Football in London

Some of London’s football clubs are known around the world - Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspurs. Here are some facts about ‘the beautiful game’. 

Football has been played for a long long time.

Football has been played in England since the medieval times. The first mention of a game similar to football appears in a report of one man’s trip to London in 1170. He wrote about a game where all the young men of the city came out to a field to kick a ball around. The older men and wealthy people of the area came to watch the game. In the 1860s, the Football Association created an official set of rules of how to play football. 

Football was once banned.

Nowadays, football is a game where people can be very enthusiastic! However, in the past, the game was particularly violent and chaotic with large uncontrolled groups of young men running towards the goals. King Edward II was worried by the negative effects of the game on the citizens of London, so he banned people from playing football in the city. In 1349, his son King Edward III declared football to be illegal throughout all of England! 

Women were banned from playing football in certain places.

Women’s football has been around since the 1890s. Apparently there was even a match back then that attracted 10,000 spectators to Crouch End in north London. However, at one point in history, women were forbidden from playing on official Football Association grounds in England. It was thought that football wasn’t a suitable game for females. The Football Association changed their mind at the end of the 1960s, and now there are approximately 3.4 million women and girls across England playing the game!

English Football is not the same as American football.

There are plenty of differences between British English and American English, and this is one of them! The game which is called ‘football’ in England, is called ‘soccer’ in America. As well as this, ‘American football’ is more similar to rugby because you can pick up the ball and tackle people with your whole body. However, in rugby players use limited body protection, while in American football body armour is absolutely necessary!

Football fans can be louder than a plane.

The Turk Telecom Arena in Istanbul, Turkey holds a Guiness World Record for the loudest football stadium in the world. A crowd watching a football match in this stadium was recorded at 131 decibels. Chelsea football fans have been recorded at 80 decibels. Watching a match with these supporters is similar to sitting next to a food blender for 90 minutes!

Football is an amazing game that has come a long way since some boys started to kick a pig’s bladder around a field in London! Now FIFA World Cup matches can have an audience of over 3 billion people around the world. Football is an important part of culture in England and also a great way to make connections with locals.

Check your vocabulary!

Match the words in bold in the article with the correct definition. 

 

  • The people who want a particular team to do well
  • The people watching an event, in person or on television
  • The net where players aim to put the ball
  • The arena or facility where a sporting or music event is held
  • The group of people watching a game
  • People watching an event
  • To attempt to take the ball from someone
  • The correct way to do something, what is allowed and what is forbidden
  • A game between two teams
  • The people on the team

Rules The correct way to do something, what is allowed and what is forbidden

Goals The net where players aim to put the ball

Match A game between two teams

Spectators People watching an event

Tackle To attempt to take the ball from someone

Players The people on the team

Stadium The arena or facility where a sporting or music event is held

Crowd The group of people watching a game

Supporters The people who want a particular team to do well

Audience The people watching an event, in person or on television

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