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The articles Football , Association Football and Soccer thematically overlap. Help me to better differentiate or merge the articles (→  instructions ) . To do this, take part in the relevant redundancy discussion . Please remove this module only after the redundancy has been completely processed and do not forget to include the relevant entry on the redundancy discussion page{{ Done | 1 = ~~~~}}to mark. Jagulin ( discussion ) 07:45 am , Aug 28, 2019 (CEST)

Soccer is a ball sport in which two teams compete against each other with the aim of scoring more goals than the opponent and thus winning the game. The playing time is usually twice 45 minutes, plus stoppage time and, if applicable, extra time and / or penalty shoot-outs . A team usually consists of eleven players, one of whom is the goalkeeper . The ball may be played with the whole body with the exception of the arms and hands; mainly he is kicked with the foot. Only the goalkeeper (within his own penalty area ) - or the field players when throwing in - are allowed to touch the ball with their hands.

The success of football is based firstly on its simplicity. The cost of resources and equipment is relatively low (see e.g. street football ), which has made it very popular in many developing countries, and it is easy to understand or even take for granted for newbies and spectators. Secondly, comparatively few goals are scored, which increases the value of a goal and makes the games more exciting, since superior or better-placed teams do not win as often or can be determined as winners early as in other ball sports. However, these peculiarities have recently been counteracted by more complicated regulations (including changes to the offside rule ) and ever greater (technical) effort in top-level football (including video evidence ) to lead to a "fairer" football.

Football originated in Great Britain in the second half of the 19th century and spread to continental Europe and other continents from the 1880s and 1890s . It is considered the world's most popular team sport . In contrast to other sports (such as handball ), top football clubs usually only developed in large cities, which can have the very complex infrastructure with increasingly higher requirements.


Early forms of the game

In the second millennium BC A soccer-like game called Cuju (Ts'u-chü) ("cu" = to hit with the foot; "ju" = ball) was played in China . Nothing is known about the rules of the game at that time. However, it is certain that it was carried out as a military training program to train soldiers. In the course of the Zhou dynasty , the sports game also spread among the people, and attempts were made to limit violence and roughness through rules. The ball was sewn together from pieces of leather and stuffed with feathers and animal hair. During the Qin to Sui dynasties , the game of soccer became increasingly popular. Between the years 220 and 680 the air-filled ball was invented and football rules (goals, goalkeepers and captains) were recorded for the first time. However, about 100 years later, the game was forgotten again.

In the 17th century, the Calcio Storico , a type of football, was played in Florence

From the culture of ancient Greece , images of ball games on reliefs and vases have been preserved, mainly from Sparta , where physical fitness was of great importance. The Romans of antiquity knew ball sports, like the Chinese Cuju u. a. were played in a military context.

The Turkish scholar Mahmud al-Kāschgharī describes in his book dīwān lughāt at-turk that in the 11th century a game called Tepük ( Old Turkish for: kick) enjoyed great popularity among the Turkic peoples living in Central Asia .

In the early Middle Ages, an early type of today's football game was practiced in England , in which residents of two towns tried to push a ball through the opposing city gate. The “playing field” was always between two locations, even if they were several kilometers apart.

With the discovery of America , the Europeans came into contact with the ancient ball games of Central America , which had a long tradition across different cultures, some had a religious or judicial function and were played in fortified stadiums.

Even if England is considered the "motherland of football", there have also been fighting games related to the driftball game in France and Italy . The Calcio Storico has been practiced in Florence since the 15th century , a kind of football game that can be quite rude. Scaino wrote in 1555:

The runner who runs through the field with the ball in hand should create some strong space so that her husband has free passage. But if he sees himself attacked by a large crowd, he should let up in the run and ... kick the ball, and he will be able to do so faster with the kick of the foot than in any other way, since a kick is safer in this way. "

Scaino also determined the size of the square (the church square in front of Santa Croce (Florence) = approx. 100 × 50 m), determined that goals decide (and not the beautiful game or the particularly beautiful outfit) and that the game is excluded from normal life is (subordinate relationships in real life do not apply on the court, ie the master cannot order the servant to give him the ball).

The roots of football in the 19th century

The first international match (between England and Scotland) took place in 1872 (press drawing)

In 1848, Cambridge University students wrote the first rules of football. After that, a team consisted of 15 to 20 players. In 1857 founded Cricketer with the Sheffield FC the first official football club in the world. England is therefore now considered the "motherland of football", also because the first football association was established here with the Football Association (FA) founded in London in 1863 , a comprehensive set of rules was created and the development of the sport was sustainably promoted.

The term soccer as the English name for football is derived from the term Association Football for the sport that was coined as opposed to rugby , in the sense of playing football according to the rules of the Football Association .

The offside rule was introduced in 1866, and the Sheffield Code expanded the rules to include the corner kick and the free kick . In 1870 the FA limited the number of players to eleven. A year later, the English Football Association banned all field players from playing handball , only the goalkeeper was allowed to play the ball in his own half with his hand, but had to release it after two steps. In 1872 a uniform ball size was set. With these rules, the game of football was separated from rugby , which was still much more widespread at the time .

In 1872 the first official international match between Scotland and England was played in Glasgow (final score 0-0). In the same year the first national soccer competition was introduced with the FA Cup , two years later the soccer referee, who directed the game as referee.

In 1878 the first game with electric lighting (by so-called floodlights ) took place in Sheffield on Bramall Lane . A year later, the first professional league was founded in England ( Preston North End was the first champion ). In 1891, the penalty kick was incorporated into Ireland's rules. Since 1897, a playoff can be extended in the event of a tie. Two years later, the English federation in England allowed the paid club change, but initially only to a maximum of ten pounds .

