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Football, which is also often referred to as soccer outside the UK and association football throughout Europe, is a game of two teams and one ball – the football. Each team has 11 players and, using all parts of their bodies apart from their arms and hands, must try to get the ball into the other team’s goal.

The goal is, typically, a large rectangular frame with a net attached to the back. However, amateur games often just use markers such as traffic cones or, if you’re a teenager, sweaters or bags. When it’s not professional football, the rules are often relaxed.

It’s the goalkeeper’s job to stop the football going into the net. Each team has a goalkeeper who, as an exception, can use their hands to obstruct the ball. Although, they’re only allowed to do so in the penalty area – a small area in front of and around the goal.

In football, the team that scores the most goals by the end of the game wins. The standard length of a game is 90 minutes with a short break, known as ‘half time’, at the 45-minute mark. However, youth football games are often shorter – typically, they only last 45-60 minutes.



Football has a detailed history that spans centuries. Some of the most important moments for the game since it was first played include:

Signs of football in China in the third century BC - History books states that the Han Dynasty played Tsu’ Chu, a game with remarkable similarities to football. It involved kicking a feather-stuffed leather ball through a small opening made from cane and netting.

‘Harpastum’, the Greek’s take on football - Greek texts describe a game in which two teams had to try to get the ball over the other team’s boundary line.  토토 The game was played on a rectangular field with a marked centre line, which sounds very similar to modern football pitches.

Football chaos in Britain in 1314 and beyond - The Lord Mayor of London banned football, or a similar game as it was known then, in 1314. You could even be sent to prison if you were caught playing football in the city.

Football as a distraction - For the 100 years France and Britain were at war, football was deemed illegal as it made soldiers unfocused.

The modern embrace of footba l- After centuries of negativity surrounding the game, football thrived in the 19th century and beyond. Villages would come together to play against each other, which is still very much the case today.

Independence in football in 1863 - Association football and rugby football used to be under the same umbrella, but they were separated in 1863, which is when the Football Association was born.

Standardising the ball - In 1871, the specifications of the ball used in football were set by the Football Association and have, near enough, stayed the same since.

FIFA takes over - The Association was founded in Paris in 1904 and now dictates the sport, with more than 73 members. It’s since FIFA was started that leagues have been standardised and football has become a global phenomenon. It has been growing ever since; the Association now has 208 international members.

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