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Historical Origin   Rugby Football   Fantasy Football   Basics of Football
Fairplay Fouls 2010 Fifa World Cup Stadiums for 2011

Football is the name given to a number of different team sports, all of which involve (to varying degrees) kicking a ball with the foot in an attempt to score a goal. The most popular of these sports world-wide is association football, also known as soccer and most commonly just football. The English language word "football" is also applied to gridiron football (which includes American football and Canadian football), Australian rules football, Gaelic football, rugby football (rugby league and rugby union), and related games. Each of these codes (specific sets of rules, or the games defined by them) is referred to as "football".
These games involve:
• two teams of between 11 and 18 players
• kicking a spherical or prorate spheroid ball (which is itself called a football) with the foot;
• a clearly defined area in which to keep the ball;
• scoring goals and/or points, by moving the ball to an opposing team's end of the field and either into a goal area, or over a line;
• the goal and/or line being defended by the opposing team;
• players being required to move the ball—depending on the code—by kicking, carrying and/or hand passing the ball;
• goals and/or points resulting from players putting the ball between two goalposts and;

In most codes, there are rules restricting the movement of players offside, and players scoring a goal must put the ball either under or over a crossbar between the goalposts. Other features common to several football codes include: points being mostly scored by players carrying the ball across the goal line and; players receiving a free kick after they take a mark/make a fair catch.

Peoples from around the world have played games which involved kicking and/or carrying a ball, since ancient times. However, most of the modern codes of football have their origins in Europe.


Historical Origin

The term 'football' derives from old celtic folk games played by towns people against one and other. Old rules of the game were: - Two Teams, Two sides of the towns limits, Each team must attempt to advance the 'Ball' to one or the other ends of the town. The most common limb used to move the ball was usually the foot and therefore adapted games have taken on the name like 'football'.

Documented evidence of what is possibly the oldest activity resembling football can be found in a Chinese military manual written during the Warring States Period in about the 476 BC–221 BC. It describes a practice known as cuju (literally "kick ball"), which originally involved kicking a leather ball through a hole in a piece of silk cloth strung between two 30-foot (9.1 m) poles. During the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), cuju games were standardized and rules were established. Variations of this game later spread to Japan and Korea, known as kemari and chuk-guk respectively. By the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618–907), the feather-stuffed ball was replaced by an air-filled ball and cuju games had become professionalized, with many players making a living playing cuju. Also, two different types of goal posts emerged: One was made by setting up posts with a net between them and the other consisted of just one goal post in the middle of the field.


The Japanese version of cuju is kemari, and was adopted during the Asuka period from the Chinese. This is known to have been played within the Japanese imperial court in Kyoto from about 600 AD. In kemari several people stand in a circle and kick a ball to each other, trying not to let the ball drop to the ground (much like keepie uppie). The game appears to have died out sometime before the mid-19th century. It was revived in 1903 and is now played at a number of festivals.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans are known to have played many ball games some of which involved the use of the feet. The Roman writer Cicero describes the case of a man who was killed whilst having a shave when a ball was kicked into a barber's shop. The Roman game harpastum is believed to have been adapted from a team game known as "επισκυρος" (episkyros) or phaininda that is mentioned by Greek playwright, Antiphanes (388–311 BC) and later referred to by Clement of Alexandria. These games appears to have resembled rugby.
There are a number of references to traditional, ancient, and/or prehistoric ball games, played by indigenous peoples in many different parts of the world. For example, in 1586, men from a ship commanded by an English explorer named John Davis went ashore to play a form of football with Inuit (Eskimo) people in Greenland. There are later accounts of an Inuit game played on ice, called Aqsaqtuk. Each match began with two teams facing each other in parallel lines, before attempting to kick the ball through each other team's line and then at a goal. In 1610, William Strachey of the Jamestown settlement, Virginia recorded a game played by Native Americans, called Pahsaheman. In Victoria, Australia, indigenous people played a game called Marn Grook ("ball game"). An 1878 book by Robert Brough-Smyth, The Aborigines of Victoria, quotes a man called Richard Thomas as saying, in about 1841, that he had witnessed Aboriginal people playing the game: "Mr Thomas describes how the foremost player will drop kick a ball made from the skin of a possum and how other players leap into the air in order to catch it." It is widely believed that Marn Grook had an influence on the development of Australian rules football (see below).
Games played in Central America with rubber balls by indigenous peoples are also well-documented as existing since before this time, but these had more similarities to basketball or volleyball, and since their influence on modern football games is minimal, most do not class them as football.
These games and others may well go far back into antiquity and may have influenced later football games. However, the main sources of modern football codes appear to lie in western Europe, especially the British Isles. back top


