Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Soccer (Amateur) Worldwide
Soccer is the most popular of the many versions of football and the most widely played and watched team sport in the world. The game is principally termed soccer in both North America and Australasia. In most other parts of the world, it is referred to simply as football, an abbreviation of its full title, Association Football. Versions of football have been played for over two millennia, though the institutionalization of the game of soccer as it is known today did not take place until the mid-19th century. Since that time, the sport has continued to flourish at both amateur and professional levels. According to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA, the worldwide governing body, with over 200 member nations), in the vicinity of 270 million people are now actively involved in team soccer as players or officials. It is impossible to guess how many more play the the ...