The origins of football
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The Origins of Football. Football’s Beginnings. The origin of Football can be found in every corner of geography and history. The Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Ancient Greek, Persian, Viking, and many more played a ball game long before our era.

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Football s beginnings
Football’s Beginnings

  • The origin of Football can be found in every corner of geography and history.

  • The Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Ancient Greek, Persian, Viking, and many more played a ball game long before our era.

  • The Chinese played "football"  games date as far back as 3000 years ago.

  • The Ancient Greeks and the Roman used football  games to sharpen warriors for battle. In South and Central America a game called "Thlatchi" once flourished.

Mesoamerican football
Mesoamerican Football

TheMesoamerican ballgame or Tlatchtli in Náhuatl was a sport with ritual associations played since 1,400 B.C. by the pre-Columbian peoples of Ancient Mexico and Central America. The sport had different versions in different places during the millennia, and a modern version of the game, ulama, is still played in a few places by the local indigenous population.

  • The rules of the ballgame are not known, but judging from its descendant, ulama, they were probably similar to racquetball. where the aim is to keep the ball in play. The stone ballcourt goals (see photo to right) are a late addition to the game. This later addition of the game changed the game entirely though, since an immediate win could be attained from them by tossing the balls in the ring, or points could be scored by simply tossing the ball so that it touched the ring.In the most widespread version of the game, the players struck the ball with their hips, although some versions allowed the use of forearms, rackets, bats, or handstones. The ball was made of solid rubber and weighed as much as 4 kg (9 lbs), and sizes differed greatly over time or according to the version played.The game had important ritual aspects, and major formal ballgames were held as ritual events, often featuring human sacrifice. The sport was also played casually for recreation by children and perhaps even women.

Roman football
ROMAN FOOTBALL its descendant,

  • HARPASTUM, also known as Harpustum, was a form of ball game played in the Roman Empire. The Romans also referred to it as the small ball game. The ball used was small (not as large as a follis, paganica, or soccer-sized ball) and hard, probably about the size and solidity of a softball.

  • The word harpastum is the latinisation of the Greek ἁρπαστόν (harpaston), the neuter of ἁρπαστός (harpastos), "carried away”, from the verb ἁρπάζω (harpazo), "to seize, to snatch”.

  • This game was apparently a romanized version of a Greek game called phainind (Greek: φαινίνδα), or of another Greek game called ἐπίσκυρος (episkuros). It involved considerable speed, agility, and physical exertion.

  • Little is known about the exact rules of the game, but sources indicate the game was a violent one with players often ending up on the ground. In Greece, a spectator (of the Greek form of the game) once had his leg broken when he got caught in the middle of play.

Football in europe
Football in Europe its descendant,

  • As we go forward on the history of Football timeline, we notice that the game has gradually entered European territory, Europe being the place where modern day Football will start in several centuries.

  • Middle age Football is covered in a combination of myth and historical facts.

  • One popular form of the game (Mob Football) involved entire villages or towns and was rather chaotic.

Football in europe cont
Football in Europe (cont.) its descendant,

  • The teams could have unlimited players, as long as they were from the same village or town. Both teams had to kick the ball towards specific landmarks, and defend their own.

  • To add more chaos, the ball was made out of inflated pigs' bladders, or leather skins stuffed with all sorts of materials.

  • Picture two masses of people running towards a poor pig bladder ball, kicking, stomping, punching and pushing each other in the attempt to kick the object to some area.

Football in europe cont1
Football in Europe (cont.) its descendant,

  • In medieval France, a game called "La Choule" was usually played in town gatherings, such as just after Sunday church, or on special occasions or holidays.

  • The game itself looked like a combination of Football, handball, hockey, baseball and kickboxing, since the players of each team had to strike the ball into the opponent's goal, using whatever means necessary and whatever accessories necessary.

  • For example, one record shows that players were allowed to use sticks or clubs to hit the ball around, although it wasn't always the ball that got hit.

History continued
History Continued its descendant,

  • The game was violent in nature and I assume there were plenty occasions where the after-church Choule match ended up with another trip to the church to confess some violent sins.

  • In England, the game was surrounded by an aura of violence and was considered a dangerous and sinful game. As such, it was banned in 1314 by Nicholas de Farndone, the Mayor of London.

Calcio fiorentino
Calcio Fiorentino its descendant,

  • Calcio Fiorentino was an early form of football that originated in 16th century Italy. The Piazza Santa Croce of Florence is the cradle of this sport, that became known as giuoco del calcio fiorentino ("Florentine kick game") or simply calcio ("kick").The official rules of calcio were published for the first time in 1580 by Giovanni de' Bardi,a Florentine count.

  • Just like Roman harpastum, it was played in teams of 27, using both feet and hands. Goals could be scored by throwing the ball over a designated spot on the perimeter of the field. The playing field is a giant sand pit with a goal running the width of each end. There is a main referee, six linesmen and a field master. Each game is played out for 50 minutes with the winner being the team with the most points or 'cacce'.Originally, calcio was reserved for rich aristocrats,who played every night between Epiphany and Lent. In the Vatican, even Popes, such as Clement VII, Leo XI and Urban VIII were known to play.

Football grows popular
Football Grows Popular its descendant,

  • Despite this ban, Football became to grow in medieval England and it was not long that it was introduced in English public schools in order to keep young boys fit.

