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31 juillet 2011 7 31 /07 /juillet /2011 10:20

Association football, commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. At the turn of the 21st century, the game was played by over 250 million players in over 200 countries, making it the world's most popular sport.Sony VAIO VPCEB11FM/T Battery

The game is played on a rectangular field of grass or green artificial turf, with a goal in the middle of each of the short ends. The object of the game is to score by driving the ball into the opposing goal. In general play, the goalkeepers are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms, Sony VAIO VPCEB11FM/WI Battery

while the field players typically use their feet to kick the ball into position, occasionally using their torso or head to intercept a ball in midair. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either adraw is declared or the game goes into extra time and/or a penalty shootout, depending on the format of the competition.Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX Battery

The Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and have evolved since then. Association football is governed internationally by FIFA, which organises the FIFA World Cup every four years.Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX/BI Battery

The rules of football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time, specifically rugby football. The term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as an Oxford "-er" abbreviation of the word "association".Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX/T Battery


Association football is played in accordance with a set of rules known as the Laws of the Game. The game is played using a spherical ball (of 71 cm (28 in) circumference in FIFA play), known as the football (or soccer ball).Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX/WI Battery

Two teams of eleven players each compete to get the ball into the other team's goal (between the posts and under the bar), thereby scoring a goal. The team that has scored more goals at the end of the game is the winner; if both teams have scored an equal number of goals then the game is a draw. Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX Battery

Each team is led by a captain who has only one official responsibility as mandated the Laws of the Game: to be involved in the coin toss prior to kick-off or penalty kicks. 

The primary law is that players other than goalkeepers may not deliberately handle the ball with their hands or arms during play, though they do use their hands during a throw-in restart.Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX/BI Battery

Although players usually use their feet to move the ball around, they may use any part of their body (notably, "heading" with the forehead) other than their hands or arms. Within normal play, all players are free to play the ball in any direction and move throughout the pitch, though the ball cannot be received in an offside position.Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX/T Battery

In typical game play, players attempt to create goal-scoring opportunities through individual control of the ball, such as by dribbling, passing the ball to a team-mate, and by taking shots at the goal, which is guarded by the opposing goalkeeper. Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX/WI Battery

Opposing players may try to regain control of the ball by intercepting a pass or through tackling the opponent in possession of the ball; however, physical contact between opponents is restricted. Football is generally a free-flowing game, with play stopping only when the ball has left the field of play or when play is stopped by the referee for an infringement of the rules.Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX Battery

After a stoppage, play recommences with a specified restart.

At a professional level, most matches produce only a few goals. For example, the 2005–06 season of the English Premier League produced an average of 2.48 goals per match. The Laws of the Game do not specify any player positions other than goalkeeper, but a number of specialised roles have evolved. Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX/BI Battery

Broadly, these include three main categories: strikers, or forwards, whose main task is to score goals; defenders, who specialise in preventing their opponents from scoring; and midfielders, who dispossess the opposition and keep possession of the ball in order to pass it to the forwards on their team. Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX/BIC Battery

Players in these positions are referred to as outfield players, in order to distinguish them from the goalkeeper. These positions are further subdivided according to the area of the field in which the player spends most time. For example, there are central defenders, and left and right midfielders. Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX/T Battery

The ten outfield players may be arranged in any combination. The number of players in each position determines the style of the team's play; more forwards and fewer defenders creates a more aggressive and offensive-minded game, while the reverse creates a slower, more defensive style of play. Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX Battery

While players typically spend most of the game in a specific position, there are few restrictions on player movement, and players can switch positions at any time. The layout of a team's players is known as a formation. Defining the team's formation and tactics is usually the prerogative of the team's manager.Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/BI Battery


Games revolving around the kicking of a ball have been played in many countries throughout history. According to FIFA, the "The very earliest form of the game for which there is scientific evidence was an exercise from a military manual dating back to the second and third centuries BC in China."Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/T Battery

The modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the widely varying forms of football played at the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century. Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/WI Battery

The Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were particularly influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Winchester and Shrewsbury schools. Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM Battery

They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football. Some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/BI Battery

In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School also devised an influential set of rules.

These ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association (The FA) in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at theFreemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London.Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/T Battery

The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse. The Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which eventually produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer,Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/WI Battery

the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand; the second for obstructing such a run by hacking (kicking an opponent in the shins), tripping and holding.Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX Battery

Other English rugby football clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA, or subsequently left the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under the charge of Ebenezer Cobb Morley, went on to ratify the original thirteen laws of the game.Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/BI Battery

These rules included handling of the ball by "marks" and the lack of a crossbar, rules which made it remarkably similar to Victorian rules football being developed at that time in Australia. The Sheffield FA played by its own rules until the 1870s with the FA absorbing some of its rules until there was little difference between the games.Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/T Battery

The laws of the game are currently determined by the International Football Association Board (IFAB). The Board was formed in 1886[23] after a meeting in Manchester of The Football Association, the Scottish Football Association, the Football Association of Wales, and the Irish Football Association. Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/WI Battery

The world's oldest football competition is the FA Cup, which was founded by C. W. Alcock and has been contested by English teams since 1872. The first official international football match took place in 1872 between Scotland and England in Glasgow, again at the instigation of C. W. Alcock. Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX Battery

England is home to the world's first football league, which was founded in Birmingham in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor.The original format contained 12 clubs from the Midlands and the North of England. FIFA, the international football body, was formed in Paris in 1904 and declared that they would adhere to Laws of the Game of the Football Association.Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/B Battery

The growing popularity of the international game led to the admittance of FIFA representatives to the International Football Association Board in 1913. The board currently consists of four representatives from FIFA and one representative from each of the four British associations.Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/G Battery

Today, football is played at a professional level all over the world. Millions of people regularly go to football stadiums to follow their favourite teams,  while billions more watch the game on television or on the internet. A very large number of people also play football at an amateur level.Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/L Battery

According to a survey conducted by FIFA published in 2001, over 240 million people from more than 200 countries regularly play football.  Football has the highest global television audience in sport.

In many parts of the world football evokes great passions and plays an important role in the life of individual fans, local communities, and even nations. Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/P Battery

The Côte d'Ivoire national football team helped secure a truce to the nation's civil war in 2006 and it helped further reduce tensions between government and rebel forces in 2007 by playing a match in the rebel capital of Bouaké, an occasion that brought both armies together peacefully for the first time.Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/W Battery

By contrast, football is widely considered to be the final proximate cause in the Football War in June 1969 between El Salvador andHonduras. The sport also exacerbated tensions at the beginning of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, when a match between Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star Belgrade degenerated into rioting in March 1990.Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX Battery


There are 17 laws in the official Laws of the Game. The same laws are designed to apply to all levels of football, although certain modifications for groups such as juniors, seniors, women and people with physical disabilities are permitted. Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/B Battery

The laws are often framed in broad terms, which allow flexibility in their application depending on the nature of the game. The Laws of the Game are published by FIFA, but are maintained by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), not FIFA itself.Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/G Battery

In addition to the seventeen laws, numerous IFAB decisions and other directives contribute to the regulation of football. The most complex of the laws is offside. The offside law limits the ability of attacking players to receive the ball when closer to the opponent's goal line than: the ball itself; the second-to-last defending player (which can include the goalkeeper); and the half-way line.Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/L Battery

Players, equipment, and officials

Each team consists of a maximum of eleven players (excluding substitutes), one of whom must be the goalkeeper. Competition rules may state a minimum number of players required to constitute a team, which is usually seven.Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/P Battery

Goalkeepers are the only players allowed to play the ball with their hands or arms, provided they do so within the penalty area in front of their own goal. Though there are a variety of positions in which the outfield (non-goalkeeper) players are strategically placed by a coach, these positions are not defined or required by the Laws. Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/W Battery

The basic equipment or kit players are required to wear includes a shirt, shorts, socks, footwear and adequate shin guards. Headgear is not a required piece of basic equipment, but players today may choose to wear it to protect themselves from head injury. Sony VAIO VPCEB190X Battery

Players are forbidden to wear or use anything that is dangerous to themselves or another player, such as jewellery or watches. The goalkeeper must wear clothing that is easily distinguishable from that worn by the other players and the match officials.Sony VAIO VPCEB19FX Battery

A number of players may be replaced by substitutes during the course of the game. The maximum number of substitutions permitted in most competitive international and domestic league games is three, though the permitted number may vary in other competitions or in friendly matches. Sony VAIO VPCEB19GX Battery

Common reasons for a substitution include injury, tiredness, ineffectiveness, a tactical switch, or timewastingat the end of a finely poised game. In standard adult matches, a player who has been substituted may not take further part in a match.IFAB recommends that "that a match should not continue if there are fewer than seven players in either team.Sony VAIO VPCEB1AFX Battery

" Any decision regarding points awarded for abandoned games is left to the individual football associations.