Rugby Football

In Britain, by 1870, there were about 75 clubs playing variations of the Rugby school game. There were also "rugby" clubs in Ireland, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. However, there was no generally accepted set of rules for rugby until 1871, when 21 clubs from London came together to form the Rugby Football Union (RFU). (Ironically, Black heath now lobbied to ban hacking.) The first official RFU rules were adopted in June 1871. These rules allowed passing the ball. They also included the try, where touching the ball over the line allowed an attempt at goal, though drop-goals from marks and general play, and penalty conversions were still the main form of contest..

They also included the try, where touching the ball over the line allowed an attempt at goal, though drop-goals from marks and general play, and penalty conversions were still the main form of contest. back top

Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football was original created in 1962. Wilfred Winkenbach, one of the part owners of the Raiders, together with two writers for the Oakland Tribune created a set of rules by which sports fans could draft the players from pro football teams onto their own imaginary teams, and play weekly games in a league that rewarded the team with the best record. They then went on to form the first fantasy football league in Oakland, California. This league contained eight teams. Winkenbach became the first commissioner of a fa. Although each current day league has its own specific rules, they are all based on the ideas set forth by the original creators of the game.
A Fantasy Football league is made up of between 8-16 team owners. Each owner will choose players, make up a starting lineup, make trades and sign replacement players. The season lasts 13-15 weeks and at the end of the season, usually coinciding with the NFL season, a playoff will determine the champion.


If the teams choose to use a draft, they need to determine the order and select their players. If they choose to hold an auction then each team owner is given a set amount that they can use to sign 12-16 players. They can choose any combinations they desire. Teams take turns bidding with the previous year’s winners going first. The positions given to players at the beginning of the season remain the same all year even if the actual player changes positions. Owners may trade players any time before the 10th game. Once the commissioner has been notified then the trade is complete.
Owners decide on a starting lineup that consists of a quarterback, 2 running backs, a tight end, a kicker and one defense unit. The unit is one whole defensive lineup from a particular team. This lineup must the set up every week before the kickoff of the first NFL game each week. If the owner does not specify a lineup the one from the previous game will be used. If there are any questions because of trades or any other unusual circumstance it will be up to the commissioner to decide on the line-up before the actual game.
The scoring for these games is fairly complex. Points are awarded based on how well your players perform in several categories. All real-life statistics have point values, and each player's points are totaled to produce your weekly score. Generally six points are awarded for touchdowns, three points for field goals, two points for safeties and any other statistical points that are agreed upon by the league and approved by the commissioner.
At the end of the season, in addition to the playoffs, some leagues hold what it called the “Toilet Bowl”. This is a game in which the two worst teams compete for the title of “Toilet Bowl Champion.” The team that is outscored is awarded this title. They are sometimes in charge of providing refreshments for the following years selection meeting.
Fantasy football leagues can be found in many places. Look in your local newspaper or on the web sites of your local football teams. If you cannot find a local league then consider joining an online league. There are literally thousands of leagues online. Some are just for fun and there are no fees involved. Others have entry fees, but the owners compete for a large money prize. back top

Basics of Football

At its core, football is a game with two teams of eleven players, played over the course of 90 minutes. This period is split into two 45-minute halves. The objective of the game is to score more ‘goals’ than the opposition. The term ‘goal’ refers to two areas either side of the pitch, each one defended by one of the teams. A ‘goal’ is scored by depositing the ball into the opponent’s area.

