Association football

team field sport with the objective to score points by shooting a ball into the goal frame of the opponent team
(Redirected from Soccer)
For the American sport, see American football. For other sports known as football, see Football

Association football is a sport played between two teams. It was invented in England, and is played in most countries. In the United States and Canada, it is called soccer. In most other countries it is called football. Association football is the most popular sport in the world. [1]

Switzerland and Albania playing in a football match
A football field

There were various attempts to codify the rules of football in England in the mid-19th century. The present laws date from 1863 when a set of rules was adopted in Rugby, Warwickshire by the newly formed Football Association.

Each team has 11 players on the field. One of these players is the goalkeeper, and the other ten are known as "outfield players". The game is played by kicking a ball into the opponent's goal. A match has 90 minutes of play, with a break of 15 minutes during the match. The break in the middle is called half-time. Added time may be added after half time or after 90 minutes to make up for time lost during the game because of fouls, free kicks, corner kicks, injuries, bookings, substitutions or any other time the game is stopped. If a match ends in a tie, extra-time with two halves of 15 minutes each may be played, and if there is still a tie, a penalty shootout decides the winner. Sometimes extra-time is skipped and the game goes right into the penalty shootout.


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In football, the fundamental purpose of the fans is to encourage their team during the match.

There are many competitions for football, for both football clubs and countries. Football clubs usually play other teams in their own country, with a few exceptions. Cardiff City F.C. and Swansea City F.C from Wales for example, play in the English leagues and in the English FA Cup. Another exception is also in Major League Soccer, where Vancouver Whitecaps, Toronto FC, and Montreal Impact play although they are from Canada. Football clubs also play other teams in their continent in competitions such as the AFC Champions League and the CAF Champions League.

There are 6 associations. These are CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, CAF, UEFA, AFC, and OFC. Each association has their own continental competition between clubs and national teams. Some examples are the Copa América for CONMEBOL national teams and the Copa Libertadores for CONMEBOL clubs. FIFA organises international competitions between worldwide clubs and countries. Clubs play in the Club World Cup, and countries play for the World Cup.

The FIFA World Cup takes place every four years between national teams, and is the world's most popular sporting event, even more popular than the Olympic Games.[2] In football, there are two main competition types. In a "league", all of the teams play the same number of games, but in a "cup", teams leave the competition when they lose, until the last two teams play each other to decide the winner.

Who plays footballEdit

Football is the world's most popular sport. It is played in more countries than any other game. In fact, FIFA (the Federation Internationale de Football Association) has more members than the United Nations. It was originally an all-male sport, but today it is played by both males and females (separately, except sometimes at primary school level).

In Europe, the main competitions to compete are the Champions League for the top teams from the top leagues in each country in Europe. Then there is the UEFA Europa League which is for the next best teams from each member country of the UEFA.

The most successful club in the world, in terms of domestic league results, is Rangers F.C. from Scotland, who have won more domestic league titles than any other team in the world. They have won the country's league 54 times[3] which is a world record. In May 2000, Rangers became the first team to win 100 trophies.[4][5] Other successful clubs are FC Barcelona and Real Madrid from Spain, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund from Germany, Galatasaray S.K. from Turkey, Juventus and Napoli from Italy, Liverpool and Manchester City from England, and Paris Saint-Germain from France.


Fundamental rulesEdit

Note: this is not a complete summary
  • The side which scores the most goals wins. If scores are equal, the result is a draw. In cup competitions, there may be extra time and penalties to determine a winner.
  • The officials in a football game are a referee and two linesmen.
  • Goals are scored by getting the ball into the opponents' goal, more than halfway across the line.
    • Referees have access to goal-line cameras to decide close cases.
    • The offside rule means that there have to be at least two defenders between the attacker and the defenders' goal when the attacker's teammate passes the ball to him/her. (This is not a complete summary: the rule is complex). Usually, one of the two defenders is the goalkeeper.
  • Players may not use their hands or arms (handball), except the goalkeeper, who may use them within his own penalty area (penalty areas are in front of both goals).
  • The ball is out of play if it crosses the field boundaries.
    • If a player hits the ball out of play at the side of the field, the other team gets to throw the ball back into play (a throw in).
    • If a player hits the ball out of play at their end of the field, the other team kicks the ball back into play from the corner (a corner kick);
    • If a player kicks the ball out of play at the other end of the field, the other team kicks the ball back into play from directly in front of the goal (a goal kick).
  • Football is a game of two halves. Each half is 45 minutes. The referee may add time to the end of each half when play is delayed due to injuries or substitutions. There is an interval of ten minutes between halves.
  • Each team is allowed up to three substitutes from the bench during the course of a game. No player substituted can return during the game.

Behaviour rulesEdit

  • Players may not trip or push each other (a foul).
  • Players may not hold each other or stop other players from getting to the ball (obstruction).
  • When a player scores he/she is not allowed to jump into the crowd. If he/she does they will get a yellow card. The same applies to lifting or removing their shirt in celebration.
  • Players must not abuse referees in any way (verbally or physically).
  • Players who commit bad fouls get shown a yellow card. Players who commit really bad fouls, or get shown two yellow cards in the same game, get shown a red card. Players who get shown a red card get sent off the field and cannot finish playing the game. In some competitions (like the Premier League in England) you miss the next game (suspended) if you get a red card, or pick up 5 yellow cards during the season.

Related pagesEdit


  1. "The Most Popular Sports in the World". WorldAtlas. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |dead-url= (help)
  2. World’s most watched TV sports events: 2006
  3. "Total Number of Championships". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 4 June 2020. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |dead-url= (help)
  4. "Rangers stars celebrate". BBC Sport. 27 May 2000. Retrieved 2020-06-11. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |dead-url= (help)
  5. "Glasgow Rangers - 100 Trophies". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 21 October 2001. Retrieved 11 June 2020. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |dead-url= (help)