Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 players who primarily use their feet to propel the ball around a rectangular field called a pitch. The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposition by moving the ball beyond the goal line into a rectangular framed goal defended by the opposing side. Traditionally, the game has been played over two 45 minute halves, for a total match time of 90 minutes. With an estimated 250million players active in over 200 countries, it is considered 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 with the International Football Association Board (IFAB) maintaining them since 1886. The game is played with a football that is 68–70cm (27–28in) 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 to control, strike or pass the ball apart from their hands or arms. 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 shootout.
Internationally, association football is globally governed by FIFA. The national associations are responsible for managing the game, both professionally and at an amateur level, in their own countries and coordinating competitions in accordance with the Laws of the Game. The most senior and prestigious international competitions are the men's 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 top five European men's leagues are the Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy), and Ligue 1 (France). Attracting most of the world's best players, each of the leagues has a total wage cost in excess of £600million/€763million/US$1.185billion. (Full article...)
Leek Town reached the final of the FA Trophy in 1990, having progressed all the way from the First Qualifying Round, but lost in the final at Wembley Stadium to Barrow. In 1997 they were Northern Premier League champions and gained promotion to the Football Conference, the highest level of English non-league football, although they only spent two seasons at that level before being relegated.
Harrison Park has been the club's home ground since 1948 after paying £1,250 for the land, no other facilities were added until the 1950's and players had to change in the toilets of a nearby pub. Expanded and upgraded in the 1990s, the ground is named after former chairman Geoff Harrison. (Fullarticle...)
One of the six continental confederations of world football governing body, FIFA, CAF represents the national football associations of Africa, runs national team and club continental competitions and controls the prize money, regulations and broadcast rights to such competitions. CAF will be allocated 9 spots in the FIFA World Cup starting from 2026 and could have an opportunity of 10 spots with the addition of an intercontinental play-off tournament involving six teams to decide the last two FIFA World Cup places (46+2). (Full article...)
The 2010 FIFA World Cup, also branded as South Africa 2010, was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's nationalfootball teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010. The bidding process for hosting the tournament finals was open only to African nations. In 2004, the international football federation, FIFA, selected South Africa over Egypt and Morocco to become the first African nation to host the finals.
... 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)