A game is officiated by a referee, who has "full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been appointed" (Law 5), and whose decisions are final. Sony VAIO VPCEB1AFX/B Battery

The referee is assisted by two assistant referees. In many high-level games there is also a fourth official who assists the referee and may replace another official should the need arise.


As the Laws were formulated in England, and were initially administered solely by the four British football associations withinIFAB, the standard dimensions of a football pitch were originally expressed in imperial units.Sony VAIO VPCEB1AGX Battery

The Laws now express dimensions with approximate metric equivalents (followed by traditional units in brackets), though popular use tends to continue to use traditional units in English-speaking countries with a relatively recent history of metrication, such as Britain.Sony VAIO VPCEB1AGX/BI Battery

The length of the pitch for international adult matches is in the range of 100–110 m (110–120 yd) and the width is in the range of 64–75 m (70–80 yd). Fields for non-international matches may be 91–120 m (100–130 yd) length and 45–91 m (50–101 yd) in width, provided that the pitch does not become square. Sony VAIO VPCEB1BGX Battery

Although in 2008, the IFAB initially approved a fixed size of 105 m long and 68 m wide as a standard pitch dimension for A international matches, this decision was later put on hold and was never actually implemented.

The longer boundary lines are touchlines, while the shorter boundaries (on which the goals are placed) are goal lines.Sony VAIO VPCEB1BGX/BI Battery

A rectangular goal is positioned at the middle of each goal line. The inner edges of the vertical goal posts must be 7.32 m (8 yd) apart, and the lower edge of the horizontal crossbar supported by the goal posts must be 2.44 m (8 ft) above the ground. Nets are usually placed behind the goal, but are not required by the Laws. Sony VAIO VPCEB1CGX Battery

In front of each goal is an area known as the penalty area. This area is marked by the goal line, two lines starting on the goal line 16.5 m (18 yd) from the goalposts and extending 16.5 m (18 yd) into the pitch perpendicular to the goal line, and a line joining them.Sony VAIO VPCEB1CGX/BI Battery

This area has a number of functions, the most prominent being to mark where the goalkeeper may handle the ball and where a penalty foul by a member of the defending team becomes punishable by a penalty kick. Other markings define the position of the ball or players at kick-offs, goal kicks, penalty kicks and corner kicks.Sony VAIO VPCEB1DGX Battery

Duration and tie-breaking methods

A standard adult football match consists of two periods of 45 minutes each, known as halves. Each half runs continuously, meaning that the clock is not stopped when the ball is out of play. There is usually a 15-minute half-time break between halves. The end of the match is known as full-time.Sony VAIO VPCEB1DGX/BI Battery

The referee is the official timekeeper for the match, and may make an allowance for time lost through substitutions, injured players requiring attention, or other stoppages. This added time is commonly referred to as stoppage time or injury time. The duration of stoppage time is at the sole discretion of the referee. Sony VAIO VPCEB1EGX Battery

The referee alone signals the end of the match. In matches where a fourth official is appointed, toward the end of the half the referee signals how many minutes of stoppage time he intends to add. The fourth official then informs the players and spectators by holding up a board showing this number. Sony VAIO VPCEB1EGX/BI Battery

The signalled stoppage time may be further extended by the referee. Added time was introduced because of an incident which happened in 1891 during a match between Stoke and Aston Villa. Trailing 1–0 and with just two minutes remaining, Stoke were awarded a penalty. Sony VAIO VPCEB1FGX Battery

Villa's goalkeeper kicked the ball out of the ground, and by the time the ball had been recovered, the 90 minutes had elapsed and the game was over. The same law also stands that the duration of either half is extended until the penalty kick to be taken or retaken is completed, thus no game shall end with a penalty to be taken.Sony VAIO VPCEB1FGX/BI Battery

In league competitions, games may end in a draw, but in some knockout competitions if a game is tied at the end of regulation time it may go into extra time, which consists of two further 15-minute periods. If the score is still tied after extra time, some competitions allow the use of penalty shootouts Sony VAIO VPCEB1GGX Battery

(known officially in the Laws of the Game as "kicks from the penalty mark") to determine which team will progress to the next stage of the tournament. Goals scored during extra time periods count toward the final score of the game, but kicks from the penalty mark are only used to decide the team that progresses to the next part of the tournament Sony VAIO VPCEB1GGX/BI Battery

(with goals scored in a penalty shootout not making up part of the final score).

