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Published by Ravi Agrawal

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Published by: Ravi Agrawal on Feb 25, 2011
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaThis article is about sports known as football. For the ball used in these sports, seeFootball(ball).Some of the many different games known as football. From top left to bottom right:Association footballor soccer,Australian rules football, International rules football, Rugby Union,Rugby League,andAmerican Football. The game of 
is any of several similar team sports, of similar origins which involve,to varying degrees,kickinga ball with the foot in an attempt to score agoal. The most popular of these sports worldwide isassociation football, more commonly known as just"football" or "soccer". Unqualified, the word
applies to whichever form of football isthe most popular in the regional context in which the word appears, includingAmericanfootball, Australian rules football,Canadian football,Gaelic football, rugby league, rugby unionand other related games. These variations are known as "codes."
Common elements
The various codes of football share the following common elements:
of usually between 11 and 18 players; some variations that have fewer players (five or more per team) are also popular.
A clearly defined area in which to play the game.
, by moving the ball to an opposing team's end of the field andeither into a goal area, or over a line.
Goals or points resulting from players putting the ball between two
The goal or line being
by the opposing team.
Players being required to move the balldepending on the codeby kicking,carrying, or hand-passing the ball.
Players using only their body to move the ball.In most codes, there are rules restricting the movement of players
,and players scoringa goal must put the ball either under or over a 
between the goalposts. Other featurescommon to several football codes include: points being mostly scored by players carrying theball across the goal line; and players receiving a 
after they
take amark or make afair catch
.Peoples from around the world have played games which involved kicking or carrying a ball,sinceancient times.However, most of the modern codes of football have their origins in England.
Main article:Football (word)While it is widely assumed that the word "football" (or "foot ball") references the action of the foot kicking a ball, there is a historical explanation, which is that football originallyreferred to a variety of games inmedieval Europe, which were played
on foot 
These gameswere usually played bypeasants, as opposed to the horse-riding sports (such aspolo) often played byaristocrats.There is no conclusive evidence for either explanation, and the word football has always implied a variety of games played on foot, not just those that involvedkicking a ball. In some cases, the word football has even been applied to games which havespecifically outlawed kicking the ball.
Early history
Ancient games
Ancient Greek football player balancing the ball. Depiction on an Attic Lekythos. TheAncient GreeksandRomans are known to have played many ball games, some of which involved the use of the feet. The Roman game 
is believed to have been adaptedfrom aGreek team game known as " πίσκυρος" (
 or "φαινίνδα" (
which is mentioned by a Greek playwright, Antiphanes (388–311 BC) and later referred to by theChristiantheologianClement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215 AD). These games appear to have resembledrugby football.
 The Roman politicianCicero(106–43 BC) describes the case of a man who was killed whilst having a shave when a ball was kicked into a barber'sshop. Roman ball games already knew the air-filled ball, the follis.
Documented evidence of an activity resembling football can be found in the Chinese military  manualZhan Guo Cecompiled between the 3rd century and 1st century BC.
 It describes apractice known as
, literally "kick ball"), which originally involved kicking aleather ball through a small hole in a piece of silk  cloth which was fixed on bamboo canes and hung about 9 m above ground. During theHan Dynasty(206 BC–220 AD), cuju gameswere standardized and rules were established. Variations of this game later spread to Japanand Korea, known as
respectively. Later, another type of goal postsemerged, consisting of just one goal post in the middle of the field.

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