Why Football Is Important
Congratulations Liverpool FC, Premier League Champions 2020. It’s been a long time coming, 30 years to be precise! Despite fears of a pandemic, fans celebrated long into the night and in this blog, we’ll explore why football is important!
Known as ‘The Beautiful Game’, football is the world’s most popular ball game. Loved by players and spectators alike. The rules are relatively simple. All you need to play is a ball and some goal posts and these can be created with anything, including jumpers! Soccer, as it is called in USA and Canada, is played everywhere! From pitches, parks and school playgrounds to beaches and even a battlefield (as was the case in WWII)! The recent covid-19 outbreak highlighted how important the game is to so many lives and why it was imperative the Premier League completed its 2020 season.
Modern football (or soccer, as it is known in other countries), developed in England in the middle of 19th Century. However, alternative versions of the game go back centuries! In China, in the 3rd and 2nd century BC, records show the first ball game, that involved kicking the ball, being played. Called Cuju, the game played in ceremonial forms. It involved a round ball and a square playing area. Early versions are also recorded in Ancient Greece and Rome.
In England in the 12th Century, games like football could be seen being played on meadows and roads. The games involved kicking and punching the ball with your fist. A host of people played at any one time. Consequently games proved to be a lot rougher and more violent than the modern game – not so beautiful then! Indeed, proclamations against these games meant they were banned for several centuries!
The establishment of a form of football being played in public schools in 1835, reintroduced it back to society. Variations, concerning the size of the ball, rules and the number of players still ensued however. The first football association formed in 1863 in England and they decided handling the ball inappropriate. This meant only the keeper could now touch the ball during play. Football continued to develop over the years, until it finally settled on the game we know today.
Health Benefits of Playing Football
Playing football naturally impacts your health positively. Our modern world, with a sedentary lifestyle, means any form of aerobic exercise is vitally important. Playing football can help control weight, regulate your blood pressure, and pulse rates. It helps to improve your mood, your cognitive abilities and can help you to relax. Knock on effects then extend to improved digestion, better quality sleep, and an enhanced sex life!
Physical activity releases endorphins into the body. Endorphins act as analgesics, thereby reducing pain threshold. They also act as sedatives, hence why playing football can help you relax. Indeed, during the Covid-19 lockdown, the Professional Footballers’ Association conducted a survey with some of its members. They found 72% experiencing feelings of nervousness or anxiety. 22% reported feeling depressed. Playing football helps to alleviate these symptoms, making it important to get back to training and matches.
An excellent interview by FIFA with Brazilian football legend Julio Caesar, highlighted his experience of visiting South Asia. He stated, ’it is wonderful to see the power of football and how much it incentivises children…despite the day-to-day difficulties, they never stop smiling.’ Need I say more?
Benefits For The Fans
Fans, often regarded as the most important members of the team, the 12th player! Equally, the health benefits of being a fan are as impressive as playing. Football supporters are associated with being passionate, emotional, and dedicated. Football can unite people. Irrespective of age, colour, religion or ethnicity, fans come together to cheer their team. Friendships and relationships can and do form through the love of football!
It is estimated that more than half of the World’s population consider themselves associated football (soccer) fans. They engage, and get a sense of belonging. Football is a diversion from real life and an outlet to release their emotions. They enjoy the highs and lows of football as though they were playing the match themselves! Therefore, fans also experience the same release of endorphins as players, with the same mental health benefits.
Finally, there is the financial impact football has on the world economies. In Britain alone, a study of the 2017-2018 season, saw Premier League clubs contribute nearly £8 billion to the UK economy. It is responsible for employing over 100k people and paid £3.3 billion in tax. This does not include employment and financial benefits from the lower league clubs! Compared to the end of the last century, the premier league’s contribution to the economy has increased by 800%! The knock-on effects of football on the economy, particularly during special events like the World Cup, is huge! In 2018, the BBC reported that the UK economy benefitted from a £1 billion boost from feel good factor sales! The positive impact on employment and the UK economy is therefore another reason why we should love the beautiful game!
We hope you have found this blog informative! Remember, at Sweet and Nostalgic we have a plethora of gifts available. If you want to celebrate your love of football, or you are looking for a perfect gift for a football fan, we can help. Check out our website for more details.