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Association football, more commonly known as football and less commonly known as soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players each using a spherical ball. Association football is considered to be the most popular sport in the 1983: Doomsday world, as well as the most popular variant of football worldwide.
The modern game was codified in England following the formation of The Football Association, whose 1863 Laws of the Game created the foundations for the way the sport is played today. Football is governed internationally by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (International Federation of Association Football), commonly known by the acronym FIFA. The most prestigious international football competition is the FIFA World Cup, scheduled to be held in 2010 in the Celtic Alliance.
The Cambridge rules, written in 1848 at England's Cambridge University, were influential in the development of several football codes, including association football. The game known as association football came into existence in the 1860s, beginning with the first Laws of the Game written by Ebenezer Cobb Morley and the first meeting of the English Football Association. The game soon spread from England into Europe and the rest of the world.
Pre-Doomsday, the most powerful football nations were in western and eastern Europe; South America; and Mexico and Central America. Association football was the most popular sport in virtually all of the world, except for the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and parts of South Africa.
The center of power in world football undoubtedly is in South America, and has been ever since Doomsday. The continent was the least effected by the nuclear exchange between the U.S. and the USSR; even with several South American players playing in Europe having perished, South American nations still had most of their best players alive.
South America likely will be the center of the football world for some time to come. The best players in the world are South Americans, and the best clubs, paying the best money, are found in South America. FIFA's headquarters has been in Paraguay since 1986.
Europe, a former powerhouse in world football, is now the equivalent of pre-DD Asia or North America. However, the Alpine Confederation's shock 1-0 victory over Brazil in the 2006 World Cup final was considered the first sign that European teams were rebuilding at least part of their former status in the sport. The priority placed by virtually alll European nations on the sport is another positive long-term sign for the sport's development.
Mexico, one of the world's best football countries pre-DD, is considered the most powerful football nation outside of South America. Mexico kept almost all of its players and all of its clubs from pre-DD, and the Mexican Liga is on a level of the Brazilian and United Republic domestic leagues. Caribbean and Central American football is considered by observers as a rising power in the world, with talented sides in Cuba and the East Caribbean.
Asia is the next strongest area for football. National sides and domestic leagues in the ANZC, Siberia and Singapore are competitive and have the potential to be competitive with Brazil, UAR and Mexico in 5-10 years.
Football in Africa, the Middle East and North America are considered to be in the rebuilding stage. The most powerful nations are New Britain, Pais del Oro, Israel and Victoria.
Association football probably was the first team sport to resume play, at any level, after Doomsday.
Even in 1984, many South American countries' domestic leagues managed to play. All leagues reduced the number of games, and many reduced the number of clubs in their first Divisions.
The Mexican league also managed to play in 1984, despite the ongoing crisis in its northern states adjacent to the United States.
Throughout the 1980s, leagues resumed play in the Philippines, Singapore, Norway and Iceland.
In the early 1990s, leagues resumed play in Central America, the Caribbean and throughout Europe. Leagues were started in Siberia and in Australia.
In much of the post-Doomsday world, as in the pre-Doomsday world, the sport is referred to as football.
It has been, and still is, known as soccer primarily in North America, the Celtic Alliance, and the ANZC. The reasons are other football codes became more established in those regions (American and Canadian football in North America, Gaelic football in former Ireland, Australian Rules football in former Australia and New Zealand), and the term 'football' became most associated with those respective codes. The term soccer was coined as the primary reference to association football in those regions.
Names for association football - OTL Wikipedia article, placed here temporarily for reference)