Here is a list of facts about soccer.
1. The FIFA World Cup is the most-watched sporting event in the world.
2.No one knows exactly when soccer was created, but the earliest versions of the game can be traced back to 3,000 years.
3. In England, soccer was formed when several clubs formed the Football Association about 150 years ago.
4. In China, the first soccer balls were made from sewn clothing that was filled with rubble. In Europe during the Middle Ages, soccer balls were made from inflated pig bladders.
5. The first World Cup was held in 1930 in Uraguay; 13 teams competed and Uruguay won.
6. Soccer is played on a grassy field called a pitch. The field is rectangular and must be between 100 and 130 yards long and 50 to 100 yards wide.
7. In the seventh century BC, the North African Berbers played a soccer-like game as a fertility rite.
8. FIFA started the World Cup in 1930. In 1991, the organization created the Women’s World Cup
9. In England, soccer matches did not have referees until 1881. Before that they simply relied on good sportsmanship.
10. Attending the World Cup isn’t cheap. Tickets for the 2018 World Cup can run as much as $1,100 US.
11. A medical survey found that professional soccer players sustained approximately 1.5 injuries per player per year.
12. One of the main reasons FIFA created the World Cup was that the Olympics did not allow professional soccer players to compete, meaning that the most talented players would not be able to participate.
13. The FIFA World Cup has been held every four years since 1930, except for a 12-year hiatus during and after World War II.
14. The second World Cup was hosted in Italy. Because Italy had refused to attend the World Cup hosted by Uruguay, Uruguay chose to snub Italy, making the second cup the only time a champion team was not present to defend their title.
15. The Estádio de Maracanã soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was the largest soccer stadium in the world for many years. However, it’s a real claim to fame is that its construction involved routing a nearby river through the stadium to create a moat between the seats and the soccer field.
16. During WWI, Britain’s four national soccer associations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) pulled out of FIFA, after FIFA ignored their demands that Germany and its war-time allies be kicked out of the organization.
17. Soccer was introduced to the United States in the 17th century by English colonists. Soon thereafter, however, Harvard adopted the rugby rules for their soccer teams. Other sports teams quickly followed suit, which is one reason why soccer doesn’t have a large presence in the United States
18. The Romans introduced an early form of soccer to England in 43 AD. In these early games, punching and biting were allowed on the field, creating such an atmosphere of disruption that many attempted to have the game banned.
19. Part of soccer’s worldwide popularity can be attributed to colonialism; the British took the game with them in their exploration and colonization of the world
20. A 2000 internet poll voted Argentine Diego Maradona “the player of the century.” FIFA disagreed strongly enough that they appointed a special committee to render judgment. The committee selected Pelé.
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