In continental Europe, football was first able to establish itself in Switzerland . In the Lake Geneva region , English people studying at private schools there introduced football from around 1855. The oldest club still in existence, FC St. Gallen , which was also founded by English students in 1879 , then played a central role in administrative issues relating to football. From Switzerland, the soccer ball was exported to the surrounding countries. The Stade Helvétique Marseille , founded by the Swiss, became French champions in 1909; the team consisted of 10 Swiss and one Englishman. The FC Barcelona was again the Swiss Joan Gamper founded.

FC St. Gallen in 1881

In 1895, eleven Swiss clubs, including university teams made up of British players, formed the Swiss Football Association . This carried out the first Swiss championship in the season 1897/1898 under the sponsor La Suisse Sportive , a French sports newspaper .

At the same time, the soccer game was still in its infancy in Germany. It was first introduced by the high school teacher Konrad Koch in 1874 at the Martino-Katharineum in Braunschweig . Koch himself was a fan of rugby throughout his life. His biographer Malte Oberschelp emphasizes that Koch did not introduce football in Germany, but rugby. That is why he let his students play this variant of football by picking up the ball with their hands. In the western Rhineland , resident English merchants and industrialists brought "football" into the country alongside traditional equestrian sports . He had to struggle for social recognition here much longer than in the mother country of England, because until the 20th century, German physical training and education was synonymous with gymnastics, which had been firmly anchored in schools and the military since the establishment of the empire in 1871 . The team sport imported from England was a new and modern form of physical culture in the German Empire .

For a long time, the first football club in Germany was the Dresden English Football Club , which was founded in 1873 by English people living and working in Dresden . From an English source, however, it emerges that the Dresden Football Club was founded in October 1873, but played according to rugby rules. Football also established itself very early on in the Imperial Navy, which was closely aligned with the English model and global rivals. The first evidence of a soccer game in Germany that was played according to the rules of the Football Association (FA) comes from Lüneburg and dates from 1875. The Johanneum there was led by the teacher Wilhelm Görges and the young Englishman Richard Ernest Newell, who came from Marlborough College Twopeny the soccer game. Several games are documented, the first one was also reported in the Lüneburgsche Anzeiger in September 1875. The club founded at the Johanneum only existed for a short time and was then forgotten.

There were also early founding associations around the old technical universities, for example in Dresden, Karlsruhe, Aachen and Munich. The aspiring footballers adopted corporate student customs and songs in their sport, but distanced themselves from the classic liaison between traditional universities and conventional gymnastics. So from the song line O old lad's glory became the text O wonderful football game .

The soccer sport of those years was mainly practiced in middle-class circles and was considered a fashion sport of the bourgeoisie and climbers, not least of all of Jewish origin (cf. Kurt Landauer ). Workers did not have enough free time or financial resources to equip them. It was only through the social legislation of the Weimar Republic that football, along with other sports, also reached the working class in the 1920s and thus became a mass phenomenon.

Organized football in the 20th century

The Allianz Arena in Munich: One of the most modern stadiums in the world, built for the 2006 World Cup

In 1900, when the German Football Association (DFB) was founded, football was given a superordinate association for the first time in Germany. In the same year two football games were played at the Olympic Games in Paris .

On May 31, 1903, the Altona football club from 1893 (Altona 93) hosted the final of the German football championship between VfB Leipzig and DFC Prague on the parade pasture in Bahrenfeld (then a district of Altona ).

From 1908, the military also discovered football and its role in strengthening group cohesion. The first military teams emerged within the infantry, u. a. with the sailors.

On May 21, 1904, a world association, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), was founded in Paris , which was supposed to organize international matches and establish the international football rules, but also had to orientate itself to the much older English FA and the other British associations . This also resulted in the International Football Association Board , which to this day consists of representatives from the four British associations and four representatives from FIFA. The FIFA defined the term dangerous game , led the direct free kick and picked up the provision that the pants the players had to cover the knees. Further new rules of the world football association forbade the goalkeeper to leave the goal line at the penalty kick, but he was allowed to move to irritate the shooter. Metal inserts were also prohibited in football boots, the ball had to be made of leather, and the referees were required to keep a score sheet. In 1907 the offside was canceled in their own half of the game. Two years later, rules on eviction were made . In 1913, FIFA introduced the so-called due distance (10 yards , about 9.15 meters) between the shooter and opponents on free kicks. In 1920 offside was canceled at the throw-in . The corner ball has been allowed to be shot directly into the goal since 1924 .

With the introduction of a professional league in 1924, Austria was the first continental European country with a league for professional football players . Three years later, the Austrian Football Association initiated the Mitropapokal, the first major international competition for club teams in Europe. The Mitropa Cup is considered to be the forerunner of today's European Cup .

Since 1900 's soccer Olympic event , in 1920 took Egypt in part as the first non-European nation. With 22 competitors, including the USA and Uruguay , the 1924 Olympic tournament in Paris was the first global competition. The winner was Uruguay, which was able to repeat its Olympic victory in Antwerp in 1928 .

In 1930, on the initiative of Enrique Buero and Jules Rimet, FIFA hosted the first World Cup , in which the host Uruguay became world champions. 13 teams took part in the World Cup, but the German team, like almost all European teams, decided not to travel to South America for cost reasons .

The European football association UEFA was founded in 1954 in Basel . As early as 1955/56, UEFA hosted the first European Cup (today: UEFA Champions League ) and, since 1960, the European Cup of Nations , which was renamed the European Championship in 1968 .

