Football The First Kicks

We do not know exactly when football madness began. Kicking a ball around was popular from Egypt to South America, from Greece to China. But the word “football” first appeared in a proclamation issued by King Edward III of England in 1363. The instigator of the Hundred Years War forbade his subjects from playing “handball, football, or hockey; coursing and cock-fighting, or such idle games.” In those days, the inhabitants of the British Isles played football in a crowd — without any rules and restrictions on the number of players. The games would often end in street fights, with the ensuing consequences. But despite bans from city authorities, football continued to gain popularity. The modern format of the game, in which two teams of 11 play on a limited field, appeared only in the middle of the 19th century in England. But every football team played by their own rules. That was a problem for tournaments. A single code — “The Cambridge Rules” — appeared in 1846, turning street entertainment into a serious sport.

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