Who Invented Soccer, History and Its Origin?

Who Invented Soccer

Soccer is a popular and most played sport in today’s time. Everywhere in the world, soccer is being played. This is a sport that is enjoyed and loved by people of all age groups. But one question that may come to your mind is who invented soccer.

Well, soccer has a very long history and was invented after the formation of the first soccer governing body called the Football Association in London, England. The governing body made a universally accepted and standardized set of rules for teams to follow. Although soccer stretches back to over 2000 years, England is considered the inventor of the game soccer.

By learning about its origins and invention, you can learn and appreciate the way soccer was developed. 

History & Origin of Soccer

Modern-day football was actually originated in England around the 19th century. Before medieval times, a game called folk football was being played in villages and towns as per local customs and with the least rules. Urbanization and industrialization reduced the space and leisure time of the working class.

Some destructive forms of soccer also undermined the status of the game from the early 19th century. But, soccer was considered a winter game in public schools in England. As per FIFA, around 240 million people play soccer in the world, and the game has continuously evolved from kicking sport to World Cup Sport. 

Records say that soccer history traces 2000 years back to ancient China, Rome, Greece, and many Central American parts. All these areas claim to start the sport, but England was the region that transitioned soccer and created the sport football that everyone knows today.

The English people are credited for recording the first set of rules for soccer, including no touching of the ball with hands and no tripping opponents. As soccer developed, more and more rules were included, and historical landmarks were also set. The introduction of penalty kicks was in 1891.

FIFA became Great Britain’s Football Association member in 1913, and the yellow cards were introduced in the 1970 World Cup finals. The changes of goalkeepers being forbidden from handling back passes were introduced in 1992, and in 1998, tackles from behind became red-card penalties.

After soccer became a popular sport in England, it started spreading across the entire European countries, and after that, leagues started all across the globe. This British sport slowly became a world sport after other countries adopted it.

Soccer in Ancient times

Soccer origins around 2500 B.C., and during this time, the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Chinese claim that they introduce the ball and feet game. These games used to include feet, hands, and sticks for controlling the ball. Harpastum game of Romans was a game where players had to retain the ball as long as possible. Episkyros is a similar type of game played by ancient Greeks. Both the games reflect rules similar to rugby and not soccer. In ancient China, Tsu’Chu or Cuju was a kicking ball game. All the regions that have played soccer-type sports in ancient times are mentioned below.

1.   Ancient China:

In earlier times, a game called Tsu’Chu, Cuju, Tsu-Chu, which means kicking the ball, was played in China. The game was played on a rectangular play area, and two teams had to juggle the leather ball and kick the ball to make a goal. Hands usage was also banned. 

2.  Greece:

Greece claims the origin of soccer as Episkyros was a game played by them in ancient times. It involved two teams that kicked the ball with an aim to pass the white line on the side of opponents. Defensive structure and good team organization is the key for succeeding at Episkyros. But in this game, hands were used.

3.  Rome: 

Harpastum was a sport played in ancient Rome, and there a small ball was used for the game where one had to get the ball across the line on the opposition side to score. This game became part of several countries, including England, where soccer was originally invented. It has a great influence on soccer development.

4.  Central America’s Parts:

Around 1600 BC, the game Pok a Tok was played by Mayans, and Aztecs played tlachtli throughout the northern part of South and Central America. Nearly 1,300 courts were discovered around Central America, and rubber balls were found that proved that the sport was being played in those areas.

In an I-shaped court, the game was played, and it featured two teams. Both the teams needed to kick the ball to the opponent’s end of the court, and no one was allowed to touch the ball with hands. The direct connection between modern-day soccer and this game is yet to be seen. However, there is strong evidence that the kickball game was there in Central America long ago.

5.  Scotland:

The mention of Soccer in Scotland traces back to 1424 when King James I banned the game as it was too disruptive. Several Parliament Acts were passed to ban the game. It was a violent game at that time. And there is a case from 1601 where two brothers were killed over a disaccord in the game. Scotland claims the invention of soccer as the oldest football was discovered in the Stirling Castle Royal Palace, which dates around 1540. The first soccer club in the world was also created in Edinburgh in 1824.

