is one of the simplest sports in the world to play. A young
Pelé famously practised football skills with a grapefruit.
Below is a text about the origins and development of football.
Read the paragraph headings in the box, then skim the paragraphs
and match the headings to the paragraphs. Try to do this in
less than 10 minutes.
It has been recorded that during the Ts'in and Han Dynasties
(255 BC-220 AD) the Chinese played 'tsu chu', in which animal-skin
balls were dribbled through gaps in a net stretched between
two poles. Certain ancient Egyptian rites are said by historians
to have similarities with football, and both the ancient Greeks
and Romans also played a game that entailed carrying and kicking
In Mexico and Central America, between 600 and 1600 AD, the
Mayans and Aztecs played a game with a hard rubber ball in
a rectangular walled courtyard. As early as 1580 in Italy,
Giovanni Bardi published a set of rules for 'calcio'. North
American folklore tells of 17th century native Americans playing
pasuckquakkohwog - (which means, 'they gather to play ball
with the foot'). Pacific islanders played games with inflated
pig bladders using hands and feet; the Eskimo are reputed
to have played Aqsatuk on ice, with balls stuffed with grass,
caribou hair and moss.
It was in England, though, that versions of the game were
most widespread: essentially a violent mob sport with no rules,
it was played at least from Roman times onward. Various monarchs
and authorities suppressed the game, although Henry VIII is
believed to have been a keen player. Even Royal decrees couldn't
stop it - the 'people's game' had taken a grip.
The 19th century saw football's decisive evolution. Many English
public schools played the game, which still had free rules.
Some favoured the dribbling game, while others, such as Rugby
School, allowed handling or carrying the ball. On 26 October
1863, prominent clubs and schools representatives met in the
Freemason's Tavern in London to establish a set of fundamental
rules that would be acceptable to everyone. The meeting led
to the formation of the English Football Association - but
no agreement between the 'footballers' and the 'handlers'.
The majority of the parties involved favoured a game without
handling. There was to be no reconciliation - and the handling
game went its own way to become rugby, while the first set
of established rules for football were issued.
The football itself had also evolved. At first a simple pig's
bladder, it next gained a leather covering that echoed the
natural shape of the bladder, but was still inflated by mouth.
Finally, in 1862, with the invention of India-rubber bladders
and hand-pumps, round footballs were possible.
By 1870, the Football Association had 39 member clubs. The
world's oldest club, Sheffield FC, had been founded in 1857.
The idea of a national knockout competition grew in strength,
and finally resulted in the launching of England's FA Cup
The first international match saw England and Scotland play
a goalless draw in Glasgow on 30 November 1872, some still
claim the Scot's were lucky! Subsequent years brought crucial
developments such as the fixing of the size of the ball, the
use of a crossbar to replace tape, and the introduction of
a referee and two linesman to take charge of the game.
In 1888, English football set up a competitive structure.
On 17 April, at a meeting of prominent English clubs, the
Football League was formed. Following England's example, national
associations were formed in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. British
influence abroad led to other countries forming national football
bodies. In 1904, an international umbrella organisation, FIFA,
was born. Football was on its way...
practice for you to answer specific questions, but it's also
very good practice to form questions for specific, given answers.
Look at the example below, then try to write questions for
the answers in the box below.
1871 When did the English FA launch the FA Cup?
write another 10 answers and challenge a friend to write the
Sheffield FC 2. Giovanni Bardi 3. Henry VIII 4. 1862 5.
Pig's bladder 6. 39
7. Aqsatuk 8. 'they gather to play ball with the foot'
9. Rugby 10. 0-0
You can use a general subject,
like football, to group and order words. If you do this, some
people find it easier to remember new and related words.
|referee linesman ball boots goalkeeper goal post defender
gloves stadium midfielder
net pass centre forward crossbar score
the words from the box below into the correct category, then
use a dictionary to check.
have a favourite sport or hobby? Why not research this sport/hobby,
write a brief history of how it began, or maybe a how popular
it is today, including the most famous players and countries.
Give yourself a word limit of 150 words. Think of categories/headings
for your paragraphs, such as The early years, Today, The future.
some questions about your article and give them to a friend.
Finally think of all the words you associate with this sport/hobby
and put the words into categories, if you don't know the words
in English use Bengali/English dictionary. Choose something
you are interested in and you will find it easier, or at the
least; more fun!
C-3, D-8, E-4, F-5, G-7, H-1
1. Which is the world's oldest club?
2. Who wrote the rules for Calcio?
3. Which Royal liked football's violent predecessor?
4. When were round footballs first possible?
5. What were the first footballs made of?
6. How many clubs were members of the FA by 1870?
7. What game, similar to football, did Eskimos play?
8. What does 'pesuckquakkohwog' mean?
9. What did the 'handling game' become?
10. What was the score of the first international match?
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