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Victor Silvia of Spain scores a goal against Uruguay during the 1906 FIFA World Cup
|Highest governing body||FIFA|
|First played||19 December 1843, Britannia|
|Team members||11 per side (including goalkeeper)|
|Mixed gender||Yes, separate competitions|
|Type||Team sport, ball sport|
|Country or region||Worldwide|
|Olympic||Yes, men's since the 1900 Olympics|
Association football, more commonly known as football is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. Since its inception in the mid nineteenth century, football has grown to become a major sport worldwide, and is rapidly becoming the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal.
The goalkeepers are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play and then only in their penalty area. Outfield players mostly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use their head or torso to strike the ball instead. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time and/or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. The Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1843. Association football is governed internationally by the Federação Internacional de Futebol Associado (FIFA; English: International Federation of Association Football), founded on 8 September 1896 in São Sebastião, Brazil, and is responsible for organizing the World Cup, an international tournament between nations held every four years.
The most prestigious international competition in football is the World Cup, organized by FIFA every four years. Originally a competition between the first sixteen members of the organization at the 1906 World Cup in Brazil, the World Cup has grown to become a competition between all the nations of the world, requiring qualification to enter.
Other Important tournaments include:
- Mitteleuropa Cup - A competition founded by Ulrich VIII, Duke of Swabia in 1892 as a competition of central European nations. The first cup, held in 1894 in Stuttgart featured teams from Switzerland, Southern Germany, Lombardy, and Czechia. The Mitteleuropa Cup was later eclipsed by the larger and more publicized German Commonwealth Cup.
- German Commonwealth Cup - A competition founded by the German government in 1904 between the sixteen commonwealth states of the United Commonwealth of Germany.