In 1970 the German Football Association allowed women's football in Germany after women's football teams had increasingly formed under sometimes creative "cover names".

On December 15, 1995, the so-called " Bosman decision " shook the common replacement practice in football. The European Court of Justice found that soccer players were normal workers. Since then, football players can only be charged a transfer fee if they have an ongoing contract.

After several invitation tournaments in the 1970s and 1980s, the first women's soccer world championship took place in 1991 , and since 1996 the Olympic champion has also been determined among the women's national teams.



Soccer is played by two teams of eleven players each on a rectangular playing field . The aim of the game is to get the ball into the opponent's goal more times than the opponent manages. A goal only counts if the ball completely crosses the goal line between the goal posts and below the crossbar. Football is the name of both the sport and the game device, football itself.

The goals are in the middle of the two short sides of the pitch. They are guarded by a special player from the respective team, the goalkeeper , who is allowed to play the ball with his hands inside the penalty area . The goalkeeper wears special clothing and equipment (goalkeeper gloves) that visually distinguishes him from the other players. The other ten players on each team are called field players and are divided into defenders , midfielders and strikers .

The winner is the team that has scored the most goals during the game. In the event of a tie, the game ends in a tie. Games in so -called knockout rounds are an exception , where extra time and / or a penalty shoot-out may occur for the purpose of decision-making .


Dimensions of a soccer field

The game in the open field is generally subject to the following rules: The game is played on a rectangular open field . In professional football, a lawn is used as a floor covering, less often it is played on a hard court (tennis court), but increasingly on artificial turf .

The length of the short side (goal line) should be between 45 and 90 meters, the length of the long side (sideline) between 90 and 120 meters (68 by 105 meters are common, these dimensions have been mandatory for international matches since 2008 ). The playing field is delimited by white lines (mostly lime ) that may not be more than twelve centimeters wide. The center line, the kick-off circle and kick-off point, the penalty area and penalty spot, the goal area and the four corner circles are also marked.

In the middle of each short side there is a gate . It consists of two "posts" that are connected by a "crossbar". The distance between the inner edges of the posts is 7.32 meters. The lower edge of the crossbar is 1.44 meters from the floor. The goals have nets to catch the ball once it has entered the goal. The soccer ball should have the shape of a ball and consist of a suitable material such as leather .

Former FIFA and World Cup referee Walter Eschweiler (2005)

Player equipment for outfield players and goalkeepers is jersey , socks , shin guards , football boots and shorts . The rules state that a player may not wear any jewelry (necklace, wristwatch, ring, earring, etc.) while playing. Glasses are also forbidden if it is not medically necessary to wear glasses (e.g. with Edgar Davids ); the same applies to medical protective masks and bandages. The reason for these prohibitions is the increased risk of injury. The ball may be played with the whole body, except with the arms and hands. Only the goalkeeper is allowed to touch the ball with his arms and hands, but only within his own penalty area and only if the ball was not intentionally passed back to him by his teammate with his foot or knee ( back pass rule ). The goalkeeper is also identified by his clothing, which must be clearly distinguishable from the jerseys of the field players and the referee. Outside the penalty area he behaves like a normal outfield player. A game may not start if no player is marked as a goalkeeper. Field players are also allowed to play the ball with their hands when throwing in , in order to bring the ball back onto the field of play when it has crossed the sideline. Any other intentional touch of the ball with the hand is prohibited. A hand game is to be rated as “intentional” whenever the player makes a movement with his hand or arm towards the ball . If a hand is shot in a natural position, there is no deliberate handball.

The playing time is normally 90 minutes, divided into two halves of 45 minutes each with a half-time break of a maximum of 15 minutes. The actual playing time, however, is usually a few minutes longer, as the referee can extend the playing time by a corresponding "stoppage time" due to interruptions.

A team consists of ten field players and the goalkeeper. The number of players can be reduced by being sent off (“ red card ” or “ yellow-red card ”). In total, a maximum of three substitute players may be substituted on for competitive games in order to replace exhausted or injured players or to make tactical changes. However, players who have already been substituted may not be substituted on again. If a team violates one of these rules, the game is retrospectively rated 3: 0 for the opponent, if the opponent has not won more than 3: 0 anyway. If a team has fewer than seven players on the field, the game may not start or continue.

A referee monitors compliance with the rules on the field of play. In higher-class games, he is supported by two assistant referees ( linesmen ) on the long sides of the field. At many international games ( World Cup , European Championship , European Cup , UEFA Women's Cup ) and in the Bundesliga, there is also another assistant, the so-called “ fourth official ”. Its task is to monitor the behavior of coaches , supervisors and substitutes, to handle substitutions and substitutions and to display stoppage time . He is also the referee's substitute. Since the 2006 World Cup, there has also been a fifth official who replaces the two assistant referees. Since 2010 there have also been two additional “goal judges” for each game in the Europa League and the Champions League who are supposed to decide whether the ball is completely behind the goal line after a shot on goal; Technical aids that serve the same purpose are to be i. A. do not introduce, but the introduction of balls with microchip for positioning is discussed.

The referee (in turquoise) indicates an advantage after a foul on a Japanese player (in blue) as Japan continues to have possession

If a player breaks the rules, the referee gives a foul . Play is stopped and the opposing team is awarded a free kick or, if the foul was committed in the penalty area, a penalty kick from the penalty spot. Due to the distance from the goal line to the penalty spot (12 yards = 10.9728 m), the penalty kick is also called a “penalty kick” in common parlance. If the stoppage of play would interrupt a game situation that is advantageous for the injured team, it is at the discretion of the referee to recognize an “advantage” and allow the game to continue. The referee decides on a direct free kick or penalty kick if the game has been interrupted due to deliberate handball or a foul (with physical contact). In all other cases the referee decides on an indirect free kick . A goal can be scored directly from a direct free kick. After an indirect free kick, the ball is only in play when a second player (regardless of which team) touches the ball and the ball has moved. A goal can only be scored if a player from your own or the opposing team touches the ball on its way into the goal.

