The ancient Greeks and Romans were known for numerous ball games, some of which involved the use of feet. The Roman game Harpastum is believed to have adapted much from an ancient Greek game called Episcyros, mentioned in a drama of 388-311 BC. These games seem to have something in common with rugby football. The Roman guide describes the case of a man who was killed while shaving at the barber, because of a ball that was shot inside the barber.
The Roman Games meanwhile used the ball filled with air. The Episkyros game of the ancient Greeks was recognized by FIFA as an early form of football. According to the same source, cuju is the earliest form of football, which has also been scientifically proven. Cuju appears in the form of a manual for military exercises in the III and II centuries BC.
Documentary evidence of football can also be found in the Chinese military manual drafted by Jean Guo Ce in the 3rd and 1st centuries BC.
It describes a practice known as cuju which literally translates to “shoot the ball”. The game resulted in the aim of a leather ball in a small hole of a piece of silk that was held steady with bamboo sticks and hung nine feet above the ground.
During the Han Dynasty, cuckoo games were standardized and rules were set. Various variations of this game spread to Japan and Korea, known as kemari and chuk-guk respectively.
There are a large number of traditional, ancient and prehistoric references to ball games, played by ancient people in different parts of the world. For example, in 1586, the men of a ship commanded by the English explorer known as John Davis, went ashore to play some form of football with the Eskimos in Greenland.
Each match started with two teams facing each other in parallel lines, before trying to kick the ball into the opponent’s line and then scoring a goal