6.  England: 

The very first record of a soccer game in England was during the proclamation by the monarch reigning at that time. King Henry IV presented a decree to forbid soccer, and the royal family was also not a fan of soccer. But soccer was played despite all these rulings. There is also a mention of football being despised and yet enjoyed by people of that time. During the 19th century, the modern game soccer began to shape in England.

Who Invented Soccer?

You may wonder that who invented soccer, and this is where you get all your answers. Soccer began in England, and the Football Association laid down the rules. The rules of the sport slowly evolved, and soccer retained these objectives and constitutions over the years.

Several football sports existed in England before it was introduced to soccer and played in the public school’s lawns. There were no standardized set of regulations, and these games were quite chaotic. The different rule codes were there, like the Sheffield rules and the Cambridge rules. So, there were often confusion and disagreement among players. 

While no one can really claim to be the soccer inventor, Ebenezer Morley is referred to as the father of the Football Association. In soccer, earlier, there was a problem because no proper rules were there to follow. But in the 1840s, the first attempt to create a set of universally accepted rules was undertaken.

In 1863’s meeting at the Freemasons’ Tavern in London, representatives from 12 clubs were united, and the game of soccer was codified. These days the soccer game is conducted worldwide by FIFA, which was founded in 1904. It was 41 years after F.A. was formed.

The International Football Association Board, or IFAB, was the guardian of the game’s laws. It was run by four British associations and FIFA. These associations were of Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England. 

When was soccer first invented?

Now that you know who invented soccer, you may want to learn when soccer was first invented. Well, the answer is available for you in this article. On October 26 in 1863, the Football Association was created when eleven clubs and schools in London came together for a meeting at Freemason’s Tavern to make a set of rules for the game.

Rugby Football and Association Football on December 8, 1863, split into two organizations. In that particular year, the first soccer match was played at Mortlake’s Barnes Common in London on December 19, 1863. The match was played between Richmond Football Club and Barnes Football Club. This game ended with a score of 0-0, and the match was a draw.

Where did soccer originally come from?

Although the soccer game originated more than 2000 years ago, it is traced back to England region. The sport was also played in ancient China, Rome, Greece, and Japan but had different variations and rules. The mid-19th and early 20th centuries were the time when soccer actually started to develop and evolve.

The word soccer came from an abbreviation. The suffix –er was popular slang at the Oxford University and the Rugby School. After that, the young men shortened it. The association word was taken from the formation of F.A. or Football Association on October 26, 1863. 

In Britain, a set of rules was created in which carrying the ball in hands was banned. Also, the shin-kicking practices were also banned. This resulted in the departure of the Blackheath club, which played the rough rugby-style game. As globalization flourished, the medieval pastime game slowly became a fully organized sport between 1840 and 1870. The popularity of this game then spread across every corner of the world.

England is the traditional home of soccer

Soccer began evolving in modern European regions from the medieval period onwards. Around the 9th century, the towns in England used to kick the bladder of pigs from one place to another. This game was often considered a nuisance. So, it was banned in some regions of England.

Several forms of folk football were being played at that time. Two teams played against each other. These teams could stretch from one location’s end to another end. Both the teams used to put effort and tried to get the ball into the opposition’s goal.

It is believed that the sport was often low-scoring. There were no standard rules enforced during that time. So, everything was allowed in the game, and the game often became violent. On Shrove Tuesday, the biggest sport of the year was being played, and the matches were a huge social event.

After the country was urbanized, the space and time limitations in the cities contributed to the decline of folk football. The decline was mainly because of the legal concerns due to the violence. The folk football versions were played in Italy, Germany, France, and many other European regions.


If you are a hardcore soccer fan, then you must have been inquisitive to know about the origin and invention of this game. This article here provided all such details for you to read and gain information. Knowing about the history and origins will give you more insights, and you can enjoy sharing this information with fellow soccer fans.

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