In competitions using two-legged matches, each team competes at home once, with an aggregate score from the two matches deciding which team progresses. Sony VAIO VPCEB1HGX Battery

‘Where aggregates are equal, the away goals rule may be used to determine the winners, in which case the winner is the team that scored the most goals in the leg played away from home. If the result is still equal, kicks from the penalty mark are required.Sony VAIO VPCEB1HGX/BI Battery

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the IFAB experimented with ways of creating a winner without requiring a penalty shootout, which was often seen as an undesirable way to end a match. These involved rules ending a game in extra time early, either when the first goal in extra time was scored (golden goal), or if one team held a lead at the end of the first period of extra time (silver goal).Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX Battery

Golden goal was used at the World Cup in 1998 and 2002. The first World Cup game decided by a golden goal was France's victory over Paraguay in 1998. Germany was the first nation to score a golden goal in a major competition, beating Czech Republic in the final of Euro 1996. Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/B Battery

Silver goal was used in Euro 2004. Both these experiments have been discontinued by IFAB.

Ball in and out of play

Under the Laws, the two basic states of play during a game are ball in play and ball out of play. Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/G Battery

From the beginning of each playing period with a kick-off until the end of the playing period, the ball is in play at all times, except when either the ball leaves the field of play, or play is stopped by the referee. When the ball becomes out of play, play is restarted by one of eight restart methods depending on how it went out of play:Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/L Battery

  • Kick-off: following a goal by the opposing team, or to begin each period of play.
  • Throw-in: when the ball has crossed the touchline; awarded to opposing team to that which last touched the ball.
  • Goal kick: when the ball has wholly crossed the goal line without a goal having been scored and having last been touched by a player of the attacking team; awarded to defending team. Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/P Battery
  • Corner kick: when the ball has wholly crossed the goal line without a goal having been scored and having last been touched by a player of the defending team; awarded to attacking team. Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/W Battery
  • Indirect free kick: awarded to the opposing team following "non-penal" fouls, certain technical infringements, or when play is stopped to caution or send-off an opponent without a specific foul having occurred. A goal may not be scored directly (without the ball first touching another player) from an indirect free kick.Sony VAIO VPCEB1KGX Battery
  • Direct free kick: awarded to fouled team following certain listed "penal" fouls. A goal may be scored directly from a direct free kick.
  • Penalty kick: awarded to the fouled team following a foul usually punishable by a direct free kick but that has occurred within their opponent's penalty area.Sony VAIO VPCEB1KGX/B Battery
  • Dropped-ball: occurs when the referee has stopped play for any other reason, such as a serious injury to a player, interference by an external party, or a ball becoming defective. This restart is uncommon in adult games.


A foul occurs when a player commits an offence listed in the Laws of the Game while the ball is in play. Sony VAIO VPCEB1KGX/W Battery

The offences that constitute a foul are listed in Law 12. Handling the ball deliberately, tripping an opponent, or pushing an opponent, are examples of "penal fouls", punishable by a direct free kick or penalty kick depending on where the offence occurred. Other fouls are punishable by an indirect free kick.Sony VAIO VPCEB1LFX Battery

The referee may punish a player or substitute's misconduct by a caution (yellow card) or sending-off (red card). A second yellow card at the same game leads to a red card, and therefore to a sending-off. A player given a yellow card is said to have been "booked", the referee writing the player's name in his official notebook. Sony VAIO VPCEB1LFX/BI Battery

If a player has been sent off, no substitute can be brought on in their place. Misconduct may occur at any time, and while the offences that constitute misconduct are listed, the definitions are broad. In particular, the offence of "unsporting behaviour" may be used to deal with most events that violate the spirit of the game, even if they are not listed as specific offencesSony VAIO VPCEB1LFX/WI Battery.

