The Ancient Greeks were known to have participated in a variety of ball activities, some of which required the use of their feet. These sports appear to have been modeled around rugby football. Association football, on the other hand, was introduced to Greeks in the modern age by expatriate British communities and military personnel.
Football is widely regarded as the national sport of Greece, although the Hellenic Football Federation (EPOE) does not officially recognize this claim. The earliest documented evidence of football in Greece comes from Athens in 1871. It may be played with the foot or with the fist but it has always been played with balls.
There are many variations of football including soccer, futbol, futebol, footbal, footbawl, etc. The term "football" itself comes from the word "foot-ball" and originally referred to any game played with a ball that had been kicked with the foot.
In English speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and United States of America, football usually refers to association football while soccer is used instead in France, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. In Latin countries such as Brazil and Mexico, football refers to both association and field hockey while in Chile and Peru it can also refer to rugby union games.
The first known match played in Greece was on 5 March 1872, when a team of British soldiers defeated one of their Greek counterparts 4-1 at Alexandropoulis Stadium in Piraeus.
It took another 70 years before the game became popular with Greeks themselves. A club called Ethnikos Pyrsou was founded in 1926 by English teachers who wanted to keep up morale during the difficult years after the end of the Turkish occupation. They held training sessions and matches outside Athens against local teams, but had no official license from football's governing body FIFA at the time. Thus they were not allowed to call themselves a professional club and no trophies are available for winners. However, they did have some success in regional tournaments and often attracted large crowds of up to 10,000 people. In 1939, after many years without any news about them, it was announced that they had been disbanded due to financial problems.
The first official football club in Greece was Hellenic Football Federation (EPOE). It was founded in 1947 by refugees from Asia Minor who had settled in Greece after World War II.
The Roman game harpastum is said to have evolved from a Greek team game known as "episkuros" (Epskyros) or "phaininda," which is referenced by a Greek dramatist,...
There are many different games and activities that people have played with a ball before, during, and after wars. Some of these ball games included: football, handball, hockey, basketball, etc.
During the Ancient Greek period, there were at least three different types of football played: episkyros, phaininda, and harpastum. Episkyros was a running game played with a leather-covered ball that was kicked between opponents rather than thrown. It was probably the first type of football played. Phaininda was a ball game played with the feet instead of with the hands like episkyros. It may have developed from a form of touch rugby. Harpastum was a form of ball game similar to modern soccer. It was probably derived from phaininda and would have been familiar to most Ancient Greeks.
Episkyros, phaininda, and harpastum all had separate leagues and tournaments where winners were recognized. However, it is not clear if these games were used to select teams for actual battles.
Ball games were popular in ancient Greece and Rome. If the populace had been expecting Christians to be thrown to the lions, a few individuals racing around after a ball, no matter how aggressive, could have seemed a little mild in contrast. The Greeks established new benchmarks for organized spectator sports in Europe. A few events were particularly famous: the Olympic Games featured a wide variety of contests including boxing, wrestling, and throwing competitions for men and women. Football is believed to have originated in Greece where several versions of a ball game called phlyax were played with an oval ball made of leather or skin.
In Rome, ball games held from early in the morning until late at night were important sources of entertainment for the crowds living in the capital city. At first, they consisted of tests of strength between individual athletes. But as these events became more organized, players were allowed to use balls instead of stones to beat their opponents into submission. In 400 A.D., the emperor Valentinian I created the world's first soccer league when he divided Rome into divisions based on wealth rather than territory. This system was copied by other rulers across Europe.
In the medieval era, football became a popular sport in England and France. It was also widely played in countries such as Germany, Italy, and Spain. However, it wasn't until the 19th century that the modern game we know today started to take shape.
Their rules were rudimentary and primitive, but they incorporated rugby-style aspects like passing the ball and scrums. As a result, ancient football has been known to have been played in areas such as England since Roman times. It's also believed that modern soccer originated from ancient football.
In addition to England, ancient football is played in countries including India, Egypt, and Turkey. The game itself may have originated in Britain, but it is thought that other ethnic groups contributed ideas to its design over time.
Almost every culture in the world has some form of football tradition. Whether it be European ball games, North American sports, or Asian handballs, each one was influenced by concepts first introduced by ancient football.
As well as this, many modern sports were invented by ancient football players who wanted to change the nature of the game. For example, William Webb Ellis is believed to have created modern soccer by adding elements from ancient football including kicks, traps, and punches.
Webb Ellis is also credited with creating rugby, although this version included elements from both ancient football and military drills so cannot be separated into distinct categories.
It can be said with certainty that without ancient football there would be no modern sports. The ideas behind these activities have provided inspiration for future players which has led to today's diverse range of sports.