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Association football

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 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 score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity. The modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association.

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 scores 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 or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association 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.

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82 winning squad at Villa part during the 25 year celebrations
Aston Villa Football Club is an English professional football club based in Aston, Birmingham. The club was founded in 1874 and they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were founding members of the Football League in 1888 and the Premier League in 1992.

They are one of the oldest and most successful football clubs in England, having won the First Division Championship seven times and the FA Cup seven times. Villa are also one of only four English clubs to win the European Cup, which they did in 1982. Aston Villa is the fourth most successful club in English football history, having won over 20 major honours, although most of these were won before the Second World War.

They have a long-standing and fierce rivalry with local rivals Birmingham City and the Birmingham Derby between the two teams has been contested since 1879. Less heated rivalries exist with the other West Midlands clubs.

Selected biography

Footballer Shaun Goater at a book signing on 26 September 2006
Shaun Goater MBE (born 25 February 1970 in Hamilton, Bermuda) is a footballer who played as a striker for a number of English clubs in the 1990s and 2000s.

Goater's first professional club was Manchester United, but he did not reach the first team, making his League debut in 1989 after moving to Rotherham. He played for Rotherham for seven years before moving to Bristol City in 1996. Two years later he moved to Manchester City for a fee of £400,000.

He is most well known for his time at Manchester City, where he scored over 100 goals between 1998 and 2003, finishing as the club's top scorer for four consecutive seasons. After leaving City, Goater had spells with Reading, Coventry and Southend United, before retiring in May 2006.

A former member of the Bermudian national team, Goater returned to Bermuda on retirement, receiving an official welcome from Prime Minister Alex Scott on his arrival. Since 2003, he has organised the annual Shaun Goater Grass-roots Soccer Festival, a football coaching event for children on the islands.

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Indonesia located on a world map
The Football Association of Indonesia or PSSI (Indonesian: Persatuan Sepak bola Seluruh Indonesia) is the governing body of football in Indonesia. It was founded on April 19, 1930 and joined FIFA in 1952 and the Asian Football Confederation in 1954.

The PSSI is responsible for the Indonesia national football team which first entered the World Cup in 1938 under the name of the Dutch East Indies before independence led to the newly named Indonesia competing in the qualifying round of the 1958 competition. Due to internal and external political problems, the team did not compete internationally again until 1974.

The association also governs seven domestic leagues, the highest of which is the men's "Liga Djarum Indonesia", including one youth league and one women's league

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Action at the 2007 FIFA U20 World Cup
Credit: en.wikipedia user Nick Wiebe

Congan goalkeeper Destin Onka saves a shot from Austrian forward Rubin Okotie in a 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup game in the Commonwealth Stadium, Alberta, Canada. Congo made it through to the Round of 16 before being knocked out by Mexico, Austria finished fourth overall.

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Football's a difficult business and aren't they prima donnas. But it's a wonderful game.
Elizabeth II, speaking to Premier League chairman Dave Richards

Did you know...

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