In addition, the referee can issue a formal warning against the fouling player. He indicates this with the " yellow card ". In the event of serious rule violations (e.g. a serious foul ) he can also send the player off by showing him the “ red card ”. If a player receives the second yellow card in a game, this also leads to a dismissal, which then automatically results in a red card, which is why it is also known as a “ yellow-red card ”. In particular, fouls or hand games should be penalized with a removal from the field (red card) if this prevents the opponent from having a clear chance to score, or if the fouled player's health is endangered or if the fouling player accepts a health risk.

Offside situation: Red is offside

The most complicated rule in football is the offside rule . This is a provision that declares certain positions on the playing field of attacking players against the defenders of the opposing team as illegal and thus prevents the attack on the opposing goal.

A referee ball is given when a football game is interrupted without any player breaking the rules of the game on the field. If z. B. If a player is injured without the participation of an opponent, the referee can interrupt the game. It is then continued with a ball from the point where it was interrupted.

If the pitch is unplayable due to bad weather or for other reasons, so that the players run the risk of injuring themselves, or the game cannot be played properly, the referee can cancel the game or stop or interrupt it after the whistle. Even if the floodlights fail in the dark, the game is interrupted. If the error is not resolved after a certain time (usually 30 minutes), the game is canceled. In snow, a colored (mostly neon-colored), clearly visible ball must be used, and the penalty areas must be marked with eight auxiliary flags or cleared. The flags on the edge of the field at the corner flags are always mandatory. In fog, a game is canceled if the opposing goal can no longer be recognized from the opposite goal line.

The rules can be modified for games by women, young people under 16 years of age, players over 35 years of age or disabled people. The size of the pitch, the size, weight and material of the ball, the size of the goals, the duration of the game and the number of substitutions can be adjusted.

Changes to the rules are discussed and decided by the International Football Association Board .


A variant of the 4-4-2 system

In football, four points are particularly important: based on physical fitness and stamina, the playing skills, ball skill, technique and tactics are built on.

The tactics of the game include the planned interaction between the various parts of the team, a certain division and arrangement of positions on the field, as well as alternating switching from defense to attack and vice versa. The tactic itself is determined by the strength of the opponent, the course of the game, the score and any injuries-related substitutions or expulsion.

The players on a team have different functions and positions on the pitch. The defense can consist of the positions of central defender and right and left full-back . In modern systems with a defensive line of mostly four defensive players ( chain of four ), the game is played without any Libero . In game systems with Libero, a pre-stopper should often serve to eliminate the opposing center forward . Depending on the situation in the game, the Libero remains behind the defense, whereby he can also build up the game forward and switch to the offensive. The central defender is mainly a pure defender who prevents the opposing attacker from scoring goals and usually only goes on the offensive when his own team takes corners and free kicks.

The so-called midfielders , still referred to as outside runners and half-strikers in the old World Cup system , usually have a variety of tasks, as they are challenged in defense, play-building and attack. However, depending on the tactics, they are assigned special tasks, so that there are specialists here for the defensive as well as for building up the game in the center or on the wings.

Attacks on the opponent's goal are mainly completed by so-called strikers , whose main task is to get the ball into the opponent's goal themselves or to enable a teammate to do so through a clever pass.

Variants and modifications

The “real” soccer game is simulated many times. In addition to countless computer games and video games , table football , Tipp-Kick and Subbuteo are played as miniature versions by millions of players. In the meantime people also play football as a hybrid between soccer and table football. There are also increasingly handsome competitions in robot soccer .


Club football for D-Juniors

The soccer game is of great importance both as a top sport with a stock exchange presence and especially as a popular sport for all classes of society. It is played in clubs and schools, but also as street football and - with a freer interpretation of the rules - on football fields and any open space. In poorer countries such as Brazil , in particular, aspiring to become a football star is one of the few opportunities to escape the slums. Nobel laureate Albert Camus once said:

After all, what I know best about morals and responsibility, I owe to football. "

Worldwide distribution

Football is one of the most popular and widespread sports in the world today . According to the world football association FIFA , over 265 million people played football in over 200 countries in 2006. Of these, over 38 million are organized in over 325,000 associations worldwide. 209 countries and autonomous regions are members of FIFA . It was mainly the simple basic rules and the small amount of equipment required to practice this sport that made the game, which has the same rules worldwide, so popular and promoted its expansion. In Germany alone, six million people are active in over 27,000 football clubs. In addition, there are around four million people who regularly play football in their spare time in hobby, company or counter teams as so-called hobby table footballers.

Football as a leisure activity

Not only is football played around the world, but millions of people regularly go to football stadiums to watch the game. In Europe and South America in particular , football dominates sports coverage . Far more follow the games on television in all countries of the world .

The 306 games of the German Bundesliga season 2009/10 were attended by over 13 million viewers (an average of 42,490 viewers). The highest number of spectators ever documented is almost 200,000 ( Brazil-Uruguay in the Maracanã Stadium at the 1950 World Cup ). Football has an important, socially unifying influence: Those interested in football come from almost all social classes and attend games both on regional football fields and in modern arenas. For many millions of people, football is primarily a leisure activity. But it is also a topic of conversation, a kind of substitute religion for some football fans. Football is of great importance for the media, it fills the regional and national newspapers, the specialist magazines and ensures the highest ratings on television. Football enables human dissatisfaction or “national differences” to be resolved non-violently or at least channeled, although this should not be taken too seriously.

