Origin of Soccer

Sean Callaghan, Sports Reporter

There are a number of conflicting theories concerning the question of who invented soccer. Some suggest that the start of soccer dates back as far as 2500 BC. The Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese all appear to have partaken in foot-based games involving a ball at that time.

The Romans played a game called ‘Harpastum’ where the objective was to retain possession of a small ball for as long as possible. The Greeks competed in a similar game known as ‘Episkyros’. Both of these games reflected rules closer to rugby than modern day soccer.

The Chinese game of ‘Tsu-Chu’ translates to ‘kick ball’. Records of the game date back to the Tsin Dynasty (255 BC-206 BC). Tsu-Chu is a game in which soldiers competed in a training activity with a leather ball being kicked into a net strung between two poles, much like modern day soccer. The rules are pretty similar except for one differentiating aspect. The biggest difference between Tsu-Chu and soccer was the height of the goal, which hung about 30 feet from the floor.

From the introduction of Tsu-Chu onward, soccer-like games spread throughout the world. Many cultures having activities that centered on the use of their feet. The Native Americans had ‘Pahsaherman’, the Indigenous Australians ‘Marn Grook’ and the Moari’s ‘Ki-o-rahi’ to name a few.

Soccer today is very developed and has a large amount of rules, strategies, and teams. Soccer is the biggest global sport, and is the dominant sport in South America, Europe, and Africa.  The world cup final is watched by an estimated 600 million people and the annual Champions league final by more than 300 million.  More than 200 countries take part in the world cup qualifying. Soccer has 5 of 10 worlds highest attended leagues and stars Messi and Ronaldo in top 10 paid sports players.

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