"The earliest evidence of soccer dates from about 200 in China, where a form of the game was played that emphasized the ability of players to dribble a leather ball. The Greeks and Romans also participated in a variation of soccer that permitted ball carrying.
The modern-day outgrowth of soccer is known to have started in England, and the first ball reportedly was the head of a dead Danish brigand. Although King Edward III prohibited soccer in 1365 because of its excessive violence and for military reasons playing took time away from archery practice the game had become too popular to be curtailed."
"There is documentary evidence that a game or skill building exercise, involving kicking a ball into a small net, was used by the Chinese military during the Han Dynasty - around the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC.
Earlier evidence - of a field marked out to play a ball-kicking game has been found at Kyoto, in Japan.
Both the Greeks and ancient Romans played a soccer-type game which resembled modern soccer - although in this early version, teams could consist of up to 27 players!
It is impossible to say accurately where and when soccer started - but it is reasonable to assume that some type of ball game - from which the organised sport we know today developed - has been played somewhere on the planet for over 3000 years.
In medieval times, towns and villages played against rival towns and villages - and kicking, punching, biting and gouging were allowed.
The object of the game was to move the ball to an agreed spot which had been marked out before play commenced.
Hundreds of people took part and games could last all...