Football is played by about 240 million people around the world according to the statistics taken out by FIFA in the year 2001 and that was 15 years ago, imagine by how much the numbers must have increased now specially after the popularity of the 2010 World Cup.
Football has been played since a long time, they might not exactly be football but they were different forms but any sport that had to do with a ball being controlled by a leg has been connected to football. For example the Chinese played a game where they had put a ball through a goal using their hands and legs and so did the old Greeks but the game played by the Greeks can hardly be compared to football as it was a way more violent form of football and was more of a mixture of wrestling and football and has more resemblance to the Rugby format.
The modern football rules were formulated in the Cambridge University matches and we saw the rise of football in the public schools of England in the 1800’s. Later on the Sheffield FA played football with their own set of rules and these were later absorbed in to FA to form their own rules. Later, the FA trophy was created with 11 teams and this is the oldest running football tournament in the world
Football is generally played on a rectangular field between two squads for 90 minutes and each squad comprises of 11 players, including a goalkeeper. There are two goals on each side of field of equal size and it is the responsibility of the goalkeeper to block a goal while another team tries to score in the goal. The game is played for 90 minutes in two halves and whichever team has scored the most goals in that time frame, wins the game. If the score is the same then the game is continued into extra time or any other formats like penalty shootouts, golden goal, etc. You can touch the ball with any part of your body other than your arm, only the goalkeeper is allowed to touch ball with his arms inside his own half.
There are four match officials who are used in a game and they are responsible to check if the game is being played fairly or not. One is the referee and he roams around the field checking every movement of players around the ball and they have the right to issue warnings to players in the form of yellow card or even ask a player to leave the field by dismissing him using a red card. A referee’s decision is final and is unquestionable. There are two linesmen on two sides of the field and they are the judge of throw ins and offsides. There is also a fourth official who keeps the benches of the two teams in check and officiates substituitions. The referee is also the official time keeper of the game and can add extra time at the end of halves due to stoppage of play during the normal time due to injuries and substituitions.
There are many terms in football that you need to be sure of before you get into the game. Fouls are conceded when a player from an opponent team tackles another player without touching the ball and there is only contact between the legs and other parts of the body. Depending on the intensity of the foul committed. The referee might just give a warning or even show a yellow card or sometimes a direct dismissal with the use of the red card.
If the ball goes out of the field then it is brought in by the team using their hand or legs. Hands are used in thrown ins along the length of the field and feet are used in corner kicks along the width of the pitch.
If games are stopped in the game due to an injury or any other convenience then the game is started with a drop of the ball or an indirect free kick. If a foul is committed by a team then the game is restarted with a direct free kick against the team. In an indirect free kick you can’t score directly from the spot whereas in a direct free kick you can score a goal directly from the spot.
The last important term to understand is the offside. An offside is committed when a player of a squad is beyond the line of the opposition’s defence line or if the player is beyond the opposition’s last defender when the pass is played to him. Then it is called offside and the other team gets a free kick.
There are many organizations that control the footballing entities and every continent has their own governing bodies. FIFA is the largest governing body that control all the other bodies from the various continents. They have their headquarters at Zurich and Gianni Infantino is the current president. They were created in 1904 and are responsible for hosting various tournaments like the FIFA World Cup, FIFA world Club Cup, the Confederations Cup and other fusbal and beach football tournaments.
FIFA has total revenue of 1.3 billion USD every year and generate a net profit of 700 million USD. They are responsible for giving away awards like the Ballon’D Or and other awards for various feats during a season. They keep official records of all the matches around the globe and are also seeing to development of new technologies so that they can make the game completely fair. During the 2014 World Cup they used goal line technology so that they get more precise results and the technology has been received with positive reviews.
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