(Note: After reading this you may like to read The history of expansion of football codes)
Quote: FIFA says its historians have proof that the game -- then called cuju or "kickball" -- originated in China some 2,000 years ago. It was even played for emperors.
Read FIFA's story here and here. This particular story apparently says that it is an "historical fact" that the Chinese invented the game of soccer.
Whooah, what a lie from the apparent victors in world football at this point in history. We all know that the winners like to rewrite history, but the Chinese did not invent soccer. This is a gross lie by FIFA designed to give them market presence in China, so that they can continue their cultural and economic conquest of the world.
Many, many ancient societies have their own versions of ball games and football games. It is important to examine the historical facts, Read my previous post on the development of football codes to understand the accurate historical story.
Some tribes in the Americas had a game where two opposing tribes played in a very large area with a ball. The object of the game was to make the opponent drop the ball on the ground. The captain of the losing team would have his heart cut out. This was a kind of "friendly" war to minimise the number of deaths.
Australian Aboriginal peoples in the South East of Australia played a game called Marn Grook, which was a football game played with a possum skin. The game of Marn Grook is most likely a lot older than the Chinese game of Cuju.
In south east Asia in the countries of Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Philippines and Indonesia, a game called Sepak takraw is played, it is a game descended from Cuju, but it is not soccer.
The Mesoamericans had their own ballgame, using rubber balls.
The Choctaw people in North America has a stick ball game with sometimes as few as 20 players but also up to 300 players. Although they used sticks, the object was to score a goal, much like mob football.
There is also the Roman game of Harpastum, which was related to the Greek game of Paganica. Harpastum apparently was similar in appearance to Rugby.
It is true that the Chinese game of Cuju, did sometimes involve kicking the ball "through an opening, measuring only 30-40cm in width, into a small net fixed onto long bamboo canes". But other variations of the game also involved kicking the ball at a post in the middle of the field.
Proto forms of football and other various ball games existed in many parts of the ancient world. As inventions go, humans often independently come up other with similar ideas in completely isolated locations. The Chinese did not invent Soccer (football) anymore than the Greeks invented running.
The true ancestor of Soccer is actually the old English game of Mob Football, Mob football had very few rules. As a result, by the time of the 19th century there were very many variations of the rules of football. Football was played by boys in public schools across southern England. Each of the schools had separate rules. This did not matter when they only played amongst themselves. It only became an issue when the various schools wanted to play against each other. They were then forced to agree on a set of rules before a game began. Two of the most famous schools to come up with their own sets of rules were Rugby and Eton. The game of Rugby is essentially descended from the Rugby School and the game of Soccer from the Eton School. Nevertheless there was a period of 40 years when various schools played against each other that the rules of football were up for debate. These 40 years were the smelting fire that turned mob football into the two games of Rugby and Soccer, with the final split happening on December 8th, 1863.
It is very clear that Soccer was invented by the English and is a game descended from English mob football. While many ancient games may bear resemblance to modern forms of football, this does not mean that they are the "invention" of modern forms of football. The Chinese invented their own game 2000 years ago, that while it has some very vague similarities to modern Soccer, had no influence on the invention of the game what so ever. FIFA have simply tried to rewrite history for their own purposes.