Origin of the Sport

The origins of a form of the game can be traced back to BC China with the Ancient Roman and Greek civilisations also playing a very loose form of the game we know today. It was not until 1863 when the Rugby Football and Association of England branched off and the Football Association in England was formed did the first official governing body for the sport come into being. In 1872 the first organised football tournament, the FA Cup, was established. That same year the first international match between England and Scotland was played. The game then quickly spread beyond the British Isles to other parts of Europe, South America and beyond. FIFA was formed in 1904 with seven founder members. The first FIFA World Cup took place in 1930. The quadrennial competition remains the pinnacle of the game. Today FIFA has more than 200 members globally.

How it Works

The world’s most popular game is a team game played between eleven players (ten outfield players and a goalkeeper) on each team. The game is principally played with the foot, although it can be controlled by any part of the leg, torso and head. Outfield players cannot touch the ball with the hand or arms. The only player on the field allowed to make contact with the ball via hand or arm is the goalkeeper.  The aim is to score a goal in the opposition net. All games last a standard 90 minutes or two halves of 45 minutes. To score a goal in football, the ball has to cross the line between two goalposts and under the crossbar. The side which scores the most goals wins the game. If both sides end the match with an equal number of goals or each team has scored no goals the game is declared a draw.

Format at World Masters Games 2017

The 11-a-side football tournament will be organised via two grades; A grade – Premiere and B Grade – Competitive.  The age divisions for the men’s women’s A Grade tournaments are 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+. Meanwhile, the men’s and women’s B Grade tournaments will be run in 30+, 40+ and 50+, with the men's and women's Open Grade being 55+ and 60+. Dependent on numbers, the early stages of the tournament will be organised in a round robin format with the latter stages in an elimination format.

Expected number of competitors: 1,500


North Harbour Stadium, Albany

Kiwi Hero

Wynton Rufer – Named the Oceania Footballer of the Century, Wynton Rufer is popularly regarded as New Zealand’s most pre-eminent player. Aged just 19, Rufer appeared for the All Whites in their 1982 World Cup campaign before going on to enjoy an outstanding club career predominantly in Switzerland and Germany.  In the Swiss league he played for FC Zurich, FC Aarau and Grasshopper scoring more than 100 goals. In 1989 he moved on to Werder Bremen in the German Bundesliga and memorably scored a goal in their 2-0 defeat of Monaco in the Cup Winners’ Cup final. He played in Japan before returning home to finish his career in New Zealand. He appeared 23 times for the All Whites notching 12 goals.

Did you know?

Football is the world’s most popular sport. More than one billion fans worldwide watch the FIFA World Cup Final.

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