A referee can show a yellow or red card to a player, substitute or substituted player. Non-players such as managers and support staff cannot be shown the yellow or red card, but may be expelled from the technical area if they fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner.Sony VAIO VPCEB1MFX Battery

Rather than stopping play, the referee may allow play to continue if doing so will benefit the team against which an offence has been committed. This is known as "playing an advantage".  The referee may "call back" play and penalise the original offence if the anticipated advantage does not ensue within "a few seconds".Sony VAIO VPCEB1MFX/BI Battery

Even if an offence is not penalised due to advantage being played, the offender may still be sanctioned for misconduct at the next stoppage of play.

National associations oversee football within individual countries. Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX Battery

These are generally synonymous with sovereign states, (for example: the Fédération Camerounaise de Football in Cameroon) but also include a smaller number of associations responsible for sub-national entities or autonomous regions (for example the Scottish Football Association in Scotland). Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX/B Battery

208 national associations are affiliated both with FIFA and with their respective continental confederations.

While FIFA is responsible for arranging competitions and most rules related to international competition, the actual Laws of the Game are set by the International Football Association Board, where each of the UK Associations has one vote, while FIFA collectively has four votes. Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX/L Battery

International competitions

The major international competition in football is the World Cup, organised by FIFA. This competition takes place over a four-year period. More than 190 national teams compete in qualifying tournaments within the scope of continental confederations for a place in the finals. Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX/P Battery

The finals tournament, which is held every four years, involves 32 national teams competing over a four-week period.The most recent tournament, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, was held in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July.

There has been a football tournament at every Summer Olympic Games since 1900, except at the 1932 games in Los Angeles.Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX/W Battery

Before the inception of the World Cup, the Olympics (especially during the 1920s) had the same status as the World Cup. Originally, the event was for amateurs only, however, since the 1984 Summer Olympics professional players have been permitted, albeit with certain restrictions which prevent countries from fielding their strongest sides. Sony VAIO VPCEB1PFX Battery

Currently, the Olympic men's tournament is played at Under-23 level. In the past the Olympics have allowed a restricted number of over-age players per team; but that practice ceased in the 2008 Olympics. A women's tournament was added in 1996; in contrast to the men's event, full international sides without age restrictions play the women's Olympic tournament.Sony VAIO VPCEB1PFX/B Battery

After the World Cup, the most important international football competitions are the continental championships, which are organised by each continental confederation and contested between national teams. These are the European Championship (UEFA), the Copa América (CONMEBOL), Sony VAIO VPCEB1QGX Battery

African Cup of Nations (CAF), the Asian Cup (AFC), the CONCACAF Gold Cup (CONCACAF) and the OFC Nations Cup (OFC). The FIFA Confederations Cup is contested by the winners of all 6 continental championships, the current FIFA World Cup champions and the country which is hosting the Confederations Cup. Sony VAIO VPCEB1QGX/BI Battery

This is generally regarded as a warm up tournament for the upcoming FIFA World Cup and does not carry the same prestige as the World Cup itself. The most prestigious competitions in club football are the respective continental championships, Sony VAIO VPCEB1RGX Battery

which are generally contested between national champions, for example the UEFA Champions League in Europe and the Copa Libertadores de América in South America. The winners of each continental competition contest the FIFA Club World Cup.Sony VAIO VPCEB1RGX/BI Battery

Domestic competitions

The governing bodies in each country operate league systems in a domestic season, normally comprising several divisions, in which the teams gain points throughout the season depending on results. Teams are placed into tables, placing them in order according to points accrued. Sony VAIO VPCEB20 Battery

Most commonly, each team plays every other team in its league at home and away in each season, in a round-robin tournament. At the end of a season, the top team is declared the champion. The top few teams may be promoted to a higher division, and one or more of the teams finishing at the bottom are relegated to a lower division.Sony VAIO VPCEC20 Battery

The teams finishing at the top of a country's league may be eligible also to play in international club competitions in the following season. The main exceptions to this system occur in some Latin American leagues, which divide football championships into two sections named Apertura and Clausura(Spanish for Opening and Closing), awarding a champion for each.Sony VAIO VPCEE20 Battery

The majority of countries supplement the league system with one or more "cup" competitions organised on a knock-out basis.

