Essay by salbalzUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, May 2005

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Football has come a long way and has gone through various changes in order to develop into the popular game we know today. Football has developed into the most popular and diffused sport in the world, and has gone from being a game to also a business with commercial success being of uppermost importance.

There have been reports made by various sources suggesting that football has ancient origins and that it was played in some form as far as back as 1000BC, and maybe before. The Ancient Greeks allegedly played a form of football known as episkyros, and the Romans a similar game, harpastum. (, 2003). However, there is no valid evidence to suggest that the Chinese, Greeks, Romans or any other ancient civilisation played any form of football or kicking related game.

The 'sports' played in Ancient times were violent affairs, but this reflected the tolerance and acceptance of violence in their societies at this time.

Violence in sport continued to be a huge part of sport well into the middle ages and beyond. However, the levels of violence in sport have changed significantly over time and this is represented through The Civilising Process. Elias (1998, p. 178) concludes 'A comparison of the level of violence represented by the game-contests of classical Greece, or for that matter by the tournaments and folk-games of the Middle Ages, with those represented by contemporary sport-contests shows a specific strand in a civilising process.'

In the Middle Ages violence in sport remained predominant through 'folk football'. In Europe throughout the Middle Ages football slowly began to develop into the more recognisable form of the sport which we know today through 'folk football'. 'Folk football' flourished throughout the Middle Ages from about the eighth century to around the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Although there...