Portal:Association football

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The referee officiates in a football match

Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of 11 players. It is played by approximately 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to outscore the opposition by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. The team with the higher number of goals wins the game.

Football is played in accordance with a set of rules known as the Laws of the Game. The ball is 68–70 cm (27–28 in) in circumference and known as the football. The two teams each compete to get the ball into the other team's goal (between the posts and under the bar), thereby scoring a goal. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players mainly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may also use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms. The team that has scored more goals at the end of the game is the winner; if both teams have scored an equal number of goals either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Each team is led by a captain who has only one official responsibility as mandated by the Laws of the Game: to represent their team in the coin toss prior to kick-off or penalty kicks.

Football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA; French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association), which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years. The men's FIFA World Cup has taken place every four years since 1930 with the exception of 1942 and 1946 tournaments, which were cancelled due to World War II. Approximately 190–200 national teams compete in qualifying tournaments within the scope of continental confederations for a place in the finals. The finals tournament, which is held every four years, involves 32 national teams competing over a four-week period. It is the most prestigious men's football tournament in the world as well as the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding the Olympic Games. Similarly, the FIFA Women's World Cup has been played every four years since 1991 though the sport has been played by women since it has existed. A record-breaking 1.12 billion viewers watched the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France. (Full article...)

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The Mariners home stadium.
The Mariners home stadium.
Central Coast Mariners Football Club are an Australian professional football (soccer) team based on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia.

Formed in 2004, the Mariners participate in the A-League, being one of only three teams from New South Wales to play in the competition and the first professional club from the Central Coast to compete.

Despite being considered one of the smaller franchises at the inception of the A-League competition, Central Coast qualified for the first four domestic finals after their establishment. The Mariners had a successful first season, winning the 2005 Pre-Season Cup and losing in the A-League grand final to Sydney FC.

They made the final of the Pre-Season Cup again in 2006 but lost to Adelaide United and finished sixth in the 2006–07 A-League competition at the end of the season. (Full article...)

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Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Yazid Zidane (born 23 June 1972 in Marseille), popularly nicknamed Zizou, is a French former professional footballer. He played for club teams in France, Italy and Spain, and was a member of the French national team. His career accomplishments include helping France win the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000, in addition to winning the 2002 UEFA Champions League as a galactico with Real Madrid.

One of only two three-time FIFA World Player of the Year winners, Zidane was also named the European Footballer of the Year in 1998. His abilities were further recognized in 2004 when he was included in Pelé's choice list of the world's greatest footballers and is widely considered as one of the best players ever. He retired from professional football after the 2006 FIFA World Cup. (Full article...)

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The Scottish Football Association (also known as the SFA and the Scottish FA; Scots: Scots Fitba Association; Scottish Gaelic: Comann Ball-coise na h-Alba) is the governing body of football in Scotland and has the ultimate responsibility for the control and development of football in Scotland. Members of the SFA include clubs in Scotland, affiliated national associations as well as local associations. It was formed in 1873, making it the second oldest national football association in the world. It is not to be confused with the Scottish Football Union, which is the name that the SRU was known by until the 1920s.

The Scottish Football Association sits on the International Football Association Board which is responsible for the laws of the game. The SFA is also a member of FIFA and founder member of UEFA. It is based at Hampden Park in Glasgow. In addition, the Scottish Football Museum is located there. (Full article...)

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The Swiss national team pose before a 2006 friendly against China in Zurich. Controlled by the Swiss Football Association, Switzerland have reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup three times as well as winning silver at the 1924 Summer Olympics.

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We need a big, ugly defender. If we had one of them we'd have dealt with County's first goal by taking out the ball, the player and the first three rows of seats in the stands.

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The 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, the fifth edition of the FIFA Women's World Cup, was an international association football competition for women held in China from 10 to 30 September 2007. Originally, China was to host the 2003 edition, but the outbreak of SARS in that country forced that event to be moved to the United States. FIFA immediately granted the 2007 event to China, which meant that no new host nation was chosen competitively until the voting was held for the 2011 Women's World Cup.

The tournament opened with a record-breaking match in Shanghai, as Germany beat Argentina 11–0 to register the biggest win and the highest scoring match in Women's World Cup history, records which stood until 2019. The tournament ended with Germany defeating Brazil 2–0 in the final, having never surrendered a goal in the entire tournament. The Germans became the first national team in FIFA Women's World Cup history to retain their title. (Full article...)

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