Rounds and Quarters

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Glimpse on The History of Football

Am I so round with you as you with me,
That like a football you do spurn me thus?
You spurn me hence, and he will spurn me hither:
If I last in this service, you must case me in leather.

A Comedy of Errors (Act II, Scene 1)

Football has been one of the world's greatest sport. So since this is one of the most famous sport this will be the first kind of sport that I will post here in my blog. 

So what is football and where did it originate?

Football is a kind of team sport which involves kicking a ball with the foot in an attempt to score a goal. (Personally, I wonder if they have sports and team wear eh). The most popular of these sports worldwide is association football, more commonly known  "football" or "soccer". In each particular part of the world football has various names including American football, Australian rules football, Canadian football, Gaelic football, Rugby league, Rugby union and other related games.

This sport  was also referred to a variety of games in medieval Europe which were played on foot.These games were usually played by peasants, as opposed to the horse-riding sports (such as polo) often played by aristocrats. 

The Roman game harpastum is believed to have been adapted from a Greek team game known as "ἐπίσκυρος" (episkyros) or "φαινίνδα" (phaininda), which is mentioned by a Greek playwright, Antiphanes (388–311 BC) and later referred to by the Christian theologian Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215 AD). These games appear to have resembled rugby football. However, the main sources of modern football codes appear to lie in western Europe, especially England which is referred to as "mob football". This is played between neighbouring towns and villages which involved an unlimited number of players on opposing teams, who would clash in a heaving mass of people, struggling to move an item such as an inflated pig's bladder, to particular geographical points, such as their opponents' church.

However numerous attempts have been made to ban football games, particularly the most rowdy and disruptive forms. This was especially the case in England and in other parts of Europe, during the Middle Ages and early modern period. Between 1324 and 1667, football was banned in England alone by more than 30 royal and local laws. The need to repeatedly proclaim such laws demonstrated the difficulty in enforcing bans on popular games. King Edward II was so troubled by the unruliness of football in London that on April 13, 1314 he issued a proclamation banning it: 
"Forasmuch as there is great noise in the city caused by hustling over large balls from which many evils may arise which God forbid; we command and forbid, on behalf of the King, on pain of imprisonment, such game to be used in the city in the future."
By 1608, the local authorities in Manchester were complaining that: "With the ffotebale...[there] hath beene greate disorder in our towne of Manchester we are told, and glasse windowes broken yearlye and spoyled by a companie of lewd and disordered persons ..."
That same year, the word "football" was used disapprovingly by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare's play King Lear contains the line: "Nor tripped neither, you base football player" (Act I, Scene 4). Shakespeare also mentions the game in A Comedy of Errors (Act II, Scene 1).


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