Evolution of Football

Yian-Football-Evolution-black-WhiteToday more than 240-million people regularly play, watch or gamble over football: boys and girls, men and women; recreationally and professionally, in leagues and in clubs, in casinos and online.

The stakes are high, the money spent is astronomical and the industries that support the game are prominent. But the idea of dribbling and kicking an animal’s bladder that had been filled with air is a culture that has roots in the ancient Far East.

Off With His Head!

There are even some bizarre anecdotes that the notion of a football game evolved from warfare and that the first ‘ball’ used was indeed not an animal’s bladder at all, but the severed head of the victim in a war. And if this was the case, the kicking, biting, gouging and punching that the game was known for, and for which it was actually banned in the 14th century, was simply commonplace. Football was also understood to incite masses and an emotional match could well have started a mob pillaging its way down the cobbled streets of medieval England.

Rules, Rules, Rules

What were known as the Cambridge rules for the game tidied it up considerably and by 1815, football shifted from mob shenanigans and entered into the schools and universities of England. In short, it became not only teachable and governable but also… Respectable. By the 1860s, the touching of the ball with the hands during play became strictly forbidden and a schism in rulings gave birth to the game of rugby.

Coke and Football Forever

These established rules of play were effectively what turned football into kind of an international passport, and it caught on like wildfire, through the European continent, the Americas, Africa, Australia and the East. It has become a lifestyle brand that is as recognisable, as friendly and as universal as Coca-Cola.

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