Football is a team sport in which players carry or kick a ball across an imaginary line and into the goal area of the opponent. Teams of eleven players play the offense and defense. The offensive team tries to advance the ball by gaining at least 10 yards on each of four plays. The team that fails to advance within the time limit (four downs) forfeits possession.
In the early 20th century, football spread throughout Europe. London clubs enjoyed a great deal of dominance. However, by 1877, their influence had diminished. Several northern clubs benefited from the ability to attract better players.
Following World War I, professionalism began to creep into various codes of football. The leading clubs started charging admission to spectators. As a result, they could pay illicit wages to attract skilled players.
In order to prevent this, the Football Association resorted to a strict amateur policy. It sanctioned payment of players a year later.
In addition, the FA created a competition known as the Football League. This league allowed the best twelve teams from the North and Midlands to compete against each other. After a few years, the Southern League was formed.
During the 20th century, football became a global sport, and the FIFA was established. Today, more than 200 nations are members of the association. Although the organization is primarily a governing body, it also functions as a dispute resolution body.
FIFA requires all agents to be licensed. They must pass written examinations held by national associations.