Football can be played on a natural or artificial (e.g. Astroturf) surface. However, the shape of the field must be rectangular, with the dimensions of 90-120 metres long by 45-90 metres wide. Notably, the guidelines for international matches are stricter (100-110 metres x 64-75 metres).

Goal Area: Starts 5.5 metres from each goalpost and extends 5.5 metres out, with the two lines joining vertically
Penalty Area: Starts 16.5 metres from each goalpost and extends 16.5 metres out, with the two lines joining vertically.
Flagpost: Placed at each corner, with a quarter-circle on the field (1 metre in radius).
Goals: 7.32 metre area between the posts, and 2.44 metres high. The posts cannot exceed 5 inches in width.

One of the eleven is classified as the goalkeeper and permitted to handle the ball in his team’s penalty area. The eleven players are supplemented by the option to bring on a maximum of three substitutes from a pre-decided list of three to seven players (the number of substitutes permitted is slightly higher for international friendly matches).

In order to bring on a substitute, the referee must first be informed and then there has to be a break in the play (for example, a free-kick or a throw-in). The substitute then comes on as a replacement for one of the 11 current players.

Basic equipment is the team jersey, shorts, shinguards with socks and studded boots or trainers depending on the surface. The goalkeeper is also permitted gloves and a different coloured jersey for identification purposes.

The referee adjudicates the match in collaboration with two linesmen (properly referred to as ‘referee’s assistants’) and a fourth official, situated on the touchline, if necessary. The referee’s tasks include acting as a timekeeper (although with advice on the amount of ‘injury time’ to be added on to the 45 minutes each half to compensate for injuries and other stoppages), awarding free kicks and penalties and generally dealing with anything requiring a ruling. Can also choose to allow play to proceed in case of a foul, providing there is an ‘advantage’ to be gained by the team against which the foul has been committed.

The match officially lasts 90 minutes, split into two 45-minute halves with a half-time interval of no longer than 15 minutes.
In the knock-out stages of competitions, extra-time is used if there is no winner after 90 minutes. This extra period is 30 minutes, split into two 15 minute halves. If extra-time does not find a winner, then a penalty shoot-out takes place, where five players from each team are selected and alternate shots on goal from the penalty spot against the opposition goalkeeper. In that instance, the team with the most successful penalties is declared the winner. If they are still tied then they will move on to sudden-death penalties, where each team will take one penalty until one of the two sides has scored move than the other after the side amount of spot kicks.
A coin toss takes place just before the game starts, the winner of which will get the choice of choosing which end to attack or whether to kick-off. Should they choose to kick-off then the other captain will be allowed elect which end to attack in the first half. Should the winner decide to choose which end to attack then the loser can choose whether to kick-off in the first or second half.
The kick-off is also used after a goal has been scored, the task befalling the team who has conceded, and for both halves of extra-time.

At the kick-off, players from each side must all be in their half of the field. The actual kick-off takes place on the centre spot in the centre circle. The player who kicks off cannot touch it again until another player has made contact.

A team can only score if the whole ball crosses the goal line between the goalposts. The winner is the team who scores more goals, except in a competition where the ‘away goals’ rule applies. The ‘away goals’ rule means that, if a team scores a goal away from their home stadium, the goal counts extra (therefore, a 1-1 scoreline would mean the away team wins). back top


Alongside the laws of the game, FIFA advocates a Fair Play programme. Based around a number of rules, typically involving abstract ideas, they are intended to inform footballers and spectators on proper behaviour on and off the field.

Play fair on the field.
Play to win but accept defeat properly.
Observe the Laws of the Game.
Respect everyone involved in the game.
Promote football’s interests.
Honour those who defend football’s reputation.
Reject any corruption, drugs, racism, violence and other harmful vices.
Help others to do exactly the same.
Denounce any who discredits the integrity of football.
Use football to make a better world. back top


A foul can take place anywhere on the pitch, and a free kick is awarded where that foul takes place (excepting fouls in the penalty area, which result in a penalty kick). The referee can choose simply to award the foul, speak to the player about his conduct or take matters further.

