Soccer (better known as "football" outside the United States) has been around a long time. And when we say "a long time," we really mean it. According to the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum, soccer's been linked separately to ancient Egypt, the Ts'in dynasty in China, and the American Indians of the 1600s.
Many believe the English invented the sport, but from what we can gather, the Chinese deserve the bulk of the credit. Canada's CTV quotes FIFA president Sepp Blatter as saying there is evidence the Chinese played the game "a thousand years ago." It may go even further back. According to that same article, historians have discovered proof the game originated about 2,000 years ago.
FIFA.com goes into considerably more depth. An early soccer-like game called "cuju" bore many similarities to modern soccer with teams, rules, competitions, and stadiums. The game "gained favour among the rulers and the people," and over time, evolved into a worldwide phenomenon.
One question remains, though -- who came up with the word "soccer"? The always reliable Mavens' Word of the Day explains that Britain is the unlikely culprit. "The formal designation for the game we know as soccer is Association football." Mavens' explains that the word "soccer" is a kind of slangy contraction of "(As)soc(iation football)" and an "er" suffix.
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