Throughout the twentieth century, football grew in popularity around the world. FIFA, the world governing body, estimates that 1.3 billion people worldwide are actively interested in football. This number includes sports fans as well as people interested in watching sports. There are more than 200 nations that are members of FIFA.
The origin of modern football is uncertain, but it appears to have originated in western Europe. The first Football association in England was formed in London in 1863. The group divided the game into two separate codes, association football and rugby. They established standardized weight and size for balls, and set rules for kicking and carrying games.
In the beginning, football was dominated by public school teams. But by the mid-19th century, football was played by a number of industrial workers. These players were looking for a new form of entertainment. The popularity of the game grew as industrialization led to larger groups of people meeting and playing. The introduction of railroads also allowed teams to travel to other cities.
As industrialization continued, working class people sought new forms of leisure. This led to the formation of a number of urban institutions that organized football teams for these workers. Some of these players began to be paid to join teams. The practice of paying players reached its peak in the 1880s. The issue of professionalism became a crisis in England in 1884. In response, the Football Association (FA) reaffirmed its amateur policy, which protected the influence of the upper classes on the game.
By the late 19th century, 30,000 spectators would attend big matches between the leading clubs. In the 1860s, several clubs began to pay their best players to join their teams. Some of these clubs also started charging admission to spectators. The issue of professionalism eventually reached a tipping point in England, and in 1884 the FA sanctioned the payment of players.
Football can be a harsh sport on the joints. Players must wear protective gear. They must also avoid contact with the ball. They must wear the proper boots and shin pads. Some of the most talented players are paid millions of dollars per game.
The modern football code is rooted in the development of industrialization in Victorian Britain. The sport has been widely credited with four key achievements: its use of the public school system to codify games, the development of the football field, its establishment as a professional sport, and its internationalization.
In the twentieth century, FIFA grew in popularity as a global authority. Increasing pressure from various groups within the sport, as well as the rise of the global economy, caused the governing body to respond. It strengthened its position as the world’s largest governing body. The number of member nations steadily increased. This made football a major global sport. The game was included in the Olympic program in 1908, and has been part of each Summer Games since then.
In the 21st century, there are more than 200 nations that are members of the FIFA. The Australian Football Code, for example, has grown to become a dominant professional competition.