If the single infraction is deemed serious enough or the culprit persistently offends during a match, the referee can choose to take extra action against a particular individual:

Yellow Card - A ‘caution’ given to a player. If two of these cards are shown to the same player.

Red Card - Showing a red card to a player means he/she is expelled from the match. A straight red card (no previous ‘caution’) can be shown for extreme offences such as serious foul play, violent conduct, spitting, deliberate hand-ball to prevent a goal, a professional foul (denying a goalscoring opportunity) and insulting language and/or gestures. back top

2010 Fifa World Cup

In 2010 South Africa will host the Fifa Football World Cup, the first time the world's premier sporting event will be held on African soil. Get a sneak preview of the personalities, places, cities - and all the stadiums - that will help make Africa's debut a feast of football.

South Africa regularly hosts major international sporting events, and since 1994 has successfully managed some of the biggest - including the 1995 Rugby World Cup, the 2003 Cricket World Cup, the Women's World Cup of Golf in 2005 and 2006 and, in January 2006, the only street race in the inaugural A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport.

But the Football World Cup, the world's biggest sporting event after the Olympic games - in terms of television audience, bigger than the Olympics - is in a class of its own.

For four weeks in 2010, South Africa will be the centre of the world. The Germany 2006 World Cup was the most extensively covered and viewed event in television history. South Africa 2010, promise to draw even bigger audiences. The eyes of billions of television viewers, an estimated three million international visitors and the cream of the world's sporting media will be focused on the southern tip of Africa. We don't aim to disappoint. back top

Interactive Map of the World Cup Stadiums in South Africa - The final 10 stadiums to be utilised for the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa.

The Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, Free State, is to have a major upgrade, with a third tier added, increasing its capacity to 45 000.

It will host five first-round matches and one second-round.

The Free State Stadium was substantially upgraded in advance of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, and the structure now stands as a fully functioning venue for international sports events.

Situated within the city's sports precinct, the Stadium is only a few minutes' drive from proposed Fifa and team hotels.

This dedicated sporting environment, which includes in close proximity independent stadiums for cricket, hockey, athletics and swimming, as well as several secondary fields, has been repeatedly proven ideal for the application of safety and security, the provision of ample parking and the presentation of excellent corporate hospitality.

Six thousand VIP guests can be entertained, some in uniquely converted luxury train carriages placed conveniently behind the main stand. In advance of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, a second tier will be added to the main grandstand on the western side of the ground, increasing the net capacity beyond the 40 000-mark required for venues to stage first and second round matches.

Additionally, new turnstiles will be erected, the floodlights will be upgraded, electronic scoreboards will be installed and the sound system will be revamped to the required standards. By then, the Free State Stadium will be ready to welcome both participating teams and visiting supporters to a world class venue.


Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town, Western Cape, is to be specially built for 2010, with a retractable roof and a capacity of 68 000.

It will host six first-round matches, one second-round, one quarter-final and one semifinal match.

Cape Town on Tuesday (31/10/2006 20:19) gave the go-ahead for the construction of a R2.5bn football stadium as a venue for World Cup 2010 matches, news reports said.

The new stadium is to be built on a 10.6 hectare site in the suburb of Green Point, within walking distance of the city's popular Victoria and Alfred Waterfront at a cost of R2.5bn according to the Sapa news agency.

Regulations to limit noise and light pollution and to minimise the visual impact of the facility that will have a seating capacity of 68 000 are to be adhered to, officials in the Western Cape said.

The Green Point stadium that presently occupies a part of the site and has hosted various entertainment events, including one of Nelson Mandela's star-studded Aids benefit concerts, is to be demolished to make way for the stadium.

