Was Football Invented In The Middle East?
Association football, also commonly called simply football, is an inter-collegiate team sport played between two sides of eleven players each. It is played professionally by more than 250 million people in more than 200 countries and dependencies, which make it the world’s third most popular sport. Youth football is becoming the key development area for aspiring players around the world. The game can be adapted to any environment: from the flat, open fields of the north, through the harsh weather and icy streets of the winter, to the freezing cold of the deep south. Youth players are trained to tackle, pass and score, all while having fun.
England has enjoyed a great history in football; the English won three World Cups and three English Division One titles. Many of the world famous names in football have their roots in England including legends Des cartes, Brian Clough and John Terry. Professional football is popular in many countries outside of Europe, and English football is arguably the most popular. The four nations that compete in the Football League – Aston Villa, Liverpool, Manchester United and West Ham – regularly attract huge numbers of fans. The English game is also popular with many fans in the States, Australia and Canada because they do not face many obstacles in playing on a regular basis compared to other sports.
The English football league is similar to its American counterpart, the American soccer league in that it allows free association football where players wear helmets and pads. Unlike football in America, however, the football in England does not use the end zone for scoring. Instead the goal is scored when the ball crosses the goal line, with the team scoring two points for a touchdown and one point for a foul by the opposition.
The National Football League has been around since Division II of the United States Football Association and has long been a rival to the English football association. The NFL has enjoyed more success than the English league at international level but has never been able to challenge for the premiership title. Currently the NPL is without a league championship since 1994.
Another footballing country that has enjoyed a high success rate in recent years is Australia. The A-League has long been one of the top domestic competitions in Australia with some of the countries top teams such as Melbourne Victory, Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar. The A-League champions are Western Sydney Wanderers and the current third placed team, Western Sydney Wanderers have not tasted defeat in fifteen matches. The current generation of players to come through the A-League have grown up in the English football system and although the standard of play is not anywhere near what it once was there is hope for the future. The A-League has high standards and a long way to go before it can challenge for the Premiers League title again.
FOOTBALL has been around for a very long time and it will continue to be around for a very long time. It has been said that football is the “oldest sport” but if you ask the Romans or Egyptians they would tell you differently and both of those cultures played the game much differently to the way we play it today. I am sure there were many other sports that existed before football but if we were to count the number of sportspersons that died during the long history of the game perhaps there may be a few names that come to mind.