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Association football

Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport that is played between two teams of 11 players using a spherical ball. It is played by approximately 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport to date. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposition by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal within a time frame of 90 minutes or more.

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 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. Players may use any other part of their body to strike or pass the ball and mainly use their feet. 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 before 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 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 is held every four years and involves 32 national teams competing over four weeks. It is the most prestigious men's football tournament in the world, and 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 football 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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New Brompton F.C. (later Gillingham F.C.) in 1894.
New Brompton F.C. (later Gillingham F.C.) in 1894.
Gillingham Football Club is an English professional football club based in the town of Gillingham, Kent, currently playing in the Football League One. The only Kent-based club in the Football League, they play their home matches at KRBS Priestfield Stadium.

The club was founded in 1893 and joined the Football League in 1920. They were voted out of the league in favour of Ipswich Town at the end of the 1937–38 season, but returned to it 12 years later after it was expanded from 88 to 92 clubs. Twice in the late 1980s they came close to winning promotion to the second tier of English football, but a decline then set in and in 1993 they narrowly avoided relegation to the Football Conference. Between 2000 and 2005, Gillingham were in the second tier of the English league for the only time in their history, achieving a club record highest league finish of eleventh place in 2002–03. (Full article...)

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Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry (born 17 August 1977), is a French football player who plays in the position of striker and is renowned for his pace and goal scoring record.

Henry was spotted by AS Monaco in 1990 and signed to a youth contract instantly, making his professional début in 1994. Good form led to an international call-up for France in 1998, after which he signed for the Italian defending champions Juventus. He had a disappointing season playing on the wing, before joining Arsenal for £10.5 million in 1999.

Despite initially struggling in the Premiership, under long-time mentor and coach Arsène Wenger he emerged as Arsenal's top goal-scorer for almost every season he played. Henry won two league titles and three FA Cups with The Gunners, was twice nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year and became Arsenal's all-time leading scorer with 226 goals in all competitions. In June 2007, after eight years with Arsenal, he transferred to FC Barcelona for a fee of £16.1 million.

Henry has also had success with the French national squad, having been part of the squad that won both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2000. In October 2007, he surpassed Michel Platini's record becoming the country's top goal-scorer of all time. (Full article...)

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The Football Association (also known as The FA) is the governing body of association football in England and the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in its territory.

The FA facilitates all competitive football matches within its remit at national level, and indirectly at local level through the county football associations. It runs numerous competitions, the most famous of which is the FA Cup. It is also responsible for appointing the management of the men's, women's, and youth national football teams. (Full article...)

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The Sheffield F.C. team of 1890
Credit: Public domain
The Sheffield F.C. team in 1890. Sheffield F.C. are regarded as the oldest football club in the world and were awarded the FIFA Order of Merit in 2004 to reflect this. The amateur team played Inter Milan in 2007 to celebrate their 150th anniversary at Bramall Lane with Pele as the guest of honour.

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If a player is not interfering with play or seeking to gain an advantage, then he should be.
Bill Shankly, on the offside rule

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The following are images from various association football-related articles on Wikipedia.

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1978 FIFA World Cup official logo

The 1978 FIFA World Cup was the 11th edition of the FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial international football world championship tournament among the men's senior national teams. It was held in Argentina between 1 and 25 June.

The Cup was won by the host nation, Argentina, who defeated the Netherlands 3–1 in the final, after extra time. The final was held at River Plate's home stadium, Estadio Monumental, in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires. This win was the first World Cup title for Argentina, who became the fifth team (after Uruguay, Italy, England, and West Germany) to be both hosts and world champions. Argentina, the Netherlands, and Brazil were the gold, silver, and bronze medalists, respectively. Iran and Tunisia made their first appearances in the tournament. This was also the last World Cup tournament to use the original inclusion of 16 teams. Since the first World Cup in 1930, only 15 teams (plus the host, who automatically qualified) had been allowed to qualify (the reigning title holders also received automatic qualification from 1934 through 2002); but for the next World Cup, in Spain, FIFA expanded that tournament to 24 teams. (Full article...)

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