Can you imagine a world without soccer? A world without the World Cup, iconic songs such as Waka Waka, or even players such as Messi? Thankfully, we are blessed to have this amazing sport in our lives, but do you know where it came from? Where it started? Discover the ways this sport started, and how it brought people together after the many years of diversity and unity.
There will never be an exact day when soccer started, but it has roots all over the world. In China during the 3rd century BC, the military played a game as a training tool that was similar to soccer. The purpose of the game was that the players pushed a leather ball filled with feathers and hair through a small opening. In Japan, 500-600 years ago, a sport called Kemari was also very alike to soccer. It consisted of players standing in a circle, passing a ball to one another using their feet without letting the ball touch the ground. Later, Romans created the game Harpastum in where two teams competed against each other on a rectangular field marked by touch and center lines. The objective of the game was that players would try to move the ball past their oppositions boundary line by any means necessary. It was a violent game that went around the Roman Empire. It eventually arrived in Britain, where the modern form of soccer took form. And although none of these games created soccer, they did inspire the modern game. After some time, Britain, created the rules for the modern sport in 1863, which split up rugby and football. Finally, years later the FIFA was created in Paris, without Britain, which unified soccer rules from around the world and created the soccer we know today. Today’s version of soccer has positions such as forward, right midfielder, and goalkeeper. It even has clubs all over the world such as Real Madrid and Manchester United. But there will never be a clear answer to who exactly created the sport we all know and love.
People all around the world adore soccer. That’s due to the fact that everyone in the world can participate in the sport. No matter where you are from. Soccer has become extremely diverse, but it wasn’t always this way. The person who is actually credited with including people of color into sports, was Mahatma Gandhi. He created soccer clubs, each called the Passive Resisters Soccer Club, in places such as Durban, Pretoria, and Johannesburg. In today’s time “an estimated 1,000 African soccer players make their living in European pro leagues”, according to a LiveStrong article. This might have not been possible if Gandhi hadn’t noticed the lack of diversity in the soccer sport and decided to do something about it. Soccer was also not exactly a women’s sport, but now women all over the world play soccer, and inspire young female athletes. Growing up in a country such as the United States, aspiring female soccer players could look up to the United States soccer team which is ranked at Number 1 in the world, and constantly excels during Olympics. This great amount of diversity is what draws people together.
Every four years, the World Cup begins, and the whole world is united. Soccer might just be a sport, but it constantly brings everyone together. It means a lot to people. It can even cause violence, due to its importance. In Columbia, when a player scored against his own team, he was murdered. In North Korea, after embarrassing themselves in South Africa, they were forced onstage and endured six-hours of criticism for their poor performance. In South Korea, they admitted that there were prison camps for dishonorable teams. That just shows how much the sport matters to people. Other than that, many people feel connected with the sport, due to its diversity which was discussed in the last paragraph. When all kinds of people are included, it is hard not to be proud when your country scores a goal or wins a game. It manages to unify people from all over the globe to rejoice in a competition that makes memories and jokes to last a lifetime.
Now that we have discovered what makes soccer so special, you can see why it means so much to many different people. It is a sport that has been in the making for over 500 years and has evolved to include people of color and any gender. So grab a ball and go take part in the present history in the making of our loved sport soccer.
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