Historians were able to find games similar to modern football and its variations in many countries and ancient civilisations, including Greece, Rome, Japan, China and even Australia.
The English have been playing the game for many centuries. The first record of a football match dates back almost a thousand years to 1175 when children in London used to have a match on the city streets. At a certain point in history, the game was considered to be very dangerous, which is why there were royal decrees in the United Kingdom declaring the game to be illegal.
The first football club in the world started in England at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Many of the public schools and universities created their own clubs and founded football teams. Historians believe that by 1860s, there were over fifty football clubs in the country.
The problem with that was similar to the problem that occurs when anything new appears: there was no one standard. Everyone had their own sets of rules, beliefs, and ideas about how the game should be played. For this reason, football was slow to take off as a professionally organised sport.
The first attempt to create a set of unified rule dates back to 1846 when professors from the Cambridge University tried to put some rules on paper.
As the popularity of the sport grew, teams wanted to play with one another and the need for one set of rules was getting bigger and bigger. In 1863, several football clubs in London gathered together with the goal of creating a definitive set of rules for the game that they could use to play with one another.
Governance of the game and enforcement of the rules also didn’t happen overnight. The first decade of the existence of the Football Association, or FA, there were many versions of the rules but the FA kept printing rulebooks and sending them around the country, which eventually led to the FA rules becoming the standard that the teams used.