Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 players each, who primarily use their feet to propel a ball around a rectangular field called a pitch. The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team by moving the ball beyond the goal line into a rectangular-framed goal defended by the opposing team. Traditionally, the game has been played over two 45-minute halves, for a total match time of 90 minutes. With an estimated 250 million players active in over 200 countries and territories, it is the world's most popular sport.
The game of association football is played in accordance with the Laws of the Game, a set of rules that has been in effect since 1863 and maintained by the IFAB since 1886. The game is played with a football that is 68–70 cm (27–28 in) in circumference. The two teams compete to get the ball into the other team's goal (between the posts and under the bar), thereby scoring a goal. When the ball is in play, the players mainly use their feet, but may use any other part of their body, except for their hands or arms, to control, strike, or pass the ball. Only the goalkeepers may use their hands and arms, and only then within the penalty area. The team that has scored more goals at the end of the game is the winner. Depending on the format of the competition, an equal number of goals scored may result in a draw being declared, or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shoot-out.
Internationally, association football is governed by FIFA. Under FIFA, there are six continental confederations: AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA. Of these confederations, CONMEBOL is the oldest one, being founded in 1916. National associations (e.g. The FA or JFA) are responsible for managing the game in their own countries both professionally and at an amateur level, and coordinating competitions in accordance with the Laws of the Game. The most senior and prestigious international competitions are the FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Women's World Cup. The men's World Cup is the most-viewed sporting event in the world, surpassing the Olympic Games. The two most prestigious competitions in European club football are the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Women's Champions League, which attract an extensive television audience throughout the world. Since 2009, the final of the men's tournament has been the most-watched annual sporting event in the world. (Full article...)
IFK Göteborg celebrating a goal in a match against Örebro SK
IFK Göteborg are a Swedish professional football club based in Gothenburg. IFK Göteborg, formed on 4 October 1904, have won 18 national championship titles, four national cup titles, and two UEFA Cups. IFK are of one of the most popular football clubs in Sweden, with diverse country-wide support.
With Malmö FF and AIK, IFK Göteborg are often considered part of the "Big Three" in Swedish club football, who have 43 championship titles between them. IFK is arguably the most successful club in Sweden, and perhaps in Scandinavia, as it is the only Scandinavian team to have won a European cup competition, the UEFA Cup; IFK won the Euro title in 1982 and 1987. They currently rank in the highest Swedish league, Allsvenskan, where they have played for the majority of their history. (Full article...)
First scouted as a youth talent by the Go Ahead Eagles, Huntelaar eventually signed his first contract with De Graafschap in 1994 at the age of eleven. He was trialled in a number of positions until finding prowess as a striker in 1997 when, whilst playing for the De Graafschap C-team, he scored 33 goals in 20 games. He was the league's top scorer for the following season and was spotted by PSV Eindhoven, the team that went on to give him his first professional contract in June 2000.
The illuminated exterior of the Allianz Arena in Germany. Completed in 2005 at a cost of €340 million, it is the home ground of Bayern Munich. Nicknamed the "Schlauchboot" (inflatable boat), its exterior is constructed of 2,874 foil air panels which are inflated with dry air. These panels can be individually lit with either red, blue or white lights.
A field of 32 teams qualified for this World Cup, which was the first to be held in Asia, the first to be held outside of the Americas or Europe, as well as the first to be jointly-hosted by more than one nation. China, Ecuador, Senegal, and Slovenia made their World Cup debuts, with Senegal being the only debutant to qualify the group stages and made it to the quarterfinals. (Full article...)
... that at the conclusion of the 2006 Football League Two play-off Final, the losing manager said his side did not deserve to win and the winning goalscorer said he did not mean to score? (3 March 2021)