of military disciplines such as archery.
- 1581. Richard Mulcaster, the first headmaster of London's Merchant Taylor's School, publishes a pamphlet which praises the positive educational values of football.
- 1608. The first instance of the modern spelling of "football" appears in Shakespeare's King Lear: "Nor tripped neither, you base football player".
- 1685. Football attains royal patronage at the court of King Charles II.
- 1845. The rules of rugby are codified for the first time by the pupils of its namesake: Rugby School, Warwickshire.
- 1848. The "Cambridge Rules" are established at Cambridge University, the world's first formalised rules of the game.
- 1857. Sheffield Football Club is founded, the world's oldest football club.
- 1859. Aussie Rules codified.
- 1861. Canadian Football rules codified.
- 1863. The governing body of football in England, the Football Association (the FA) is formed. The FA sets down 14 rules that form the basis for today's Laws of the Game. These rules marked the break between football and rugby.
- 1869. Rutgers and Princeton played a college football game using modified London Football Association rules.
- 1871. Rugby Football Union founded; rules codified.
- 1873. Members of Columbia, Rutgers, Princeton, and Yale universities found the Intercollegiate Football Association (IFA), the sport's governing body.
- 1875. Rugby League rules codified.
- 1876. First rules for American football written.
- 1879. Darwen FC causes controversy when it is revealed they have been playing two of their players. this is believed to be the first use of professional players.
- 1880. Walter Camp, the "father of American football" introduced "line of scrimmage" and "down-and-distance" rules.
- 1885. Professionalism is legalised.
- 1886. The International Rugby Board (IRB) is founded in Dublin.
- 1892. William Heffelfinger became the first paid American Football player, when he received $500 (around $12.800 in today's money) to play a game.
- 1887. Gaelic football rules codified.
- 1891. Introduction of the penalty kick. Referees now officiate from within the field of play.
- 1904. World football's governing body, FIFA, is founded in Paris.
- 1906. Forward pass legalised.
- 1912. A touchdown was increased from five points to six.
- 1920. American Professional Football Association Formed, which changed its named in 1922 to National Football League (NFL).
- 1930. 13-30th July. The first FIFA World Cup takes place in Uruguay.
- 1930. Forward pass was legalised from anywhere behind the line of scrimmage.
- 1937. First football match to be screened on televisions. The BBC broadcasted a friendly match between Arsenal and Arsenal Reserves from Highbury.
- 1939. First televised pro football game.
- 1950. 24th June - 16th July. After a 12-year hiatus due to WWII. the FIFA World Cup returns and is played for the first time outside Europe since 1930 in Brazil.
- 1959. The American Football League (AFL) is founded as a rival to the NFL.
- 1967. Super Bowl I, known as the time as the First AFL-NFL World Championship Game, is played. The Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.
- 1970. The AFL and BFL merge.
- 1973. First Football video game. Soccer.
- 1981. The number of points awarded to a team for a win is changed from two to three in order to encourage attacking football.
- 1986. The United States Football League won just $1 of its $11,7 billion antitrust suit against the NFL.
- 1990. The offside law is altered to give the advantage to the attacking team..
- 1992. The Premier League is formed. Goalkeepers are banned from handling deliberate back-passes.
- 1998. The International Federation Football (IFAF) is founded with 62 member nations across 6 continents.
- Association football. A world sport. There are over 200 national teams competing in international football under FIFA.
- High profile. During the Super Bowl, a thirty-second commercial costs around $3.5 million dollars.
- Top 5 soccer earnings: 1) Wayne Rooney - $17m; 2) Samuel Eto'o - $19m; 3) Cristiano Ronaldo - $24m; 4) David beckham - $26m; 5) Lionel Messi - $28; 6) Ndamukong Suh - $36m; 7) Larry Fitzgerald - $37m; 8) Haloti Ngata -
$37m; 9) Peyton Manning - $42m; 20) Drew Brees - $49m.
Top five teams by revenue
- Soccer: 1) Real madrid - $624m; 2) FC Barcelona - $586m; 3) Manchester United - $477m; 4) Bayern Munich - $418m; 5) Arsenal - $327m.
- NFL: 1) Dallas Cowboys - $500m; 2) New England Patriots - $380m; 3) Washington Redskins - $373m; 4) New York Giants - $326m; 5) Houston Texans - $304m.
How many people follow each sport today?
- No one knows how many fans there are of each sport worldwide, but: 1) People watched the 2010 FIFA World Cup final (according to FIFA) - 619.7 million; 2) People watched Super Bowl XLVI in 2012: 111.3 million (according to
Produced and designed by MonsterBet | Sources: Dunmore T. J. (2011). Historical Dictionary of Soccer, Scarecrow Press; Lennox O. (2008), Now You Know Soccer, Duncum; History of Football on TV - www.live-
footballontv.com; The First Televised Game - www.profootballhof.com; FIFA History - www.fifa.com; Chronology of Professional Football - www.static.nfl.com; Goal-line technology moves closer after FIFA authorises two
systems - www.bbc.co.uk; The Franchise - The inside story of how "Madden NFL" became a video game dynasty - sports.espn.go.com; IFAF Federation List - www.ifaf.info; Robo Cup - www.robocup.org; FUJISOFT - Social
Responsibility - www.fsi.co.jp; Premier League spending breaks £4bn over last decade - www.bbc.co.uk; Trillion Dollar Wealth of new Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour Bin Al Nahyan - www.minorfootball.co.uk; Deloitte
Football Money League 2012 - www.deloitte.com; NFL Team Values - www.forbes.com; More than 200 million tune into FL games in 2011 - www.nflcommunications.com; 10 most common World Cup questions (with answers) -