(See the Vocabulary list for the definitions of words in green.)
An ancestor of soccer was played in ancient China, beginning around 300 BC. The sport was called cuju (‘kick-ball’) and was used as fitness training for the military as well as for entertainment. Cuju flourished during the Song Dynasty, when clubs and leagues with professional players were formed.
In Europe, a violent form of soccer was played during the Middle Ages. It was a chaotic game with an unlimited number of players on each team, resulting in many injuries and even deaths. In 1314, the sport was banned by royal law in London.
Modern soccer developed in England in the 19th century, when rules were established to standardize the various types of soccer played in school and university clubs. FIFA was founded in 1904 to oversee international competitions such as the World Cup, the first of which was held in Uruguay in 1930. Nowadays, there are also regional soccer championships on every continent.
audience = people who watch (TV, a show, a movie, etc)
ancestor = a thing or person from the past, from which a current thing or person developed
fitness = exercise
chaotic = disorganized, crazy
banned = prohibited, forbidden, not permitted
royal = related to the king, queen, emperor, etc.
standardize = to make the same
oversee = manage
Additional Soccer Vocabulary
coach = the person who trains, teaches, and directs the team
goalkeeper = the person who stays in front of the goal to stop the ball from going in
field = the place where soccer is played
foul = an illegal action in the game
kick = to hit the ball with your foot
league = a group of sports clubs that play games with each other
pass = to give the ball to another player on the same team
referee = the person who controls the rules of the game, who starts and stops the game
score a goal = to put the ball into the goal
shoot = to kick the ball at the goal (try to score)
tie = when the game ends and both teams have the same score, for example, 2-2
passed two balls
shot two kicks
scored two goals