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Football in its current, definitive form emerged in 19th century England, but rudimentary forms existed thousands of years ago in indigenous cultures in Mesoamerica, China and Australia. In this article, learn about football's precursors, its forms, in which era and culture it was played - the whole history of football is a long story, which is why it would be great if Lemon Casino and 5Gringos Casino added a sportsbook section so that you can bet on this great sport through their platforms. 

The origins of football

The earliest record of football dates back to the 11th century BC, in Mesoamerican culture. The ball was made of stone, often symbolising the sun, and the captain of the losing team was sacrificed to the gods. Later, the ball was made of rubber, which made it bounce quite well. This is a big word because no other ancient culture used rubber - they didn't know it. 

Ancient Greece & Rome

Of course, in the cradle of civilization, Ancient Greece, there were ball games similar to football, first mentioned in the 7th century BC. The balls were made of shreds of leather filled with hair or filled with air. However, the ancient Greeks did not hold this sport in high regard, and it is no coincidence that football is not included in the Olympics, as it was not included in its ancestor, the Panhellenic Games. 

It was known in Ancient Rome, but even there it did not have a large fan base and was not played in prominent places such as amphitheatres. It was used more as a military exercise, but they were the ones who brought it to the British Isles. 

Marn Gook

In the early 19th century, when white people emigrated to the Australian mainland and met the indigenous people there, they learned that they had been playing Marn Gook in the years before the BC era. This was also a version of football, for which the ball was made from leaves and roots, and the main feature of the game was that the ball could not touch the ground. 

Cuju & Kemari

The first documented version of football in which there is specific mention of kicking the ball comes from China. This was in the 3rd-2nd centuries BC and the game was called Cuju. The ball was made of leather, stuffed with fur or feathers and played within a square area. This version later spread to Japan, had ceremonial significance and was called kemari. 

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England & Italy

The game in its current, almost definitive form was created in 12th century England. The reason it is not yet definitive is that the ball could be hit with a fist, but it was played on grass, just as it is today. 

There are written sources on football from 16th century Florence. Here it was called Calcio and many people took part in the games, which were usually played in the larger towns. The game was quite brutal at the time, with many deaths, and was banned in most European countries during the century. Fortunately, online sports betting does not involve deaths, so we are on pins and needles waiting for 5Gringos Casino to open a sportsbook section. 

Football, however, was not long out of the public consciousness, as it resurfaced in London in the 17th century. In 1835, in the 19th century, it was again banned, but by then football had become an established part of physical education in schools. 

Figuring Out the Rules

But there is still a long way to go before football is treated as a sport in its own right and not lumped in with rugby. The size of the ball, the number of players and the length of the match varied from city to city.

The first attempts to lay down specific rules were made in Cambridge in 1848, but they were not yet successful. In 1863, however, a major step forward was taken with the formation of the world's first football association in London. They finally agreed on a few basic things: the ball could not be touched with hands during a match, football was separated from rugby, and the size and weight of the ball was agreed on. 

It is clear that football, originally a leisure activity mainly for the British working class, has come a long way to become the popular sport enjoyed by millions of people around the world today, and on which a whole industry has grown.