Football is one of the most popular ancient sports from contemporary history. Its origin is not very clear whether it was invented in Aztec or England or China. The most interesting form was the game that was adopted by the Chinese military in the Han Dynasty bearing the name, Tsu’ Chu. It involved aiming a leather ball through an opening as small as 30-40cm in width! The rule was to aim while still in combat with other militants. The losing team was flogged for the ‘shameful defeat’. 500 years down, a new form of football from the Japanese Kemari changed the aggressive elements to subtle play and passing of the ball. However the ball was not supposed to touch the ground during the whole game. The Epsikyros version of Greek and Harpastum in Rome had a similar model though the pitch was triangle. There were no rules that restricted the use of feet only. In Britain, there was the most unruly form of football nicknamed ‘mob football’. This form of football could be played by countless people, with no rules but pure violence. Injuries were greatly witnessed. The rule was ‘Be Ware!”
Football reflects various cultures and dimensions in the world and has sufficed many challenges through millenniums especially in Europe where the royalty placed a ban prohibiting the masses from playing with very harsh penalties.
The surprising facts about football are that it caused major political thunderstorms and civil war. Remember the ‘100 Hours War’ between Honduras and El Salvador in 1969. After Honduras won the first match, tension began spreading across the two countries after Honduras fans were inhumanly brutalized at the game. On the next match Honduras team lost 3-0 to El Salvador as their means to get out of the stadium alive. The decisive match that tipped the ice berg was the 1970 world cup qualifier rounds that El Salvador won during extra-time in the month of June. By July 14 war had broken out claiming the lives of more than 2,000 people.
Surprisingly, football has also fostered peace between conflicting countries that postponed war for two days just to watch football star Pele and the Santos team play two matches after arriving the war torn country. The match between Turkey and Armenia in 2009 made the two rivals burying the hatchet, and white doves were used in the stadium to show the beginning of a peace settlement between the two nations. Didier Drogba brought peace to Ivory Coast after their 3-1 win defeat against Sudan, he used a football match to settle the scores between the government and rebels for the very first time in 2007. Football also revived the pride of Germany after the Second World War when they came back from two goals down to beat Hungary three goals snatching the 1954 world cup it was a Miracle of the Bern. Football has proved to be very essential to the world, and is a necessity we cannot live without. The long lasting effects of Association Football will always remain a continental legacy.