Football is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players each. The objective of the game is to score by directing the ball into the opposite goal. The winner is the team which has scored most goals at the end of the match. The contemporary history of the world’s favourite game spans more than 100 years. It all began in 1863 in England when Football Association in England was formed – becoming the sport’s first governing body. A search down the centuries reveals at least half a dozen different games, varying to different degrees, and to which the historical development of football has been traced back.
Yet, the fact remains that people have enjoyed kick a ball about for thousands of years. Football is played at a professional level all over the world, and millions of people regularly go to football stadium to follow their favourite team, whilst millions more avidly watch the game on television. A very large number of people also play football at an amateur level.
In many parts of the world football evokes great passions and plays an important role in the life of individual fans, local communities, and even nations; it is therefore often claimed to be the most popular sport in the world. There are many worldwide international competition of football. One of the major international competitions in football is the World Cup organized by Federation International de Football Association. Over 190 national teams compete in qualifying tournaments within the scope of continental confederations for a place in the finals.
The finals tournament, which is held every four years, now involves 32 national teams competing. The next World Cup takes place in Germany 2006.