The History of Soccer: From Ancient China to Modern England

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, and it has a long and fascinating history. While England is often credited with inventing the game, it is known that the Chinese were the first to kick balls in the 3rd century BC. C. Modern football was invented in 19th century England and was mainly played by private school teams and soccer clubs.

The game originated from a game from the medieval period of the 9th century called “popular football” that was played in England, in which teams of players competed to carry a pig's bladder from one point to another. Football began to evolve in modern Europe starting in the medieval period. Around the 9th century, entire villages in England were kicking a pig's bladder from one monument to another. Gambling was often seen as a nuisance and was even banned for some periods in British history.

Modern football was invented in England around the 1860s, when rugby separated from soccer. However, the first forms of football were recorded in the 2nd century BC. In China, during the Han Dynasty, an ancient form of football, Tsu Chu, was played. Although it was a much more physical game than modern football, and the use of hands stands out as a difference, the teamwork and strategy involved had an important impact on the development and invention of football.

The International Football Association Council (IFAB) is the so-called “guardian” of the Rules of the Game and is led by FIFA and the four British associations (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). The industrial revolution of the mid-18th century in Europe, which devastated England, helped to improve football logistics, since crowds could move from one side to the other (with the appearance of extensive railway networks) to watch the games. The game between England and Scotland ended 0-0 and was watched by 4,000 people at Hamilton Crescent (the image shows illustrations from this time). The mostly industrial club teams in the north of England played in a way according to the Sheffield rules, and the public schools in the south played soccer in a different way, according to the Cambridge rules.

Over time, more and more soccer clubs and leagues from England joined the FA and followed the regulatory rules of the game. From a few schools and clubs in England in the 19th century to billions of people around the world who enjoy it today, football has grown exponentially and now has a global reach and influence. Scotland's claim about its invention or origins is based on facts such as that the oldest football in the world was discovered in Stirling Castle's Royal Palace and dates back to around 1540.

Sue Ayars
Sue Ayars

Wannabe travel fanatic. Freelance bacon fan. Incurable sushi trailblazer. Friendly music junkie. Infuriatingly humble zombie junkie.