Today’s Question: Who invented soccer?
So, who invented soccer? The popularity of soccer has been steadily rising over the last 3 decades. Throughout America, there are now about 3 million soccer players. This count is only for those who fall in the age group of 5 to 19 years.
England is the birth place of Soccer. Way back in 1800s, it was a game of classes and was played by high society aristocratic English people in their private clubs. However, due to its ease and low cost, it hardly took time to become a common game among the masses. No wonder, today it’s counted amongst the most commonly played game.
The rules of this game were standardized throughout Europe by The London Football Association the London Football Association. This association was founded in 1863. Soon after this, several professional players and team begun to appear on the soccer field. In no time, Soccer was spread in different parts of Europe. Countries like Germany, Spain and France are a just a few to name where the game was taken up in early 20th century. With the growing interest in the sport, the interest in the formal competitions rose too. Soccer was first played in Olympics in 1900 and medals were introduced just eight years after that. For several decades however, the professional players were not allowed in competitions held in the Olympic games.
The Federation International de Football Association was formed in 1904 and the first world cup international competition was held in 1930. Currently there are about 200 teams seeking admittance in World Cup but currently only 24 are permitted to compete.
The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) was formed in 1913 but it took several years for US to enter into international soccer. For a long time, Americans in general preferred watching American Football, which is a little different form of sport. However, things changed when Pele, one of the greatest soccer players from Brazil joined the New York Cosmos team in 1975. He changed the outlook of Americans towards football. This was unfortunately short-lived as Pele retired just a couple of years later, resulting the dissolution of Soccer League due to lack of support from fans.
Further in 1994, Americans interest in the soccer was rejuvenated when the men’s world cup competition was held in United States. The Major League Soccer (MLS) that was founded in 1993 began its first season in 1996. There were 10 teams with 32 games and more than 3 million fans involved in this whole thing. By 1991, the game was formally extended to women to be played on professional level and the Women’s Soccer world cup was introduced.
I think that answers the question – who invented soccer! Today, Americans interest in soccer has become strong and continues to grow. One will find soccer teams and soccer leagues in almost all American communities. Players of all interests and ages are getting down on the soccer field during spring and fall competitions. No wonder, U.S. Youth Soccer has around 3 million official players on its list.