Women's football is far less present and popular in the public eye, but in some countries, such as the United States and Germany , it has grown in importance in recent decades, not least due to the repeated successes of the women's national teams there.


The sport game soccer is suitable for triggering strong emotions that not only affect the players, but also large audiences. The enthusiasm for the exciting game has led to the formation of fan clubs in many countries and a worldwide spread as the most popular team sport . The game researchers Siegbert Warwitz calls for the fascination that match Active and spectators always attracts its spell, for several reasons:

  • The soccer game is a highly dynamic, fast, powerful and at the same time technically and tactically demanding fighting game that requires aggressiveness and assertiveness. The permitted hard physical activity is kept within limits by strict rules and monitored by a referee . Sanctions also ensure that the game complies with the rules and according to the principle of fair play .
Enormous body control, an excellent level of training and technical and tactical skills make a football match today in both men's and women's football an athletic, but also aesthetically attractive game.
The film Union for Life shows the fan culture at Union Berlin
  • The tension develops from the open outcome of the game, from the success or failure of the moves, from the precise pass, the individual artistic actions, the man-to-man fights, but also from the tactical trickery of the opponent and the communication and cooperation within one's own ranks. However, since only the goals scored are recorded, the better goal difference ultimately decides on the final victory, regardless of whether the result was "deserved" through playful superiority or better chances to score or not. According to game theory, football is a so-called " zero-sum game ", which means that the size of the victory of one team corresponds to the severity of the defeat of the other team: winning the ball means losing the ball for the other, scoring for one team means taking the other team away. Success and failure are interrelated. One team wins as much as the other loses. The balance sheet can turn from minute to minute. This stimulates the fighting spirit of the active and the enthusiasm of the ambitious audience. A game thought to be almost lost can still lead to a victory and vice versa.
  • Another factor lies in the form of team sport : A high-class game lives from the skillful individual actions of the players, but even more from the overall performance as a team. The individual star's striving for profiling must be subordinate to the team's common will to succeed. The legendary football coach Richard Girulatis coined the much-quoted sentence in 1920: You have to be 11 friends. Nevertheless, it is precisely outstanding individual achievements, in particular goals like the World Cup goal of the century , that are remembered as distinctive “football moments”.

According to Warwitz, the release and build-up of high emotions during a football game has an ambivalent character : positive (game-promoting) as well as negative (destructive) emotional outbursts can develop and break out beyond what is directly happening in the stadium: strong identification with individual players , a club or a national team can trigger exuberant cheers, but also deep disappointments. If the hope for victory is not fulfilled or if victory is lived out in an irrepressible frenzy, rowdy scenes can take place in the stadiums or fan battles on the streets. These unleash themselves all the more strongly as a collective consciousness mixes with the game and alcoholism is involved. On the other hand, every high-class game also offers the opportunity to admire, to cheer on to increase performance, to enjoy success, to restrained disappointment and new hope. The often spectacular actions on the field and in the stands and the background noise show how emotionally affected an exciting game can make those involved.

Balancing both emotional directions is an elementary educational task, especially for state bodies, clubs, schools and families. For this, the joy of a combative and aesthetically high-ranking game should take precedence over an unconditional will to win, and tolerance for frustration and self-control must be learned.

Economic factor

Enthusiasm for football in a sold-out stadium

The fact that football is now also of great economic importance can be seen from the football world championships . The hosts hope that hosting the second largest sporting event in the world after the Olympic Games will provide important macroeconomic impulses.

The stadiums and infrastructure are renewed for the World Championships. One example is the 2006 Football World Cup , where all twelve venues presented new football arenas that were rebuilt or rebuilt for between 48 and 340 million euros. The state and the operators invested around 1.38 billion euros in the construction and expansion of the stadiums. For comparison, 242 million German marks were spent on nine World Cup stadiums in Germany for the 1974 World Cup, which corresponds to around 360 million euros in 2019.

The soccer world championships are largely financed by sponsors. The main international sponsors of the world association FIFA alone pay the association, at 360 million euros (on average around 26 million euros), almost twice as much money as is earned through ticket sales. The world championship will be broadcast in all continents of the world. In Germany, the 2002 World Cup final had a record audience for sports broadcasts: the market share of the live broadcast was 88 percent, although it should be noted that the German team played the final.

Football fans at the 2004 European Championship in Portugal

European professional football clubs earn most of their money from television money, which is refinanced through television advertising. The German Bundesliga alone receives hundreds of millions of euros annually through the broadcast of the games on pay TV and from summaries through the television stations. The professional football clubs receive additional income from spectator income in the stadiums and from sponsors. The different income from television and sponsorship money created an ever-increasing financial and sporting gap between the individual teams in the leagues. In particular, the television money and merchandising bring high and steadily increasing income.

Since the clubs have more money available through new income, transfer fees for players and coaches as well as the salaries of those involved rose to tens of millions of euros. The public television broadcasters paid 18 million DM for the broadcast of the Bundesliga in the 1987/88 season (equivalent to around 16 million euros in 2019 ), the first broadcast of the games cost the television station Sat.1 just 180 million DM ten years later (approx. 125 million euros in 2019). However, the marketing also resulted in a parallel growth in the average number of viewers, with an average of 34,720 viewers attending the games in the first half of the 2004/05 season. Just as in Germany, an increase in television money and audience numbers can be observed to the same extent in Europe in England , Spain , France and Italy .

