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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 the ball around a rectangular field called a pitch. The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposition by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing side's rectangular framed goal. 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, 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 with the International Football Association Board (IFAB) maintaining them 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 to control, strike or pass the ball apart from their hands or arms. 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 globally governed by FIFA. The national associations are responsible for managing the game, both professionally and at an amateur level, in their own countries and coordinating competitions in accordance with the Laws of the Game. The most senior and prestigious international competitions are the men's 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 top five European men's leagues are the Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy), and Ligue 1 (France). Attracting most of the world's best players, each of the leagues has a total wage cost in excess of £600 million/€763 million/US$1.185 billion. (Full article...)

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Arsenal Stadium, commonly known as Highbury
Arsenal Stadium, commonly known as Highbury
Arsenal Stadium was a football stadium in Highbury, North London, which was the home ground of Arsenal Football Club between 6 September 1913 and 7 May 2006. It was popularly known as Highbury due to its location.

It was originally built in 1913 on the site of a local college's recreation ground and has been significantly redeveloped twice. The first came in the 1930s from which the still-existing Art Deco East and West Stands date; the second in the late 1980s and early 1990s following the Taylor Report, during which the terraces at both ends of the pitch were removed, making it all-seater with four stands. The resulting reduction in capacity and matchday revenue eventually led to Arsenal deciding to build the Emirates Stadium nearby, which they moved to in 2006.

Its presence also led to the local Tube station being renamed to "Arsenal" in 1932, making it the only station on the network to be named after a football club. (Full article...)

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Ohno playing for Japan in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Ohno playing for Japan in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Shinobu Ohno (大野 忍, Ōno Shinobu, born 23 January 1984 in Zama, Kanagawa) is a Japanese football player who plays as a forward. Her club team, as of 2013, is Lyon.

After playing in the U-19 and U-20 teams for a short period, Ohno joined the senior Japanese national team in 2003. Her first major tournament was the 2006 AFC Women's Asian Cup, where Japan placed fourth. The following year she played in the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, but Japan fell in the group stage. She also competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, where she scored a goal in the group stage match against Mexico.

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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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Playing football on a beach in Bali
Credit: Flickr user Riza Nugraha
Association football has many variants including Beach soccer. Historically popular in Brazil, the rules for the sport were codified by Beach Soccer Worldwide in 1992. Today, national teams from all confederations compete in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

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The person that said winning isn't everything, never won anything. — Mia Hamm

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Poster - World Cup 1950.jpg
Official poster
The 1950 FIFA World Cup was the fourth edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international association football championship for senior men's national teams and held in Brazil from 24 June to 16 July 1950. The planned 1942 and 1946 World Cups were cancelled due to World War II. This tournament ended the hiatus. Uruguay, who had won the inaugural competition in 1930, defeated the host nation, Brazil, in the deciding match of the four-team group of the final round. This was the only tournament not decided by a one-match final. It was also the inaugural tournament where the trophy was referred to as the Jules Rimet Cup, to mark the 25th anniversary of Jules Rimet's presidency of FIFA. (Full article...)

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UEFA club competition winning managers, Lists of
FIFA WC-qualification 2014 - Austria vs Ireland 2013-09-10 - Giovanni Trapattoni 03 (cropped).JPG
European Cup and UEFA Champions League
UEFA Cup
UEFA Super Cup
UEFA Intertoto Cup
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup

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