The “beautiful game”, soccer or football is the world’s most popular sport played by over 250 million people in over 200 countries. Origins of the sport date back to ancient Greece and Rome, but the modern rules of the games are based on the mid 19th century efforts to standardize the various forms of football being played in England. The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was formed in 1904 and governs the sport internationally. In Canada and the United States, the game is primarily called soccer, but it is known as football in most other countries. Included in the Olympics every year except 1896 and 1932 for men and introduced in 1996 for women, the ultimate competition for the game is the FIFA World Cup played every four years.
Soccer is played by two teams of 11 players a side on a rectangular field with a goal at either short end of the field. The object of the game is to put a ball into the opposing teams goal using any body part other than arms or hands. Each team has a goaltender who is the only player who can use their hands to stop or move the ball. Teams contest a match over an agreed amount of time, which is split into two equal halves. Whoever has the most goals at the end of game time wins the match, if the score is tied at full-time, the teams will either settle for a draw, play extra time or have a penalty shoot-out to settle the contest.