The History of Soccer
One of the earliest forms of soccer in which players kicked a ball on a small field has been traced as far back as 1004 B.C. in Japan. the Munich Ethnological Museum in Germany has a Chinese text from approximately 50 B.C. that mentions games very similar to soccer that were played between teams from china and Japan. The Chinese kicked a leather ball (filled) with hari) and it is known for sure that a soccer game was played in 611 A.D. in the ancient Japanese capital Kyoto.
The ancient Romans played a game that somewhat resembled modern soccer. The early Olympic games in ancient Rome featured twenty-seven men on a side who completed so vigorously that two-thirds of them had to be hospitalized after a fifty-minute game.
While ancient historians kept records of such conspicuous events as wars and religious movements, they apparently had little interest in preserving the various origins of soccer or other sports, so no one can say how soccer seems to have spread from Asia to Europe. But when the game finally did get to England, it had acquired a bad enough reputation among British royalty that the government sometimes passed laws against soccer.
In King Edward's reign of England (1307-1327), laws were passed that threatened imprisonment to anyone caught playing soccer. King Edward's proclamation said:"For as much as there is a great noise in the city caused by hustling over large balls, from which many evils may arise, which God forbid, we command and forbid on behalf of the King, on pain of imprisonment, such game to be used in the city future."
Evidently judged to be vulgar and indecent, soccer was at times suppressed by the English sheriffs who followed royal orders describing the game as a useless practice. King Henry IV and Henry VIII passed laws against the sport, and Queen Elizabeth I "had soccer players jailed for a week, with follow-up church penance"
Laws, however, failed to stop the sport, which had earned official sanction in England by 1681. The game became so popular by 1800s that, in certain annual contests in northern and middle England, large groups roamed and raged throguh towns and villages. In 1829, an account of such match in Derbyshire spoke of "broken skins, broken heads, torn coats and lost hats."
A historical record of the development of soccer in England shows that Eton college had the earliest known rules of the game in 1815, perhaps implying that until then, chaos was preferred over order. But order gradually came to the game, and standardized rules known as the Cambridge rules were adopted by England's major colleges.
At first, it was England where soccer was orginally banned, that eventually exported modern soccer to every continent in the world. today, undisputedly soccer is the most watched and played sport in the world enjoyed by billions of people. Soccer is the most watched single sports event in the world's history not surpassed even by the Olymplics. This sport is bigger than baseball, American football and basketball combined.