Soccer is among the most popular sports in the contemporary world. The sport has gradually evolved since its establishment. Most changes are triggered by the establishment of rules and bodies to govern soccer clubs. Today, commercialization of soccer has led to the increased financial competitiveness of soccer clubs. Moreover, soccer has significantly contributed to the development of social welfare which as a result has led to increased popularity of the sport. This paper explores the development of soccer since its conception to date.
Most of the ancient civilizations performed soccer long before soccer was made a formal sport. Greeks were the first people to play soccer. However, that type of soccer was commonly referred to as episkyres. On the other hand, the Romans had their type of soccer referred to as Harpastum. However, the Roman and Greek types of soccers were more of Rugby other than soccer. By 50 A.D Chinese had already begun playing Tsu Chu (Goldblatt, 2002). Tsu Chu involved the kicking of the ball toward a square goal. Later, Japan and Persia developed a more soccer-like game. The games later were established in the North American region. In this form of a game, the Aztecs played the kicking of the game referred to as tlachtli.
La Soule or Choule was the first form of soccer that was established in Europe. This kind of play was first introduced in French. Later, the game was created in England after the invasion of the Norman Empire of 1066. Currently, England is perceived to be the cradle of the contemporary soccer game. Earlier, soccer was a form of a game that involved a mass of players. This game involved a mass of players whose main aim was to kick the ball towards a specified goal (Goldblatt, 2002). Originally, soccer player had no rules. As a result, the game depicted a high level of violence. The soccer players in 1365, the soccer game was banned by King Edward III after he raised concerns that the game constantly distracted his forces from making reparations for the war.
The contemporary form of soccer started within the institutions of learning particularly high schools, College, and the Universities in England. Institutions of learning in England played varying types of soccer in the 1800s. Each of the institutions played a unique formal set of guidelines. In 1845, rugby became the first types of game to adopt its set of guidelines which dictated how the game was to be played (Goldblatt, 2002). Later, several institutions of learning came together, and they devised several instructions that would guide the players. Soccer players and governing bodies assumed the name of Soccer Association in 1863. Their soccer game was referred to as the dubbed association soccer.
The development of Soccer association which was informally referred to as FA led to the development of the contemporary form of soccer. The integration of the common set of goals developed by a group of learning institutions in England into the soccer game played a critical role towards the development of the game. For instance, the rules led to the development of soccer leagues across the world (Goldblatt, 2002). Moreover, it led to the establishment of both tournaments within national leagues and international soccer clubs. Today, soccer has tremendously grown to a level where global nations compete for a tournament like the World cup. There are also growing competitive leagues mainly in Asia and Europe such as FA that was initiated in 1871.
The popularity of soccer rapidly evolved among the overall social groups in England. Originally, the FA comprised only 12 members most of which comprised school-based soccer clubs. By 1871, the members of FA had significantly risen to 128 (Taylor, 2017). This was due to the formation of clubs by both the cities as well as organizations. These developments positioned soccer as one of the leading sports across the world with most people across the world especially in Europe showing their growing interests towards the game.
The universal soccer was first initiated in both England and Scotland. These were the first nations to be involved in soccer on a global scale. Their first soccer match was played in 1872. The game involved 4000 fans in Glasgow, Scotland. In 1904, the Soccer Association was created as a universal soccer administrative organization. Its role was to oversee the development of the game across the world (Taylor, 2017). Later, FIFA was established as the world soccer governing organization. FIFA comprised some European nations among them Scotland which was one of the Soccer founding members. However, England and the FA were not part of FIFA formation.
The British public institutions of learning all of which were private entities started to enjoy a more standardized form of soccer despite the numerous differences with varying house regulations. Most of the learning institutions aimed at enhancing the safety of soccer to reduce the level of violence among the players which resulted in serious injuries and sometimes death of the players (Taylor, 2017). This was the core motivator for the development of Soccer Association which would help in the development of soccer rules and ensure that all the soccer rules established were followed (Springwood, 2016). In 1869, the use of hands in soccer was banned. From then, the game exploded in England as well as across the globe. In the 1890s the Soccer Association was developed in New Zealand as well as in South America. Moreover, the establishment of FA body was done on other sections of Europe.