  • Since Football was growing strong in English public schools, the idea of having an organized tournament sparked in the 19th century.

Cobb morley and the origins of british football
Cobb Morley and the Origins of British Football its descendant,

  • In 1862, a solicitor by the name of Cobb Morley, formed a semi-professional Football club in Barnes, called the Barnes Club.

  • Cobb Morley is rightfully considered the father of Football, but that's not just because he was the one to spark the idea of the Football Association.

  • He also drew up the Laws of the Game, probably the most important document in the history of Football, since it held all the official rules around which the game would be played.

Football becomes official
Football Becomes Official its descendant,

  • Cobb Morley's rules were accepted by the Football Association on the 8th of December, 1863 and have since stood as the game's constitution, although they were slightly modified throughout time to meet the needs of modern Football.

  • It only took around 3 decades after the first official rules of Football were laid down by Cobb Morley and the English Football Association and the game was already wide spread throughout Europe, Australia and the Americas.

Football the public schools
Football – the Public Schools its descendant,

Football was played in the Public Schools. Each school had their own rules.

This is ‘prince’ Harry playing Eton football.


Modern football
Modern Football its descendant,

Football was taken to the masses by ex-public school boys, as they went off to own and manage factories and mines. These ‘gentlemen’ wanted the game kept amateur – but this meant working men could not play as they couldn’t afford to miss work.

The world s first football club
The World’s First Football Club its descendant,

The oldest club in the world is Sheffield FC.

This was followed by Notts. County FC.

In 1862 a group of Nottingham business men and cricketers met in the Lion Hotel, Nottingham, to form the Notts. County Football Club.. All the players were amateurs, reasonably well-off, and usually added up to 11 or 12 players with nine forwards and two backs, or behinds. Hacking of shins, tripping and elbowing were allowed and the goalkeeper could be charged out of the way of a shot even if he was nowhere near the ball.

The football association 1863
The Football Association - 1863 its descendant,

The F.A. was founded to draft a common set of rules for ‘Association Football’ (‘Football’)

Eleven players on each side became football law in 1870 and a year later the F.A. Cup was introduced.

In 1875 crossbars were introduced instead of tape

1878 saw the first floodlit match at Sheffield and a referee's whistle sounded for the first time in a match between Nottingham Forest and Sheffield.

Football s rise in popularity
Football’s rise in popularity its descendant,

“The attendances at the association games showed that the English working class had at last found a cheap and amusing way of spending a Saturday afternoon” – L.Woodward ‘Age of Reform’

Reasons for football s growth
Reasons for football’s growth its descendant,

  • the growth of the railways from the 1840s allowed people to travel around England

  • football was cheap – it required very little equipment, could be played almost anywhere and in almost any weather

As football spread
As football spread… its descendant,

Inter-county and inter-city competitions became popular. The FA Cup was first played for in 1871, and the Football League founded in 1888.

The Original FA Cup.

This was stolen and never found in 1895!

The original twelve league clubs

Accrington Stanley its descendant,

Aston Villa

Blackburn Rovers

Bolton Wanderers


Derby County


Notts. County

Preston North End

Stoke City

West Bromwich Albion

Wolverhampton Wanderers

The Original Twelve League Clubs

An industrial game
An Industrial Game its descendant,

The original twelve league clubs.

A different world
A different world…. its descendant,

When Blackburn supporters visited London for the FA Cup Final in 1883, the Pall Mall Gazette reported

“a northern horde of uncouth garb and strange oaths – like a tribe of Sudanese Arabs let loose.”

Uncouth – scruffy

Garb - clothes

For an industrial people
For an Industrial People its descendant,

As acts were passed limiting the length of the working week, the factories and mines shut at mid-day on Saturdays. This allowed workers to go and play, and watch the 3pm matches.

Not for them the luxury of the middle classes to play and watch cricket and golf – which last a lot longer than 90 minutes!

3pm saturday
3pm Saturday its descendant,

The growth of professionalism
The Growth of Professionalism its descendant,

As crowds grew, special stadiums needed to be built. The owners charged admission fees, and tried to attract the best players.

“Broken-time” payments were made to players to compensate their loss of wages. Many ‘gentlemen’ were horrified at this erosion of the ‘amateur spirit’.

Amateur vs professional
Amateur vs. Professional its descendant,

One ‘gentlemen’s’ club, The Corinthians completely refused to play for money, refused to play in cup competitions and even refused to take penalty kicks when awarded them – because they didn’t believe that any person would commit a foul!

Football was already mainly a working class sport and payments were common. This prevented the split which divided Rugby Union and League in 1895.

Growing participation
Growing participation its descendant,

In the 1930s municipal (council) playing fields and parks increased. A new generation of footballers was being given ground to bloom.

The Thirties was the boom decade for sport in England. Crowds of 60,000 were the norm for many clubs. The electric telegraph and radio allowed results to be spread quickly. Sports papers were sold on Saturday evenings with the same day’s results in them.

Football takes on the world
Football takes on the World its descendant,

English sailors took football with them to the ports of Italy, Spain, Brazil and Argentina.

Friendly games with the locals were played, and football fever spread. Juventus, Bologna, Fiorentina and many other clubs were set up by English exiles.

The World Cup was first played in 1930, but it wasn’t until cheap flights that world competitions took off, in the 1950s and 1960s.