The Difference Between Association Football and Soccer

Association football, also known as just football or simply soccer, is an international team game played between two teams of eleven players each. It’s played internationally with more than 250 countries and dependencies, which make it the most popular sport in the world. It’s also one of the oldest. Most people start to play it during their childhood, with most kids starting to play it before they turn eleven. Today, football is even more popular than it was in previous years thanks largely to the growth of the World Cup tournaments.


The rules of Association football are very simple. A referee stands on the sidelines, holding a red and white flag, and players kick the ball with their feet. The object of the game is for your team to score more points (“rows”), than the opposition, who is designated with a blue and white flag. This game is played for three periods of twenty-five minutes each, with regulation time beginning and ending at halftime. There are basically three phases to a game of Association football. There are Regular Season Football, Exhibition Season Football, and the Season Finale.

To see football from a very literal standpoint, you would probably be hard pressed to see much of a difference between Exhibition and Regular Season Football. During Exhibition Season, teams take part in pre-season friendlies, training drills, and friendly matches with other professional teams. They also play against other recreational teams for the fun of it. However, the regular season of Association football sees football played against other professional teams for a season total of about forty-five minutes, including overtime if necessary. When the season ends, another season begins with another exhibition or training session before the start of the league season.

During the early years of Association football, before the game became professional, there was only one officially licensed code that governed the game, which was “written, governed, and printed” by FIFA (Federation of International Football Associations). However, over the course of the twentieth century, other international governing bodies began to be recognized as creating their own sets of rules and regulations for the sport of football. As such, football evolved into what we know today as “rugby” in America, “soccer” in Europe, “futebol” in Latin America, and “football” in Asia and Australia. In this day and age, football continues to be played professionally around the world in different countries, with the most common competitions being “league” and “cup” competitions. Each of these has its own specific rules, which often differ slightly from country to country.

Another major difference between Association football and Futbol is that futbol is considered the mother of all football codes, having started in Bolivia way back in 1988. Whereas Association football started out as an English amateur sport, becoming known as “adders” in countries like England and Scotland, it developed its own set of rules and overtime regulations that have lasted throughout the entire international soccer arena. The primary differences between the two is that Association football uses a ball, whose size and weight are regulated by the FIFA (Federation of International Football Associations) rulesbook, whereas Futbol uses an aluminum cylinder, similar to a basketball cylinder, which is round on the outside but has a center cylinder that has a handle on the inside. The ball used in Association football must be uniform in size, weight and surface; unlike the aluminum cylinder used in futbol, which can vary greatly in diameter and weight, depending on the rules of the game. Even though futbol uses an aluminum cylinder as opposed to a ball, the two sports do share some similarities, such as the fact that both require players to wear protective gear, such as gloves.

The game of Association football is played throughout different codes within a country, while soccer is played in different nations and is considered one of the fastest growing contact sports. Because of this, there are currently twenty different codes in existence. Each code has its own set of rules to play by, which is why World Cup tournaments are held in different countries but are played within the same league.