IFAB (International Soccer Association Board) commonly perceived as the steward of soccer regulations was created in Britain in the year 1886. Its responsibilities were primarily to develop global soccer rules which would later be termed as the laws of soccer. The evolution of these laws since 1863 would encompass most of the modern soccer regulations like penalties and involvement of referees as a judge during a soccer match. Moreover, some of the rules developed at this stage included corner kicks as well as free-kicks. In 938, IFAB advanced all the gradual developments that took place in the previous half-century. In 1997, IFAB soccer laws were rewritten with the aim of making soccer a simple elegance sporting activity.
Today, soccer has become the most popular game in the world. Its popularity is mainly evident in America as well as Europe. Its history across the world is both interesting and vivid. The history of soccer indicated that the game was firstly developed in China during the 2nd and the 3rd centuries. The evolution of history was first done during the Han dynasty (Goldblatt, 2002). During this time, the soccer players played using a leather made football. They used to kick the ball towards a net. Historically, soccer was played mainly for fun as well as for frolic. In the history of the soccer, most of the players aimed at kicking the ball towards a spot. The gradual development of soccer is evident since its initiation to the current era.
Soccer had an excellent run as one of the Olympic game. This motivated FIFA to organize a global Championship contest which is currently referred to as the world cup. The first tournament took place in Uruguay in 1930. Uruguay won the tournament in 1934 and 1938. Later, Uruguay continued its successful soccer developed which show the country ranked among the top soccer performers in the world to date.
Today, soccer has become a critical tool for thousands of social development plans across the world most of which are managed by non-governmental organizations as well as community-based organizations. Most of these programs are detrimental to the development of children as well as other young generation (Rohde & Breuer, 2017). Soccer has been a useful tool for turning the lives of many young people. Most of the programs linked to soccer have significantly contributed to a positive social change to the lives of most people across the world. With the modern social welfares, soccer is perceived by many people, as the game of hope.
According to the global soccer aspects, the sport is today perceived as the most popular across the world. This popularity has significantly contributed to both active and passive use of the sport. Over 200 million individuals across the world are currently involved in patronization of soccer. According to the global sports statistics, soccer is the only sporting activity that commands a big following each week (Goldblatt, 2002). It is a sporting activity that significantly contributes to pulling individuals from various backgrounds as well as cultures together. Fitness is a critical aspect for the people participating in the sport regardless of whether a person is a professional player or whether he/she perceive soccer as a hobby.
Currently, soccer has led to the establishment of a multi-billion-dollar industry. The universal soccer competitions have been created both for commercial purpose as well as a way of integrating people from different cultures and social backgrounds from across the world. Soccer is today being used as a branding facet which is essentially a cultural act. Soccer in the current century is mainly concerned with the development as well as marketing of commodities. Regarding this, soccer has become a vital image of marketing products (Goldblatt, 2002). Soccer has turned into a universal product as well as a path to universal doors as well as its citizens. Participants of soccer sports are individuals from all walks of life and upbringings who include the players, participants, and volunteers. Participants and popularity of soccer go beyond the social-economic, political, national as well as cultural borders.
From the 1980s, there has been massive economic growth in the soccer industry. This growth has motivated the development of professional soccer clubs most of which depict the form of corporations. Despite the existence of minority soccer clubs that depict the structure of membership clubs, 80% of soccer clubs across the world are corporations (Rohde & Breuer, 2017). The development of corporation soccer clubs has been triggered by the commercialization of soccer to facilitate financial competitiveness of soccer clubs. Commercialization of soccer is mainly evident in Europe where clubs are involved in commercial activities such as purchase and selling of soccer players (Goldblatt, 2002). However, commercialization of soccer clubs has disconnected the fans due to the way this culture of soccer clubs is constantly shifting over time following the development.
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Rohde, M., & Breuer, C. (2016). Europe’s Elite Soccer: Financial Growth, Sporting Success, Transfer Investment, and Private Majority Investors. International Journal of Financial Studies, 4(2), 12.
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Taylor, M. (2017). The Global Spread of Soccer. The Oxford Handbook of Sports History, 183.