The Oldest Soccer-Like Game

The Oldest Soccer-Like Game


The earliest game resembling soccer was invented by Chinese Emperor Huang-Ti in 1697 BC. Players kicked a leather ball stuffed with cork and hair.


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People have played games similar to modern soccer around the world since ancient times. The oldest recorded soccer-like game is the Chinese game of tsu-chu, allegedly invented by the emperor Huang-Ti in 1697 b.c. Records from Huang-Ti's time describe a game played with a leather ball stuffed with animal hair and cork. Two teams vied to kick it through goalposts.

The Japanese played a similar game called kemari in the same era. A North African game from the seventh-century b.c. was also evidently similar to soccer, though it was a ceremonial game played as part of a fertility rite.


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