Some countries' top divisions feature highly paid star players; in smaller countries and lower divisions, players may be part-timers with a second job, or amateurs. Sony VAIO VPCEF20 Battery

The five top European leagues – the Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy), the Bundesliga (Germany) and Ligue 1(France) – attract most of the world's best players and each of the leagues has a total wage cost in excess of £600 million/€763 million/$1.185 billion.Sony VAIO VPCF112FX/B Battery

Women's association football

Women have been playing association football since the first recorded women's game in 1895 in North London. It has traditionally been associated with charity games and physical exercise, particularly in the United Kingdom. This perception began to change in the 1970s with the breakthrough of organised women's association football. Sony VAIO VPCF115FG/B Battery

Association football is the most prominent team sport forwomen in several countries, and one of the few women's team sports with professional leagues.

The growth in women's football has seen major competitions being launched at both national and international level mirroring the male competitions.Sony VAIO VPCF116FGBI Battery

Women's football faced many struggles throughout its fight for right. It had a "golden age" in the United Kingdom in the early 1920s when crowds reached 50,000 at some matches;this was stopped on 5 December 1921 when England's Football Association voted to ban the game from grounds used by its member clubs. Sony VAIO VPCF117FJ/W Battery

The FA's ban was rescinded in December 1969 with UEFA voting to officially recognise women's football in 1971.TheFIFA Women's World Cup was inaugurated in 1991 and has been held every four years since.

Football culture refers to the cultural aspects surrounding the game of association football. Sony VAIO VPCF117HG/BI Battery

In many countries, football has ingrained itself into the national culture, and parts of life may revolve around it. Many countries have daily football newspapers, as well as football magazines. Football players, especially in the top levels of the game, have become role models for people. Sony VAIO VPCF118FJ/W Battery

The game has become glamourised, with many children practising the game and aspiring to the wealth shown off by the top footballers.Football's power runs deeper than the ninety minutes played on the pitch, it has held the power to unify nations, it has played out wars and it has brought people together from around the world. Sony VAIO VPCF119FC Battery

The FIFA World Cup held every four years is the quintessential football event, combining the greatest players in the world and the passion of the fans. Football has a long and glorious history, with which a vast and diverse culture has emerged. The culture of football can be easily divided into how the players, fans and clubs see the sport.Sony VAIO VPCF119FC/BI Battery

Football chants are generated by fans at matches to encourage their team, insult the opposition, or just make a noise. Some clubs have their own anthems which the crowds sing. Some songs are shared between clubs. While some chants are used to mock opposition players, such as "Who Ate All the Pies?,"Sony VAIO VPCF119FJ/BI Battery

others are more aggressive and of a personal nature against a player on the pitch. Some chanting can be more than insulting, and may even be racist or sectarian in nature. These type of chants tend to have been banned from football stadiums. FIFA and UEFA have both sanctioned "Say no to racism" campaigns to combat offensive chants and songs. Sony VAIO VPCF11AFJ Battery

Although FIFA and UEFA do not directly punish fans who partake in such discrimination, they do expect the domestic leagues and local stadiums to act upon the policies and control what fans say.


There have been a number of accidents and disasters in the history of football.Sony VAIO VPCF11AGJ Battery

Some of these, such as the Hillsborough and Ibrox disasters, were due to problems with crowd control. The Heysel Stadium disaster was a combination of hooliganism and poor crowd control. The Bradford City stadium fire was due to poor fire safety in the stadium. Lessons learned from these disasters have led to safer football stadia.Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ Battery

Fair Play campaign

Fair Play is the name of a FIFA programme which aims to increase sportsmanship as well as prevent discrimination in the game of football. This also involves programmes to reduce racism in the game. The programme extends to outside of football, in trying to support charities and other organisations which improve conditions around the world.tery-27480.htm">Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B Battery

The principles of the Fair Play programme can be summarised as follows:

  1. Play fair
  2. Play to win but accept defeat with dignity
  3. Observe the laws of the game
  4. Respect opponents, team-mates, referees, officials and spectators
  5. Promote the interests of football  Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E Battery
  6. Honour those who defend football’s good reputation
  7. Reject corruption, drugs, racism, violence, gambling and other dangers to our sport
  8. Help others to resist corrupting pressures
  9. Denounce those who attempt to discredit the sport
  10. Use football to make a better world   Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H Battery

