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Football History

For use with Talking Point worksheets

Moderator: TalkingPoint

Football History

Postby TalkingPoint » Sat Jul 10, 2004 2:04 pm

Football History

Instructions: Read the text below to find the answers to the questions on your worksheet.

Football History
It is almost impossible to say exactly when football was invented. The Chinese were playing a football-like game nearly 3000 years ago! Cultures as diverse as the Egyptians, the Vikings and the American Indians all played some sort of team game which involved a ball. As the Romans expanded their empire the legionnaires took this game with them and so the popularity of the game spread.

Original Balls
Footballs used to be heavy objects stuffed with hair, grass, moss, rags, etc. The Romans used a bull's bladder. Early Britons claimed that they used the skulls of fallen Roman soldiers as footballs! Pacific islanders used coconuts, oranges and pig's bladders. There was no standard size for the balls used in these primitive games and no standard shape either: the balls could be round or oval.

Football Facts
In 1863 the London Football Association drew up the first set of rules for the game. Nine years later the first international match was held, between England and Scotland. In 1885 it became possible for amateur players to turn professional and three years later the first full-time league was introduced, along with the penalty kick. In 1908 the game was included in the Olympic Games, four years after soccer's international governing body, FIFA was set up. The first World Cup was held in 1930 between thirteen countries. In 2004 FIFA celebrates its centenary.

The Business of Football
Before the introduction of professionalism in football in 1885 the players were not paid for playing - a situation which is far-removed from that of today. In 1981 Diego Maradona (then aged 20) was sold by his Argentinian club for the then enormous sum of $8 million (in a package with four other players). Nowadays such transfer fees can be three times that amount. The clubs themselves can be very wealthy these days - England's Manchester United is worth nearly $2 billion.

Quick Quiz
Read the clues below and write the solutions on a piece of paper. Then take the first letter of each answer and rearrange them to find the hidden word connected with this Talking Point.
    1. The first World __________ was held in 1930 between 13 countries.

    2. In 1885 players were able to __________ professional for the first time.

    3. FIFA is soccer's __________ governing body.

    4. Footballs used to be heavy objects stuffed with __________, grass, moss, rags, etc.

    5. As the Romans expanded their empire the legionnaires took this game with them and so the __________ of the game spread.
Talking Point Homework, EnglishClub.com © Liz Regan 2004
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