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Association football


Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity. The modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association.

Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may also use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms. The team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA; French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association), which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years.

Selected article

Margate (blue shirts) in action in 2007
Margate Football Club are an English football team based in the seaside resort of Margate, Kent. Nicknamed "The Gate", the club have reached the third round proper of England's premier cup competition, the FA Cup, on two occasions.

Founded in 1896, the club joined the Southern Football League in 1933 and remained there until 2001 when they gained promotion to the Football Conference, the highest level of English non-league football.

Their tenure in the Conference saw the team forced to groundshare with other clubs due to drawn-out and problematic redevelopment work at their Hartsdown Park stadium, and during the three years spent away from their own ground they were expelled from the Conference National and subsequently relegated to the Isthmian League.

Selected biography

James Milner
James Milner (born January 4, 1986) is an English footballer who plays as a winger and left-sided midfielder.

Milner began his career at Leeds United by joining the club's academy in 1996, he was later taken on as a trainee. Milner made his inaugural appearance for the first-team in 2002, aged only 16 and became prominent by becoming the youngest player ever to score in the Premier League.

While at Leeds United, Milner spent time on loan at Swindon Town to gain experience as a first team player. Following his move to Newcastle United in 2004, he was loaned to Aston Villa for a season before establishing himself as a regular starter in the Newcastle first team.

A playmaker, he has made over a hundred appearances for the club, as well as making a record number of appearances for the England Under-21 side. He was part of the squad that reached the semi-finals of the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship before eventually losing 13-12 in a penalty shoot-out in which he scored twice. In October 2007, Milner scored Newcastle's 500th home Premier League goal in a 3–1 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

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Map of USA
The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) is the official governing body of the sport of soccer in the United States. Founded in 1913, it is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. It is a member of FIFA, and is responsible for governing amateur and professional soccer, including the men's, women's, and Paralympic national teams. The USSF is also responsible for sanctioning referees and soccer tournaments for most soccer leagues in the United States.

The federation oversees the leagues of Major League Soccer and the United Soccer Leagues as well as the Women's Premier Soccer League and W-League. The federations major cup competition is the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup which is open to all affiliated teams and has been contested since 1914.

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A close-up of a grassed football pitch
Credit: fotoguru.it

An Association football pitch is usually traditionally covered in grass. Much investment is made on the playing surfaces in larger clubs, with some importing specialist seeds and turf from European countries and each club employing a groundsman to keep it in good condition for playing. The game is also played on artificial turf at a professional level in some countries.

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Away from home our fans are fantastic...but at home they have a few drinks and probably the prawn sandwiches, and they don't realise what's going on out on the pitch.

Did you know...

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  • ... that collegiate soccer coach Pete Fewing has also officiated at the weddings of two of his former players? (10 May 2019)


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