An Englishman, a Scotsman, an Italian, a Chinese, a Brazilian, a Japanese and an Egyptian walk into a bar on Copa Cabana beach to watch a football match during the 2014 World Cup hours before kick-off time. By the 5th round of Guinness (The Egyptian abstained) a verbal fight breaks out (expletives deleted) when each claims his nation to be the birth place of the most popular sport – world football.
The Brazilian starts: “I’m not sure what you are arguing about? We Brazilians invented the “Jogo Bonito” (The Beautiful Game) and it is the only legitimate style of football as evidenced by Brazilian dominance of world football throughout the years.”
“You have got to be kidding” says the Englishman. “Everybody knows that England is the birth place of football. The modern-day soccer was established in 1863 when representatives from London clubs and schools met at the Freemason’s Tavern to set up common rules to control the matches amongst themselves. The outcome of this meeting was the formation of the Football Association in December, 1863
[Expletive deleted] said the Scotsman. Clearly, my British pal did not read Vocabula, an Aberdonian (citizen of Aberdeen in Scotland) it described a game in which two teams played with a ball on a field roughly the size of the present regulation pitches and refers to terms like goalkeepers, kick off, and switch halves.”
“So what?” said the Englishman “Well, said the Scotsman, this book was written in the fourteenth century, more than 400 years before the English FA was formed.”
“I have been quiet all this time and you notice that I wasn’t drinking either” said the Egyptian. I bet none of you ever heard of Baqet III. Images of this sport played by women with a ball were depicted on his tomb and we’re talking 2500 B.C. ”You better start drinking” the men responded almost in unison. “It is clear that you are not the sober one among us.”
“O.K.” said the Japanese, “I wasn’t going to say anything for fear that you’ll think I am crazy, but I am sure none of you heard of the Japanese version of ‘soccer’ called Kemari, a game much like modern hackysacks and men played it. Now, we’re talking 1000 B.C”
Just then a Greek fellow walked joined the group having just heard the Japanese. “In ancient Greece, they played a game called Episkyros, in which two equal numbered teams would try to throw the ball over the heads of the other team. There was a white line between the teams and another white line behind each team and that was B.C”
“Sit down and have a drink” said the Italian “Did you hear about Calcio?” “Italy invented a game called “calcio”. The game involved kicking, carrying or passing a ball across a goal line. In 1580, Giovanni Bardi published a set of rules of the game of calcio.” That’s the closest to football that any of you have mentioned so far about some ancient games. In fact we call it Calcio to this very day.”
“I wasn’t going to say anything said the Chinese but you made me do so, so I’ll be quick as the game is about to start. Not to brag but almost everything important was invented by Chinese. China’s military forces around 2nd and 3rd century BC (Han Dynasty) played a game, originally named “Tsu Chu”,that involved kicking a leather ball stuffed with fur into a small hole. Like Soccer, no hands were permitted during the play of the game.” “Can we have another round?”
Just then the match started and no one was sure and no one cared who was right. They all claimed ownership of the game just as it should be.
If you need a more definitive answer, this is all we have:
When and where exactly did soccer start is a question that has no precise answer to it. You can easily say that this popular game has been played for more than three thousand years. The nativity of modern-day soccer must be credited to Britain, with Scotland and England being the co-founders of the systematic game of soccer.