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The Emergence And Development Of Association Football

2252 words - 9 pages

Football has come a long way and has gone through various changes in order to develop into the popular game we know today. Football has developed into the most popular and diffused sport in the world, and has gone from being a game to also a business with commercial success being of uppermost importance. There have been reports made by various sources suggesting that football has ancient origins and that it was played in some form as far as back as 1000BC, and maybe before. The Ancient Greeks allegedly played a form of football known as episkyros, and the Romans a similar game, harpastum. (, 2003). However, there is no valid evidence to suggest that the Chinese, Greeks, Romans or any other ancient civilisation played any form of football or kicking related game.The 'sports' played in Ancient times were violent affairs, but this reflected the tolerance and acceptance of violence in their societies at this time. Violence in sport continued to be a huge part of sport well into the middle ages and beyond. However, the levels of violence in sport have changed significantly over time and this is represented through The Civilising Process. Elias (1998, p. 178) concludes 'A comparison of the level of violence represented by the game-contests of classical Greece, or for that matter by the tournaments and folk-games of the Middle Ages, with those represented by contemporary sport-contests shows a specific strand in a civilising process.'In the Middle Ages violence in sport remained predominant through 'folk football'. In Europe throughout the Middle Ages football slowly began to develop into the more recognisable form of the sport which we know today through 'folk football'. 'Folk football' flourished throughout the Middle Ages from about the eighth century to around the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although there are discrepancies about the precise time in the Middle Ages when football emerged; there is no doubt that 'folk football' played a massive part in Medieval sport. Sport in Medieval times, as during the Ancient times was stratified according to social class and 'folk football' along with other folk games was the sport of the peasantry. 'Folk football' was a very aggressive and violent game that involved no rules. Dunning (2002) states that 'At this time there was more social toleration towards high levels of violence and injury. After all, life was hard and these were the norms of the day in Britain. Certainly, these attitudes were reflected in the earliest incarnation of the sport we now know as football.' Medieval sports were somewhat unorganised when compared to the 'sports' of the Ancient era and 'folk football' was played all over Europe, but there were many different versions of football 'due to the irregular organisation of societies as a whole at this time. There was no particular central power base - instead many pockets of societies existed throughout Europe.' (Bloyce, Green...


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