From the end of the 20th century, some economically strong clubs such as Manchester United , Ajax Amsterdam or Galatasaray Istanbul were converted into public limited companies.


The first German club that dared to go public was Borussia Dortmund in 2000 . Since high additional income is gained, however, the economic risk of bankruptcy also increases if it is not successful. In 2005 Borussia Dortmund had problems getting the license after a sporting downturn and high debt level. By 2015, most of the football clubs that maintain a professional team from the 1st Bundesliga had outsourced this area to a corporation. Exceptions are Schalke 04, Mainz 05, VfB Stuttgart and FC Freiburg. Another trend towards the commercialization or economization of professional football is the marketing of naming rights at the respective venues, often called "Arena XX". Four clubs in German league football are very closely linked to certain main sponsors; some of these come from former company sports groups ( Bayer 04 Leverkusen , VfL Wolfsburg ) or were built up from an amateur club to a professional club through the strong financial commitment of a sponsor (1899 Hoffenheim). A particularly consistent and controversial implementation of this economic principle is the re-establishment of the RasenBallSport RB Leipzig club , which aims to market and promote the Red Bull drink . The licensed game departments of the soccer clubs Hannover 96 and 1860 Munich are supported by financially strong private investors, whose sporting influence is to remain limited until further notice by the so-called 50 + 1 rule according to the licensing regulations of the DFL . The market leader FC Bayern München AG enjoys financial support from three different commercial shareholders (Adidas, Allianz, Audi), whose accumulated shares are 25%. Bayern Munich shares are not traded on the stock exchange.

Associations and associations

The six continental associations of FIFA

The FIFA ( fr. : Fédération Internationale de Football Association ), the world football association based in Zurich. He organizes various soccer competitions, including the men's and women's soccer world championships . The current president has been the Swiss Gianni Infantino since February 2016 .

The soccer world championship, which takes place every four years and in which a national team is determined as the tournament winner in mostly one host country , is currently the biggest soccer event . After the qualification rounds, which last almost three years, 32 qualified teams are divided into eight groups for the preliminary round in men's tournaments. 16 of them will later play for the FIFA World Cup in the knockout system . The host country is automatically qualified for the preliminary round. The world championship has been held since 1930 , with an interruption due to the Second World War . For the first time, a women's soccer world championship was held in 1991 , which also takes place every four years. Football has also been an Olympic discipline since 1900 .

Other major championships are the Copa América (South America), African Championship , Asian Championship , European Championship , the CONCACAF Gold Cup (North and Central America) and the OFC Nations Cup (Oceania). These championships are organized by one of the six continental associations ( confederations ) AFC (Asia, Australia), CAF (Africa), CONMEBOL (South America), CONCACAF (North, Central America, Caribbean), OFC (Oceania) and UEFA (Europe). In 1992 and 1995, the winners of the continental championships also played for the King Fahd Cup and, since 1997, for the Confederations Cup, now organized by the World Football Association .

In the individual countries there are national football associations (e.g. German Football Association , Liechtenstein Football Association , Austrian Football Association or Swiss Football Association ; see also list of FIFA members ), which usually organized a championship among those in the association Organize clubs to determine the national football champions. This often includes a multi-level league system , including semi-professional leagues and the amateur and leisure leagues .

Problem areas

Match fixing and corruption

According to the European police authority Europol, around 700 suspicious games were registered between 2008 and 2011 and a dense criminal network has become firmly established in football, according to Europol boss Rob Wainwright. Games of the World Cup and European Championship qualifications as well as Champions League games are particularly affected. Wainwright spoke of manipulation "at an unprecedented level" and emphasized: "This is a sad day for football and further evidence of corruption through organized crime in society."

In Germany, according to the Bochum chief inspector Friedhelm Althans, 70 games are under suspicion. A total of 425 club officials, former or current players and referees in at least 15 countries are accused. 151 of them are domiciled in Germany, where 14 people have been sentenced to a total of 39 years in the wake of the betting scandal.

In the field of national and international football associations, e.g. For example, DFB, UEFA, FIFA, AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa) and Concacaf (Central America, Caribbean) are increasing suspected cases of serious corruption, money laundering and other financial crimes against leading association representatives or former officials. Often it concerns the rights to ticket contingents, television broadcasting rights and the allocation of venues for the major World Cup and European Championship tournaments. Investigations by the US public prosecutor's office and arrests by the Swiss authorities in the spring of 2015 mean that the previous tacit tolerance at association level is beginning to break.

Hooliganism, homophobia, racism

In terms of society, a distinction is made between football fans and violent hooligans who repeatedly use the football public's platform to exercise violence . They often occur in larger groups of young people. As a rule, they are also fanatical supporters of a sports club, but often distance themselves from their own football fans. Especially during and around football matches, they meet equally aggressive hooligans from the opposing club. When the enemy groups are confronted, organized and agreed violent attacks often occur. Due to the violence-prone football fans, a high level of police readiness is often necessary to secure the games.

If one follows statistics on the incidence of homosexuality in the male population, several gay players would have to play in the national leagues. The soccer magazine Rund wrote in 2006 that statistically, “at least three gay teams” had to play in the national leagues. While several players in the female Bundesliga are openly homosexual, no corresponding case of a male player is known. Several academic papers and journalistic reports have comprehensively described this phenomenon since the turn of the last century and pointed out the special homophobic situation of professional football, especially in relation to other, primarily “male”, top-class sports.

