The Origin and Development of Football

Apr. 12, 2021

The Origin and Development of Football

The germination and development of ancient football

Football is an ancient sporting activity with a long history. It is said that the Greeks and Romans had engaged in a football game before the Middle Ages. They were on a rectangular field, placed the ball on the white line in the middle, and kicked the ball onto the opposing field with their feet. At that time, they called this game "Habastom". By the beginning of the 19th century, football was already quite popular in some countries in Europe and Latin America, especially in the UK. It was not until 1848 that the first written rule of ball sports, the "Cambridge Rules", was born.


However, numerous data indicate that ancient Chinese football appeared earlier than Europe and has a longer history. Ancient Chinese football is called "cuju" or "taju", "cu" and "ta" both mean kicking, and "ju" is the name of the ball. The term "cuju" was first recorded in the "Historical Records of the Bandit and Zhang Qi". Both Liu Xiang's "Bielu" in the Han Dynasty and the Tang Yanshi's "Han Shu. Mei Cheng Biography" were both recorded. In the Tang and Song dynasties, "cuju" activities had become very popular and became an elegant activity in the court.

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                        (On the left is an antique four-piece Cuju ball, and on the right is an antique eight-piece Cuju ball.)

In July 1958, when the current chairman of FIFA, Dr. Avelange, came to China, he said that football originated in China. As early as 3,500 years ago in the Yin Dynasty, there was a "football dance". This is the prototype of the ancient football game. The collective "cuju" game was popular among the people in the Warring States Period. By the Western Han Dynasty, football has further developed into a competitive sport. Football, as one of the contents of ancient Chinese civilization, was introduced to the Middle East in the fourth century BC due to the war launched by the ancient Greek King Alexander of Macedonia. Later, it was introduced to Rome and developed into a competitive game in which the ball is brought to the other side to win. Then, this game was spread to France due to the war, and then to Britain in 1066.


           (The scene of ancient Cuju)

The birth of modern football

Starting from the middle and late 17th century, football has gradually spread from Europe and the United States to countries around the world, especially in some culturally developed countries. More and more people go to the stadium and devote themselves to this exciting and enjoyable sport, so that at one time the development of football was used as a measure of the cultural development of a country. In this case, the British took the lead in making important contributions to the development of football. On October 26, 1863, the British established the world's first football association, the English Football Association, in the Freemason Hotel, Queen Street, London. In addition to announcing the official establishment of the English Football Association at the meeting, the world's first more unified football competition rules were formulated and passed and recorded in written form.

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