Association Football Through the Ages

This article looks to investigate the history and varieties of association football through the ages. Most historians would argue that the origins of modern association football would be traced back to England but there is a great deal of evidence that points to the beautiful game having an older history.The Chinese version of the game roughly dates back to 300 BC, was originally called ‘Tsu Chu’ and involved players on a field that had to hit a leather ball stuffed with fur into a small hole.

 Like football, use of the hands was not permitted during the game and it was considered an honour to be a member of a team. The Emperor of the Han Dynasty, when the game was developed, was an avid player and fan. This helped to spread the popularity of this game all over China during his reign. A version of Tsu Chu is still played today. While the two games are similar, Tsu Chu appears to have had little effect on the modern version of association football.

Kemari is the Japanese version of football and is one of the most different versions of the sport, established in roughly 1004 BC. Kemari was a game of ‘keep it up’ using a ball that was stuffed with sawdust. This version involves a pitch designated by the selection of four trees, the cherry, maple, pine and willow. Many great houses in Japan would grow trees to have a permanent pitch, or field, established. It can be played with two to twelve players.

China’s Tsu Chu players and Japan’s Kemari players were the first to have an ‘international’ game of their versions of football, which is dated to have occurred in roughly 50 BC.It is thought there was a version of a type of ball game played by young Egyptian women during the age of Baqet III. On his tomb, images of this sport were depicted, although no one is certain how the game was played or whether or not it truly affected the outcome of modern association football. Recordings of this game date as far back as 2500 BC, although not much more is known asides the fact that it was played with a ball.