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Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Throughout history, humans have played some version of a kicking game. What the world now calls assocaition football, or soccer, or evolved in medieval Britain and was formalized by England's Foofball Association in mid-19th century. British sailors and merchants spread the game to the far corners of the world, where soccers' simple formula -- imagination and a ball -- found instant translation. Today the game is played in every nation on earth, by more than 120 million regular players and countless others on beaches, playgrounds and streets.

The Evolution
Precursors to association football -- soccer, for short - began as far back as 1200 B.C. , with the Chinese kicking game tsu chu. Similar games have been played the world over, from the Romans' harpastum to the North American Indians' pasuckuakohowog. English, "mob football" was widely popular, but so violent that it was outlawed five times by medieval kings. In the 1840s, English schools finally drew up rules for this rough-and-tumble football, and the modern game took place.

In the late 1800s, "football" gave rise to a number of organized games in which hands and feet were used to advance the ball.

Australian rules football.


American Football

Gaelic Football

Canadian Football

Soccers' governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was formed.
Founding European members:

First African member, South Africa

then followed by:
First South American member: Argentina

then followed by:
First North American member: Canada

International soccer play is slowed by the start of WWII. A handful of goodwill matches between combatants are held on neutral territory.

England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales resign from FIFA to protest continuing membership of former enemies from WWI.

First radio broadcast of a game, in England.

then followed by:
First Asian member: Thailand

First World Cup held in Uruguay. Thirteen countries participated, Uruguay wins.
Reeling from the Depression in Europe, many countries skip the World Cup in Uruguay.

First live, televised soccer game, in England.

Japan and Germany removed from FIFA for four years after WWII.

then followed by:
First Australian and Oceanic member, New Zealand.

Fourth World Cup tournament, delayed eight years because of WWII.

First live international TV coverage of World Cup, in Sweden. Brazeil wins.
China withdraws from FIFA after Taiwan is admitted. Rejoins in 1980.

Guinea becopmes FIFA's 100th member.

Turning point for U.S. soccer. Pele' joins the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League.

South Africa expelled from FIFA over apartheid, reinstated in 1992.

A rise in hooliganism and fan disasters prompts England, in 1990, to ban fenced enclosures in stadiums.

Breaking of Yugoslavia and U.S.S.R. add 14 new membes to FIFA.
First FIFA Women's World Cup, played in China, U.S. wins.

For Bosnia aggression, Yugoslavia barred from European Championship Finals.

Members grouped by continent, not FIFA convention.

Newest membes to join FIFA: Comoros and East Timor.

North America (Total players: 29,040,900)
A sport for everyone
Soccer in the U.S. is both male and female sport, since a 1970s boom in youth soccer taught girls to play -- and equal opportunity laws opened new horizons for them at the college level. In 1991 the U.S., won the first Women's World Cup, and repeated in 1999. With a strong showing in World Cup 2002, the U.S. men are also on the rise, although on any given day regional rivals Mexico and Canada -- or smaller nations such as Guatemala or Costa Rica -- can humble their giant neighbor. Soccer is the great equalizer.

South America (Total players: 15,236,800/Adult and youth participation less than 1percent)
Barrios and big money
Overcoming chronic poverty and poor infrastructure, South America consistently produces some of themost exciting soccer on Earth. Brazil and Argentina are proving grounds for young players, whose flambouyance and skill are admired by the rest of the world. Many players are snapped up by wealthy European teams after making their mark at home, where clubs rarely have the money to keep them.

Europe(Total players: 35,783,000)
Lure of the rich and famous
Birthplace of the modern game, England helped popularize soccer worldwide; in 1966, on its home soil, it won its single World Cup. Roday most global soccer revenue comes from Europe, home to the world's richest professional clubs. Hosted by Germany, the 2006 World Cup will bring together the best national teams in the world, who survived a rigorous, two-year competition to qualify.

Africa (Total players: 6,984,500/Youth female participants less than 1percent)
Soccer's new frontier
Africa already produces its share of superstars, but it lacks strong domestic leagues and loses many of those stars to European clubs. Like South America, Africa is poor in resources but rich in talent, with thousands of gifted young players dreaming of the big time. Teams such as Nigeria and Ghana light up the world stage and could have a home continent advantage in 2010, when South Africa hosts Africa's first World Cup.

Asia (34,708,100/Adult and youth female participation less than 1percent)
A growing passion
Over the past two decades, a heated soccer rivalry -- among Japan, China and South Korea -- has stirred soccer passions acorss the continent. Not all countries share the fervor, however; India and Pakistan prefer other sports, especially cricket. Meanwhole, oil-rich Persian Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar are investing huge sums of money in their programs, hiring the best coaches and playersw money can buy.

Australia and Oceania (Total players: 628,300)
Soccer down under
Long dominated by cricket, rugby and Austrialian Rules football, Australia had lately made room for soccer, fortifying its national team with immigrants from the Balkans and otehr soccer-mad regions. The 2006 World Cup will be Australia's first appearance in 32 years, after beating Uruguay in a dramatic playoff series to qualify. New Zealand, which hosted teh Under 17 World Championship in 1999, also has a competitive national team.

(Source: Abstracted from NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC from FIFA, First World Atlas of Football)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:19 AM  
  • At 9:35 AM, Blogger Calluminho said…

    Do you always copy your work right off the national geographic paper or is that just for sports or topics you know nothing about?

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