More than 100 years ago, the game of football as we know it was established. It was 1863 and the American Civil War was underway. The world was experimenting with color photography (its patent was launched). Rollerskates were born. The Red Cross was established. And the London Underground opened its doors for the very first time. The world was changing and football was the sport of the moment.
Football’s Ancient Roots
It was not, however, the very first time that a foot and a ball had connected in a sequence of events that was about physical dexterity, balance, and elegance in the name of sports-based ideals. Oh, no. Indeed, the first time the difficult relationship between foot and ball was formally described dates back to a military manual in third-century China.
Football As the Source of All Chaos
Archaic versions of the so called beautiful game were played in Japan, Greece and Rome, each of which featured a give and take between keeping the ball off the ground, or passing it between players without the aid of the hands or arms. Indeed, it is the Romans who are credited with bringing football to England, something which sat in the crew of British officialdom for a while. Football was severely frowned upon in 12th century in England as an instrument of chaos and broken windows. Persistently forbidden for a period of about 500 years, the game touched the hearts of many and the groundswell it evoked was too big and too popular to ever be curbed.
Mobs and Mayhem to Commonplace Challenges
If you think of the kind of ‘mob football’ that was played at the time, a rollicking mishmash of an indefinite number of players running hither and yon across villages, you probably can understand how polite society didn’t really like it so much. As the years unfolded, so did the rules for the game come into play, seeing it as the organised force that it is, today.