What is football?



This sport has been around for hundreds of years. In 1863 some men in England founded the Football Association (FA). The FA wrote the rules of football because before that no one was sure what the rules are.

In football there are eleven players on each time. There is also a referee. The referee decides if a rule has been broken. He then gives a throw in, free kick or penalty to the team that did not break the rule. The referee always wears black.Teams can also have reserves. They can take a player off and bring on another player.

The pitch is about 100 m long. There is a half way line. There is a centre point and there is a centre circle around it. There is a penalty area around each goal. Within that is a the 5 m box which goes 5 m in front of the goal and 5  to each side of the posts.

A goal has two upright posts and one cross bar. To score a player must put the ball into the goal. Usually he kicks it but sometimes he headers it. Occasionally he may use another part of his body such as his chest.

One of the most important rules in football is that footballers are not allowed to touch the ball with their hands. There is an exception. The goal keeper is allowed to use his hands but only inside the penalty area.

The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) brings together FAs from all over the world. FIFA has its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. FIFA is the governing committee for the sport. FIFA organises the world cup.

In the United States, Australia and Ireland people say ‘soccer’ when they mean football.


1. What does FA stand for?

2. How many players are on the team?

3. What is a referee?

4. How long is a football pitch?

5. What is FIFA?

6. What do people call football in the United States?

7. What is the box in side the penalty area called?

8. Who is the only player allowed to touch the ball with his hands/

9. What is a header?

10. What colour does the referee wear?

About Calers

Born Belfast 1971. I read history at Edinburgh. I did a Master's at UCL. I have semi-libertarian right wing opinions. I am married with a daughter and a son. I am allergic to cats. I am the falling hope of the not so stern and somewhat bending Tories. I am a legal beagle rather than and eagle. Big up the Commonwealth of Nations.

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