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The referee officiates in a football match
The referee officiates in a football match

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of 11 players who primarily use their feet to propel a ball around a rectangular field called a pitch. The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposite team by moving the ball beyond the goal line into a rectangular-framed goal defended by the opposing side. Traditionally, the game has been played over two 45 minute halves, for a total match time of 90 minutes. With an estimated 250 million players active in over 200 countries and territories, it is considered the world's most popular sport.

The game of association football is played in accordance with the Laws of the Game, a set of rules that has been in effect since 1863 and maintained by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) since 1886. The game is played with a football that is 68–70 cm (27–28 in) in circumference. 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. When the ball is in play, the players mainly use their feet, but may use any other part of their body, except for their hands or arms, to control, strike, or pass the ball. Only the goalkeepers may use their hands and arms, and only then within the penalty area. The team that has scored more goals at the end of the game is the winner. Depending on the format of the competition, an equal number of goals scored may result in a draw being declared, or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout.

Internationally, association football is governed by FIFA. Under FIFA, there are six continental confederations: AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA. National associations (e.g. The FA or JFA) are responsible for managing the game in their own countries both professionally and at an amateur level, and coordinating competitions in accordance with the Laws of the Game. The most senior and prestigious international competitions are the FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Women's World Cup. The men's World Cup is the most-viewed sporting event in the world, surpassing the Olympic Games. The two most prestigious competitions in European club football are the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Women's Champions League, which attract an extensive television audience throughout the world. The final of the men's tournament has been, in recent years, the most-watched annual sporting event in the world. (Full article...)

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Derry City Football Club is an Irish football club based in Derry, Northern Ireland. It plays in the FAI Premier Division, the top tier of league football in the Republic of Ireland, and is the only participating club from Northern Ireland. The club's home ground is the Brandywell and the team wears red and white striped shirts from which its nickname, "the Candystripes".

The club, founded in 1928, initially played in the Irish League, the domestic league in Northern Ireland, but withdrew in 1972 after security concerns relating to unrest in Northern Ireland forced the team to play "home" fixtures 30 miles away in Coleraine. After 13 years in junior football, they joined the League of Ireland's new First Division for 1985–86. Derry won the First Division title and achieved promotion to the Premier Division in 1987, and have remained there since. The club went on to win a domestic treble in 1988–89 and the Premier Division again in 1996–97. (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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Deutscher Fußball-Bund logo.svg

The German Football Association (German: Deutscher Fußball-Bund [ˈdɔʏtʃɐ ˈfuːsbalˌbʊnt]; DFB [ˌdeːʔɛfˈbeː]) is the governing body of football, futsal, and beach soccer in Germany. A founding member of both FIFA and UEFA, the DFB has jurisdiction for the German football league system and is in charge of the men's and women's national teams. The DFB headquarters are in Frankfurt am Main. Sole members of the DFB are the German Football League (German: Deutsche Fußball Liga; DFL), organising the professional Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga, along with five regional and 21 state associations, organising the semi-professional and amateur levels. The 21 state associations of the DFB have a combined number of more than 25,000 clubs with more than 6.8 million members, making the DFB the single largest sports federation in the world. (Full article...)

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The Bernabeu stadium, home of Real Madrid
Credit: en.wikipedia user Ed g2s
The Santiago Bernabéu is a football stadium in Madrid, Spain that seats over 80,000. It has been the home of Real Madrid since its opening in December 1947.

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Away from home our fans are fantastic...but at home they have a few drinks and probably the prawn sandwiches, and they don't realise what's going on out on the pitch. — Roy Keane, on the prawn sandwich brigade

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

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The 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup was the seventh FIFA Women's World Cup, the quadrennial international soccer championship contested by the women's national teams of the member associations of FIFA. The tournament was hosted by Canada for the first time and by a North American country for the third time. Matches were played in six cities across Canada in five time zones. The tournament began on 6 June 2015, and finished with the final on 5 July 2015 with a United States victory over Japan.

The 2015 tournament saw the World Cup expanded to 24 teams from 16 in 2011. Canada's team received direct entry as host and a qualification tournament of 134 teams was held for the remaining 23 places. With the expanded tournament, eight teams made their Women's World Cup debut. All previous Women's World Cup finalists qualified for the tournament, with defending champions Japan and returning champions Germany (2003, 2007) and the United States (1991, 1999) among the seeded teams. (Full article...)

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8 articles
Ipswich Town F.C.
2002-07-16 Portman Road.jpg
Portman Road
List of statistics and records
List of players
List of Players of the Year
List of managers

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