Present in over 200 countries, football is, without a doubt, the most popular sport in the world. The game of football, as we know it today, is over a hundred years old. According to FIFA, during the Han Dynasty in China (206 BCE – 220 CE), the game of cuju was invented, which was remarkably […]
Present in over 200 countries, football is, without a doubt, the most popular sport in the world. The game of football, as we know it today, is over a hundred years old. According to FIFA, during the Han Dynasty in China (206 BCE – 220 CE), the game of cuju was invented, which was remarkably similar to modern-day football. Shifting the scene to 17th century North America, there is historical evidence that pasuckuakohowog was widely played on the continent- a sport that held a great resemblance to the game of football. But the question still remains- what was the country that first played football?
What was the country that first played football?
When we talk about modern-day football, it all began in 1863 when the rules were laid down by the Football Association in England. While football has undergone several changes since 1863, its overall objectives and constitution more or less reflect the same structure. The oldest football competition in the world is the FA Cup, which commenced in the year 1872. The first official international football match also took place in 1872, between England and Scotland in Glasgow.
Since we now know the answer to what was the country that first played football, let’s talk about the current scenario of football- its biggest leagues and some of its most legendary players:
FIFA World Cup
The sport of football has come a long way since 1872. Today, football is played across several competitions ranging from worldwide competitions to intercontinental competitions. If we talk about the FIFA World Cup, it consists of a total of 211 national associations, out of which 32 can qualify for the main tournament every four years. Brazil has dominated the FIFA landscape for a better part of its history, winning the title five times while being the runners up two times. On the other hand, Germany and Italy have won the World Cup four times each. Despite being the country that first played football, England have only won the tournament once, that too way back in 1966. France are the current holders of the tournament, with European nations having dominated the last 2 decades, winning all editions of the world cup after Brazil’s win in 2002. With the next FIFA World Cup taking place in 2022 in Qatar, the trend of European countries winning football’s most prestigious prize seems all set to continue.
Amongst other prominent tournaments of modern-day football is the UEFA European Championship. Founded in 1958, the championship is the second most-watched football tournament in the world after the FIFA World Cup. The tournament is held every four years and is currently played by 24 teams. While the first title was won by the former Soviet Union, the latest edition was won by Portugal (their first-ever title). England, the country that first played football, has failed to win this tournament even once. Apart from the UEFA European Championship, other UEFA continental competitions include UEFA Nations League and UEFA Women’s Championship. African Nations Cup, Copa America, and AFC Asian Cup are some of the other prominent continental championships held across the world.
Club Football Leagues
Apart from national level championships, world football clubs also form a significant part of the game. Be it the English Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga or the La Liga, all of club football leagues have played a major role in promoting the game of football.
Words cannot do justice to the game of football. The game has caught the world in a frenzy, and as of today, it is played by nearly 250 million footballers worldwide.