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Football or soccer, whatever your preference, is a fantastic sport. Football is the biggest sport in the world because it can be played by anyone rich or poor. All you need is something to kick around and something to mark the goals. Kids have been playing football in the streets, in their yards, and on pitches for many many years now and its popularity has never waned. Here are some great facts about football that shed a little light on why it is loved so much around the world.

The most popular sport in the world

200 countries and around 250 million people in the world play football with it being represented in the Olympics since 1900

Football originated in prison, or maybe not.

Some say that football dates back to 2500 BC where Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese all appeared to have some game that involved kicking a ball. Modern football started in England in the early 1800s. While no one is exactly sure of its origins one legend suggests that prisoners invented the sport after they were punished for stealing. They were punished by cutting their hands off, later they invented a sport that required no hands at all. While a fascinating story it is far more likely that football evolved from Rugby in British schools.

In 1863, the Football Association was formed where many variations of football were taken and one format was decided upon. The rules stated that the ball could not be handled except by a keeper. Shin kicking was also banned.

Olympics

Soccer is an Olympic sport for amateur competitors. This caused an issue for soccer as most athletes try and get a professional contract as young as they can. As the Olympics did not want the quality to suffer, in 1984 they opened up the game of soccer to pros as long as they are under the age of 23. 

Football has stood the test of time as the greatest sport ever created. It is a sport that captures the dreams of children and adults alike and allows us to bond with others over the love or hate of our favorite teams. Over the years it has produced some of the greatest moments in sporting history and will continue to do so for many years to come.