Both FIFA and UEFA have awards which they hand out to individuals or groups of people who have promoted what they see as the spirit of Fair Play, both within and outside of football. An example of this was the Italian player Paolo Di Canio who, while not given an award, was congratulated by many sections of the football world for a generous display of Fair Play. Sony VAIO VPCF11MFX/B Battery

Despite having a goal scoring opportunity while playing for West Ham United against Everton, when Di Canio saw the Everton goalkeeper had picked up an injury, instead of scoring what could have been the easiest goal of his career, he caught the ball, thus stopping play and allowing the goalkeeper to receive treatment.Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E Battery

Food and beverage

In the United Kingdom, attendance at football matches is associated with the consumption of traditional football foods such as meat pies and Bovril. Food and beverage sales in stadiums can raise high incomes for clubs, and some clubs make attempts to improve their service and diversify out of traditional foods.Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B Battery

In Brazil, sanduíche de calabresa (pepperoni sandwich) is a popular meal in the surrounding areas of stadiums after matches. In Mineirão stadium, feijão tropeiro, a typical dish from Minas Gerais, is very common. In Germany, many football fans eat bratwurst and drink beers. Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E Battery

In Argentina, choripán (a sandwich with grilled chorizo with crusty bread) and grilled hamburgers are commonly served in stadiums. In the past, a variety of pizza without cheese was served, which is now known as pizza de cancha (“pitch pizza”). In Spain is very common to eat sunflower seeds during the game.Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery


In some countries football has been associated with alcohol consumption. This can be before, during and after the game, with drinking occurring inside the stadium, sometimes illicitly, as well as in pubs and bars outside.Sony VAIO VPCF11ZHJ Battery

However, unwanted behaviour caused by drinking has led to the banning of the sale of alcohol to general supporters in stadiums across the United Kingdom, although most English and Welsh sides continue to sell alcohol within general stadium areas, with only clubs in Scotland being subject to a blanket ban.Sony VAIO VPCF127HGBI Battery

Sales of alcohol still occur in executive lounges. Some teams and countries have Supporters Clubs which have friendly drinking reputations. However some countries are more associated with drunken hooliganism as mentioned in the violence section below.Sony VAIO VPCF137HG/BI Battery

Hooliganism and violence

The level of passion with which football teams are supported has from time to time caused problems, and clashes between fans can result in violence. Some violence occurs by people aiming to cause trouble, a phenomenon known as hooliganism. Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/B Battery

Other fans group together in hooligan firms, which are organized gangs that seek fights with other firms supporting rival clubs. Both are sometimes known as the "English Disease,"  after the disorder caused by English fans travelling abroad to support either their club or national team in the 1970s and 1980s.Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/D Battery

However organised violence surrounding football has been prevalent throughout other countries, most notably by ultrasin Italy, torcidas organizadas in Brazil and barra brava in Argentina and other Latin American countries.Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/G Battery

Violence by fans has ranged from small fights between fans to tragedies such as the Heysel Stadium disaster and also the Football War. There have been incidents of fans being murdered, such as the killings of Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight, two Leeds United supporters, in Istanbul in 2000 on the eve of the UEFA Cup Semi-Final first leg.Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/P Battery

In recent years this aspect of the game seems to have passed its peak in England though it has by no means disappeared completely. Specialist police units and information-sharing between regional and international police forces has made it much harder for the hooligans to organize and participate in disorder.Sony VAIO VPC-P111KX/W Battery

CCTV inside and outside stadiums and also at other anticipated "flash points" such as city centres and railway stations now makes it more likely that people involved in disorder can be identified later even if they are not arrested at the scene. However there are still disruptions surrounding football matches. Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/B Battery

One example being theUEFA Champions League matches which were played on 12 March and 13 March 2005.

Violence by fans has also affected players, but this is rare. For example, a message to Christian Vieri, apparently by an Inter Milan fan, threatened to burn down his restaurant, criticising his attitude towards the team.Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/D Battery

There is also the notorious incident where the Colombian international player Andrés Escobar was murdered shortly after returning home from the 1994 World Cup. This was reputedly for scoring the own goal which eliminated Colombia from the competition.Sony VAIO VPC-P112KX/G Battery

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