The King Senzangakhona Stadium in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, is to be specially built for 2010,
with a capacity of 70 000.

It will host six first-round matches, one second-round, and one semifinal match.

King's Park stands less then a kilometre from the Indian Ocean and is recognised as the prime sporting venue in the holiday city of Durban.

Set in expansive grounds ten minutes' drive from the primary hotel hub, the Stadium has been regularly renovated and improved in recent years and now stands as a mighty, towering structure.

King's Park hosted the international friendly played between South Africa and England in May 2003 to celebrate the international launch of South Africa's 2010 World Cup bid and the Stadium won unreserved praise from visiting officials and media.

Originally built as a rugby Stadium and used as a semi-final venue in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, King's Park has now become a dual-code venue, and indeed staged Bafana Bafana's first ever match, a famous 1-0 victory over Cameroon in July 1992.

For 2010, new roofed upper tiers will be constructed at the north and south ends of the ground, behind each of the goals, to create a fully encircled oval with a new net capacity of 60 000 seats.

King's Park will be nominated as a semi-final venue, ready to host memorable Fifa World Cup matches on warm evenings, cooled by the balmy breeze wafting in from the Indian Ocean.

The new Senzangakhona stadium, unveiled recently at Durban's ICC by KwaZulu-Natal's Premier Sbu Ndebele and eThekwini Mayor Councillor Obed Mlaba, will be a world-class stadium.

The new stadium will be built on the site of the existing King's Park stadium and has been designed as a first-class multi-purpose sporting facility.

Named after a founding father of the Zulu nation, King Senzangakona (ca. 1762 - 1816 ), the 100m high arches will mark the centre of Durban's growing Sports City Complex.

Senzangakhona stadium key features:

   The stadium will have a seating capacity for 70 000 people.

   The arches will be 100m high.

   The stadium will cover 320 x 280 square metres and will be 45m in height.

   There will be parking for 10 000 cars.

Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Gauteng, is to undergo minor upgrades for 2010, and has a capacity of 60 000. It will host five first-round matches, one second-round and one quarter-final.

Ellis Park was constructed in 1982 as a modern, integrated stadium offering outstanding sight lines from every seat. The Stadium stands within a world class sporting precinct, barely 15 minutes' walk from the Johannesburg City Centre, and offers outstanding office, security and medical features.

Ellis Park was conceived as a rugby stadium, and is fondly known to all South Africans as the venue of the 1995 Rugby World Cup final when South Africa defeated New Zealand, but it has also become recognised as a premier venue for soccer. Manchester United and Arsenal are two major clubs to have graced the turf, and the Stadium has hosted South Africa's national team on many celebrated occasions.

For 2010, new upper tiers will be constructed behind each of the goals, at the north and south ends of the venue, increasing the net capacity by 10 149 seats to a total 60 000.

Ellis Park will then meet every requirement to be accepted as a venue for one of the semi-final matches.

The Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, is to be specially built, with a capacity of 30 000. It will host four first-round matches.

Construction of the new Mbombela Stadium on open land just 8km north of Nelspruit will confirm the recently rising fortunes of this far north-eastern corner of South Africa.

Local communities have been denied such a facility for far too long and this stadium will correct the anomaly.

Again, the 2010 Fifa World Cup will have provided the crucial impetus in the creation of a world class facility that will significantly improve the quality of life for millions of South Africans.

The Mbombela Stadium has been designed to ensure it enjoys a prosperous life beyond the tournament as an adaptable, relevant multi-sport, entertainment and exhibition venue.

An elevated site has been chosen for the rounded, rectangular shaped structure, incorporating ideal sight lines from every seat and a substantial administrative area on the western side.

The stadium will be specifically constructed to ensure that it meets all Fifa requirements and presents a compact and attractive venue for both first and second round matches.

Visiting teams and supporters may well be impressed by their safari drives in the nearby Kruger Park but, for explosive noise and thrilling atmosphere, even the Big Five would be stretched to outdo the Fifa World Cup spectacle at Mbombela Stadium.

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