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The Emergence And Development Of Association Football

2667 words - 11 pages

The Emergence and Development of Association Football

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. (http://www.thehistoryoffootball.com/, 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...

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