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FOOTBALL (SOCCER)

Do you like to play football? Or just like to watch it?
What is Football?
Football is one of the world's most popular games. It is played in nearly every country, by everyone from kids in vacant lots and back streets to professional players in giant stadiums. Professional football is watched by billions of people all over the world, and is probably the world's most popular spectator sport.


History

The earliest known form of the game was developed in China around 500 B.C. It was known as cuju ('kick-ball') and was played with a leather ball. The object was to kick the ball into a net stretched between two goal-posts. By 800 A.D. there was a well-organized professional league in China, and similar games were also being played in Korea and Japan.

The earliest form of the game that we know of in Europe was played in England around 1100 A.D. It was played between big teams, sometimes whole villages, on a large field, and the ball could be thrown, kicked, or carried towards the opponent's goal. There were very few rules and games were often wild and rough. The game was repeatedly banned by the authorities because of the violence and injuries it caused.

How The Game Works?

The modern game first developed in England in the 19th century. The Football Association was set up in 1863 and the 'Laws of the Game' were drawn up in the same year. In 1882 the International Football Association Board (IFAB) was formed, and this organization still oversees the rules of the game. Then FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) was founded in 1904 to run international competitions. FIFA still runs the World Cup, as well as regional competitions such as the European and Asian Cups.

The modern game is played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. Players pass the ball to each other by kicking or heading it, with the aim being to score goals by getting the ball into the opponent's goal. The game lasts for two 45-minute halves, and the team scoring the most goals wins. Draws are common, but if a winner has to be found, a game can go into extra time. If the score is still tied after thirty minutes of extra time, a 'penalty shootout' can decide the winner.

In general play, the goalkeeper is the only player who can touch the ball with the hands or arms. All the other players can kick or head the ball only. Players can tackle an opponent in order to get the ball from them, but must do so without pushing or tripping the player. Pushing and tripping, along with other illegal actions such as 'handball' and 'offside', are fouls that can be penalized with a free kick. If a foul is committed in the penalty area near either goal, the referee can award a penalty kick, meaning a player can have a free shot at goal, with only the goalkeeper being allowed to try to block it. If a player commits a more serious offence, such as dangerous play, the referee can issue a yellow card as a warning, or issue a red card, in which case the player is sent off and cannot be replaced by a substitute. Teams are normally allowed three substitutes, which can be used to replace players because of injury, or for tactical reasons.

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