This goes without saying that football is indeed the most loved sports across the globe. But, it also has a long and interesting history. Here, we have tried to jot down 63 interesting facts on the history of football:
1. Do you know that Football first originated in China in 476 B.C during the rule of Han Dynasty? It was known as Tsu’Chu back then.
2. Another form of this game was played in Japan about 500-600 years after the origin of Tsu’Chu. The game was called Kemari. It’s still played in Japan.
3. The history of modern football dates back to 1863; it started in England when Rugby Football and Association Football parted ways.
4. Association Football (commonly known as football or soccer) evolved during the medieval period. This was an effort to standardise different forms of the game.
5. You will be surprised to know that in 1848 University of Cambridge set the first rules of football.
6. The earliest rules of the game were known as Cambridge Rules.
7. The first meeting of The Football Association (FA) happened in 1863.
8. The first FA Cup match was held in 1872.
9. The final of the first FA Cup was played between Wanderers and Royal Engineers. About 2,000 spectators attended the match.
10. During the World Wars, England banned competitive association football.
11. The first recorded football match in South America was played in 1867 in Argentina.
12. The match played in Argentina was a combination of Rugby and Association Footballs.
13. In the USA, first association football was played in 1862.
14. The first match in the USA inspired by the FA rules was played in 1869 between Rutgers and Princeton.
15. The history of women’s football dates back to 25-220 CE.
16. In the frescoes from Han Dynasty, two female figures were depicted playing Tsu’Chu.
17. In 12th century, French women used to play football.
18. Nettie Honeyball founded the earliest women’s football team in 1894 in England. It was later called British Ladies’ Football Club.
19. Women’s football became popular during the World War I.
20. The Football Association (FA) banned women’s football in 1921.
21. Women’s football revived in 1969 when the English Women’s FA was formed.
22. In India, football was introduced in the mid-19th century by the Brits.
23. The Durand Cup is the third oldest football tournament just after The FA Cup and the Scottish Cup.
24. The Durand cup was founded in 1888 by the Foreign Secretary of India Mortimer Durand.
25. The fourth oldest football trophy in the world is the IFA Shield. It was founded in 1893.
26. A friendly match between Arsenal and Arsenal Reserves played in 1937 was the first football match that was broadcasted on TV.
27. Portuguese Striker Fernando Peyroteo (1930s to 1950) had the greatest goals-per-game ratio compared to Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
28. A football player runs more than 9.3 miles (15 kilometres) in a single match (on an average).
29. Christiano Ronaldo was the first player to score in every minute of the game
30. Oliver Kahn was the first and only goalkeeper to win the Golden Ball during 2002 World Cup.
31. In the history of football, Lee Todd received the fastest red card (within two seconds into the match!)
32. At 17, Pele became the youngest player to win a Football World Cup.
33. At the age of 40, Dino Zoff was the oldest player to win a World Cup.
34. Do you know that El Salvador declared war of Honduras in 1969 after it lost a football match!
35. Stephan Stanis (France) scored the maximum number of goals (16) in a single match. He scored it for Racing Club de Lens in December 1942.
36. Do you know that European football teams have reached every final of the Football World Cup except in 1930 and 1950?
37. The Indian Football Association was the first Indian Federation founded in 1893.
38. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) was established in 1937.
39. The Aurora Football Club was the oldest club in the South India during the 1940s.
40. The 1948 London Olympics was the first crucial International Tournament where the Indian football team participated.
41. In the London Olympics, the Indian team played barefoot and lost in the opening match to France by 2-1.
42. India qualified for 1950 FIFA World Cup by default as all their opponents withdrew.
43. The AIFF chose the Olympics over the 1950 FIFA World Cup and decided not to participate.
44. In India, Calcutta FC was the first football club. It was established in 1872.
45. Currently, the oldest team in India is Mohun Bagan A.C. It was established in 1889.
46. Football in India came into limelight when Mohun Bagan lifted the IFA Shield in 1911 defeating East Yorkshire Regiment.
47. 1951 to 1962 was the best period of Indian football. During that period, India became the best team in Asia.
48. In 1956 Olympics, the Indian football team finished fourth.
49. In 1956 Olympics, Neville D’Souza became the first Asian to score a hat-trick. The match was against host country Australia.
50. It was in 1956 Olympics that India became the first Asian football team to reach the Semi-Finals.
51. India won the consecutive editions of the Quadrangular Cup in 1953, 1954, and 1955.
52. India participated in the Asian Games in 1958. They finished fourth.
53. India won the 1962 Asian Games beating South Korea 2-1.
54. In 1978, Mohun Bagan became the first post-independence Indian team to lift the IFA Shield.
55. The 1973 IFA Shield was won by East Bengal.
56. In India during the 90s, the first professional football club was formed in Kochin.
57. FC Kochin was the only football club in the National Football League from Kerala.
58. In 2007, the Indian team won the Nehru Cup for the first time beating Syria.
59. Club football in India got better with the National Football League in 2006 and in 2007.
60. It was in 2006-07 that the new I-League was initiated. Dempo won the first season of I-League.
61. Dempo made history in 2008 when it reached the semi-finals of the AFC Cup.
62. India participated in the AFC Asian Cup for the first time in 2011.
63. Mohun Bagan was the first club that qualified for the second round of the AFC Champions League in 2016.