According to certain assumptions, physical activities all over the world from the antiquity until the 19th century can be considered as the historical origins of modern football (soccer). The present study examines whether and to what extent those assumptions hold true. In order to criticize these assumptions, a discussion whether ancient and pre-modern activities can be considered as sports is presented. Then, the morphological movement similarity that those activities have with modern football is examined. Finally, a discussion about to what extent the history of these activities is characterized by a continuous developing progress is undertaken. According to our argument these assumptions cannot be supported because the morphological movement similarity of those activities does not immediately imply their placement in the same category when this category refers to the phenomena of civilization. On the contrary, it is the aim those activities serve and, mostly, the meaning attributed to them that constitute the essential elements that need to be examined before arriving at a conclusion that they belong to the same category of the phenomena of civilization. Thus, physical activities all over the world from the antiquity until the 19th century cannot be considered as the historical origins of the modern football.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.