Friday, August 5, 2016

Soccer: The sport that binds the world

Are you a die hard soccer fan? The history of the game should be registered in the mind of even the youngest of "want to be" great soccer players.

Soccer is famous among the layman by the name of ‘Football’. The term ‘Soccer’ has been derived from the word ‘assoc’ that in turn originated from ‘Association’. The game is basically about ‘playing ball with the foot’.

Today, football is played at a professional level all over the world, and millions of people regularly go to football stadium to follow their favourite team, whilst billions more watch the game on television. Since, soccer evokes great passions and plays an important role in the life of individual fans, local communities, and even nations; it is therefore often claimed to be one of the most popular sports in the world.

The game of soccer, played between two teams of 11 players each, is by far the most popular sports in the world. The game is played with a ball on a rectangular grass field with a goal at each end of the field. The object of the game is to score by manoeuvring the ball into the opposing goal. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. A game is officiated by a referee, who has "full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been appointed" and whose decisions are final. The referee is assisted by two assistant referees. A standard adult football match consists of two periods of 45 minutes each, known as halves. There is usually a 15-minute "half-time" break between halves. The end of the match is known as "full-time."

The contemporary history of soccer dates back to more than 100 years. It all began in 1863 in England, when rugby football and association football branched off on their different courses and the world's first football association was founded - The Football Association in England. Both forms of football have a common base and both have a long and intricately branched ancestral tree. After the English Football Association, the next oldest are the Scottish FA (1873), the FA of Wales (1875) and the Irish FA (1880). Strictly speaking, at the time of the first international match, England had no other partner association against which to play. The spread of soccer outside of Great Britain, mainly due to the British influence abroad, started slow, but it soon gathered momentum and spread rapidly to all parts of the world and today it is an undeniable truth that the game has die-hard fans all over the globe.

Scholars might have conflicting views on the origins of the game and the influences that certain cults may have had on its evolution, but one thing is absolute truth: football has flourished for over a thousand years in diverse rudimentary forms, in the very region which we describe as its home, England and the British Isles.

Football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA). The most prestigious international football competition is the World Cup, held every four years. More than 190 national teams compete in qualifying tournaments within the scope of continental confederations for a place in the finals. Since 1900, Summer Olympic Games also holds a football tournamnet. After the World Cup, the most important football competitions are the continental championships, which are organised by each continental confederation and contested between national teams. These are the European Championship (UEFA), the Copa América (CONMEBOL), African Cup of Nations (CAF), the Asian Cup (AFC)Psychology Articles, the CONCACAF Gold Cup (CONCACAF) and the OFC Nations Cup (OFC).
 

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