History

With a history that stretches back nearly 800 years, England is considered to be the birthplace of the game of football. There have been references to the game dating back as far as the thirteenth century with improvements and modifications of the game occurring throughout. By the sixteenth century the players were beginning to organize into special teams. Goal s appeared about this time as well.

The game became codified and regulated in the nineteenth century as the Cambridge Rules were established. These guidelines were an attempt to encourage competition in schools and universities. The Sheffield Rules followed a decade later and finally the Football Association League came into being in 1863. With the coming of league divisions, the gap between professional and amateur teams widened. By the turn of the twentieth century football had become so popular that the Football League had to begin further internal divisions between the differently sponsored teams.

English football began growing in popularity worldwide. By the middle of the twentieth century other countries had begun to challenge England's hold on the championships and more often took top honors away from the Isles. Championship tournaments began cropping up outside the confines of Wembley. The European Cup championships came next and into the late twentieth century English football had traveled around the world to become the favorite national sport of many South American cultures.

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