Association football, more recently known as football or soccer, is basically a team game played by a spherical ball filled with players, usually between two groups of eleven players. It is regularly played by about 250 million people in more than 200 different nations and dependencies, which make it the most popular game in the world. A ball can be played using either a regulation football or a football used in international tournaments. The object of the game is for the team to score more points than the opponent, a goal scored by the football in its own half is called a ‘goal’.
Since the early 1900s, when World War II broke out, football has been one of the sports that the Americans and Europeans have turned to in order to entertain themselves. The very first World Cup was held in Europe, inviting the greatest football nations of the time to take part. Since then, other parts of the world like South America and Asia have joined in the football family. With the growth of the sport, football has become one of the biggest and most watched sports in the entire world.
In association football, the game is played on a specially formed pitch using synthetic grass. The surface of the field is generally made from an artificial turf, and the goal is at the center of the pitch. Although there are eleven players in each team, fouls are allowed so that two teams can play at once and if an extra player enters the field of play, a penalty kick is given to the opposing team.
The game is divided into two sections: the amateur league and the professional league. The former is where teams from the United States, Canada and Mexico are invited; the latter includes the United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Brazil and numerous others. The only way for a European team to join the league is if it has qualified for the World Cup, but this qualification does not guarantee them a place. Since there are many countries that are involved in this league, it is known as the European Footballing Association.
The goal of the association football game is to score more goals than the other teams. The game is usually played in a normal football field with three alternating red and white sections. Each team starts with five players. When a goal is scored by one of the attacking teams, the defensive team has thirty seconds to get back into their goal-line or to re-start play and continue to play, or the match referee will send the teams back to their side benches. If there is an extra goal, extra time will be added and the two teams will play another half of a normal game.
As soon as the referee signals the end of the game, the players and the coach came out onto the field to walk back to the dressing rooms. The match results are announced on a screen that is either overhead or behind the goal line. A winner is declared when a team gets rid of all its opponents. It is very common for people in the crowd to give the winning team money or other gifts.