Association Football (Soccer)Category: Sport
The Most Popular Game in the World. Terminology of Football. Violence at and around Football Grounds. Description of a Match
Football has been called the most popular game in the world, and it certainly has a great many fans in Britain.
Association football (or soccer) is the game that is played in nearly all countries. A team is composed of a goalkeeper, two backs, three half-backs and five forwards. There is another game called rugby football, so called because it originated at Rugby, a well-known English public school. In this game the players may carry the ball. There is also an American kind of football, different from the other two. The captain of the team is usually the oldest or best player.
Association football, or soccer, remains one of the most popular games played in the British Isles. Every Saturday from late August until the beginning of May, large crowds of people support their sides in football grounds up and down the country, while an almost equally large number of people play the game in clubs teams of every imaginable variety and level of skill. Over the last 20 years though, the attendance at football matches has fallen away sharply. This is because of changing lifestyles and football hooligans. As violence at and near the football grounds increased, there was an ever-increasing tendency for people to stay away, leaving the grounds to football fans.
After serious disturbances involving English supporters at the European Cup Finals in Brussels in 1985 which led to the deaths of 38 spectators, English clubs were withdrawn from European competitions for the 1985-1986 season by the Football Association. Today, many people are Only interested in football because of the pools and the chance of winning a lot of money. The Cup Final at Wembley remains, though, an event of national importance. Here is a drawing of a football field, or “pitch”, as it is usually called.
The football pitch should be between 100 and 130 metres long and between 50 and 100 metres wide. It is divided into two halves by the halfway line. The sides of the field are called the touch-lines and the ends are called the goal-lines. In the middle of the field there is a centre circle and there is a goal at each end. Each goal is 8 metres wide and between 27 and 3 metres high. In front of each goal is the goal area and the penalty area. There is a penalty spot inside the penalty area and a penalty arc outside it. A game of football usually lasts for one and a half hours. At half-time,1 the teams change ends. The referee controls the game. The aim of each team is obviously to score as many goals as possible. If both teams score the same number of goals, or if neither team scores any goals at all, the result is a draw.
The final of the football competition takes place every May at the famous Wembley stadium in London. Some of the best known clubs in England are Manchester United, Liverpool and the Arsenal. In Scotland either Rangers, Celtic or Aberdeen usually win the cup or the championship.