Racism in football is an ongoing problem, on which the European Parliament expressed itself on March 14, 2006 with its "Declaration on Combating Racism in Football". UEFA also has a zero tolerance campaign against racism.

Amateur football is confronted with violence, brutal fouls, fights, attacks on referees and abandoned matches. A study by Leibniz University Hanover came to the following conclusion: "The more serious the criminal offense, the more often players who are not of German origin are involved." While the victims of German players are most often other players, the violence is directed by players with a migration background particularly often against the referees. A scientific study of sports court judgments by the Institute for Criminology at the University of Tübingen came to similar conclusions , which showed for the 2009/10 and 2010/11 seasons that players with a migration background only make up around a third of all players, but every second particularly difficult Case involved. Another problem is anti-Western, anti-liberal, sometimes anti-Semitic and anti-Gypsy oriented so-called “tendency associations”, some of which are specifically founded as preliminary organizations from other groups. Social, ethnic and global political conflicts would be fought on the football field.


The public, but also internal sports awareness of doping in football is considered low. This has to do, among other things, that relatively few doping cases in football known and that some football officials and claim in the football sector doctors working until today (2014), doping in football hardly make or not make sense as football not a pure cardio or strength sport is . Numerous sports scientists and doping experts contradict this thesis.

Some experts consider doping in football to be likely given the increased physical demands. According to media reports, even young soccer players are using growth hormones and muscle building preparations to make the leap into the professional field.

Many doping experts suggest that improving stamina from taking erythropoietin (EPO) or increasing strength from anabolic steroids could also be beneficial for soccer players. Stimulants like amphetamines, caffeine, ephedrine, captagon, and cocaine might also have benefits for professional soccer players. These remedies focus on suppressing tiredness, which can be useful if you have short rest periods between games. The analgesic effects of narcotics could also be beneficial.

Many football players regularly take painkillers as a preventive measure or to maintain their performance or to be able to play despite injuries.

Doping controls

Systematic doping controls were installed comparatively late in football and carried out by the international football associations with varying degrees of severity. The German Football Association introduced the first regular controls from 1988, initially only in the context of competitions, from 1995 also during training. Since then, the number of controls has increased steadily, with the number of tests in training remaining at a very low level. The football controls in Germany are also criticized as ineffective for other reasons. In contrast to various other sports, players are generally not controlled in their free time. The DFB only takes urine and no blood samples. The doping expert Werner Franke described the soccer tests in 2007 as "ridiculous". FIFA also came under fire when it defied WADA's provisions on the reporting of athletes in 2009.

UEFA emphasizes that it carries out regular checks both during matches and when the teams are training, unannounced. In 2009, a total of 1,500 players were controlled by UEFA. At UEFA youth tournaments there are “anti-doping lessons” for the active players, which are intended to inform the players about the dangers and risks of doping. There is also more information for footballers on the UEFA website, as well as a “training ground” with videos on the subject of “doping in football”.

In the German Bundesliga there are currently (as of May 2010) controls in three games on one matchday. Two players are tested by each team. As the only football association, the DFB has voluntarily tested 12.5 percent of all samples for EPO since 2004. The requirement of the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to create blood banks from the players, with which one changes such as z. B. the hematocrit value can check is currently rejected by the DFB. It is the same with requested, unannounced house searches.

Football culture

Football culture refers to the columnist , often pop-cultural preoccupation with football, as well as phenomena related to football and fanfare, be it rituals, chants, songs, football photography, football films or football literature. The German Academy for Football Culture , based in Nuremberg , has existed since 2006 and awards the German Football Culture Prize every autumn .


"Catcher of the Sun" - reverence to football ( Jimmy Fell )

Special soccer jargon has found its way into the German language on the soccer field and in reporting . The jargon is mainly used by football players, football coaches, football fans or those interested in football, and on television and radio. As a colloquial language, football jargon is a special language that is used to facilitate (often simplified) communication among football participants. This also results in a demarcation from the outside and an identity formation among each other. Terms such as “extend the scythe”, “bolt”, “saber over the ball”, “knock down a player”, “football stronghold” or “play a pass blindly” are typical terms in football vocabulary. In addition, well-known soccer slogans such as “The ball is round”, “The next game is always the hardest”, “A game has ninety minutes”, “Attack is the best defense” and “Soccer is the most beautiful thing of the past” are repeated by those involved World ”. Sports trends are reflected in other expressions: the “controlled offensive” as a game tactic in the 1980s or the “chain of four” as the standard formation in defense in the 2000s.

Yet other expressions reflect historical football events: In retrospect, the 2006 Football World Cup is referred to as a “summer fairy tale”, and FC Schalke 04 became “Master of Hearts” (an extremely unfortunate runner-up) in 2001. “ Cordoba ” is a synonym for Austria the historic victory against Germany at the Football World Cup in 1978. A part of the classic and often repeated football jargon is considered trite in the football scene itself and is sometimes ironically reproduced, ridiculed or punished: One expression of this attitude is that of German sports television (today Sport1) Introduced so-called phrase pig, a piggy bank into which talk guests have to pay a fine if they utter particularly hackneyed football phrases.

While in many English-speaking countries soccer is simply referred to as football , the term soccer is used in the USA , Canada and Australia (here only colloquially) . The term soccer is an abbreviation for association football (i.e. soccer according to the rules of the English Football Association ), which separates the game from the variants called football there , originally in England especially rugby ( rugby football , also called rugger ), today in in the USA mainly for American football , in Canada for Canadian football and in Australia for Australian football .


In the course of film history, numerous films have been made that either address football itself or play in the environment of football players (amateurs and professionals) or deal with certain events such as a world championship. Both feature films (e.g. Die Angst des Tormanns bei Elfmeter , 1972 or Das Wunder von Bern , 2003) and documentaries (e.g. Germany. A summer fairy tale , 2006 or The team , 2014) were shot.

See also

Portal: Football  - Overview of Wikipedia content on football


  • Christian Bartlau: Loss of the ball. Against the market conform soccer. Papyrossa, Cologne 2019, ISBN 978-3-89438-700-6 .
  • Enrico Barz: Little Black Book of Football. Viley-VCH-Verlag, Weinheim 2010, ISBN 978-3-527-50528-9 .
  • Dieter Bott, Marvin Chlada , Gerd Dembowski : Ball and pear. To the criticism of the prevailing football culture. VSA-Verlag, Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3-87975-711-9 .
  • Beatrix Bouvier (ed.): On the social and cultural history of football. Bonn 2006. (PDF; 3.8 MB)
  • Fabian Brändle, Christian Koller: Goooal !!! Cultural and social history of modern football. Orell Füssli, Zurich 2002, ISBN 3-280-02815-9 .
  • Horst Bredekamp : Florentine football: the renaissance of games. Wagenbach, Berlin 2006, new edition, ISBN 3-8031-2397-6 .
  • Alliance of active football fans (ed.): Possession is theft. Verlag Die Werkstatt, Göttingen 2004, ISBN 3-89533-430-8 .
  • Markus Büsges, Oli Gehrs, Fons Hickmann (eds.): The best game of all time. A minute log from 100 years of football. Kein & Aber, Zurich 2014, ISBN 978-3-0369-5700-5 .
  • FFJ Buytendijk: The football game. A psychological study. Werkbund-Verlag, Würzburg 1953.
  • Erik Eggers: Richard Girulatis. The man who invented the "eleven friends". In: Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling (ed.): Strategists of the game. The legendary soccer coach. Verlag Die Werkstatt, Göttingen 2005, ISBN 3-89533-475-8 , pp. 37–45.
  • Christiane Eisenberg, Pierre Lanfranchi : Football History. International Perspectives. In: Historical Social Research . Volume 31 (1), 2006. ( full text )
  • Markwart Herzog (ed.): Football as a cultural phenomenon. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-17-017372-3 .
  • Gerd Hortleder: The fascination of the soccer game. Sociological remarks on sport as leisure and occupation. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1974, ISBN 3-518-06670-6 .
  • Karl-Heinz Huba (Hrsg.): Football world history. 1846 until today. Copress, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-7679-0230-3 .
  • Ralph Köhnen: A little anthropology of football. Intermedial comparisons in German lessons. In: Michael Eggers / Christof Hamann (eds.), Comparative Literature and Didactics . Aisthesis, Bielefeld 2018, ISBN 978-3-8498-1164-8 .
  • Christoph Kotowski: Football as a substitute for religion. A comparison with the elementary forms of religious life according to Émile Durkheim. GRIN Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-640-71581-7 .
  • Arnd Krüger : From ritual to record. On the way to the sports performance society. In: H. Sarkowicz (Ed.): Faster, higher, further. A history of sport. Insel Verlag, Frankfurt / M. 1996, pp. 82-95.
  • Patrick Küppers: Soccer, I have a dream. About poetry, mythology and aesthetic freedom in a beautiful game. Tectum Verlag, Marburg 2014, ISBN 978-3-8288-3416-3 .
  • Wolfram Pyta: History of football in Germany and Europe since 1954. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-17-022641-8 .
  • Florian Reiter: The kick with the ball. The history of football. Past Publishing, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-940621-06-1 .
  • Siegbert A. Warwitz, Anita Rudolf: From the sense of playing. Reflections and game ideas. Schneider Verlag, 4th edition, Baltmannsweiler 2016, ISBN 978-3-8340-1664-5 .
  • Siegbert A. Warwitz: Pleasure and frustration at the soccer game. Learn to deal with feelings. In: thing-word-number. Volume 125 (1), 2012, ISSN  0949-6785 . Pp. 4-13.
  • Klaus Zeyringer : Football. A cultural story. Fischer Taschenbuch, Frankfurt am Main 2016, ISBN 978-3-596-03587-8 .

Web links

Commons : Football  album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Football  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

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  2. Der Spiegel, February 20, 2007 NUMERATOR, Football is a game of chance, by Holger Dambeck.
  3. ^ Suetonius : De Vita Caesarum Liber II - Divus Augustus 83.1.3. Exercitationes campestres equorum et armorum statim post civilia bella omisit et ad pilam primo folliculumque transit. ("He ( Augustus ) gave up riding and weapons exercises on the Marsfeld immediately after the civil wars and initially turned to games with large and small balls.") - It is not known whether the balls were also driven with the feet .
  4. ^ Tepük Oyunu Hakkında Bilgi - Kültürel Bellek . Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  5. , accessed on 12 November 2011th
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  7. a b Felix Reidhaar: For the 125th anniversary of the second oldest football club on the European mainland: The St. Gallen “suburb” paved the way for the world football association . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . April 16, 2004, ISSN  0376-6829 ( [accessed October 23, 2017]).
  8. Malte Oberschelp: Konrad Koch - The football pioneer. An annotated edition of selected original texts. Arete-Verlag, Hildesheim 2015, ISBN 978-3-942468-56-5 , pp. 7–8.
  9. Start of football in Aachen ( Memento from June 1, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
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  31. a b Malte Oberschelp: You cannot rule out any sport. The time , accessed December 2, 2010 .
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