Or soccer; Form of football originating in the UK, popular in Europe and Latin America. The modern game is played in the UK according to the rules laid down by the Football Association. Slight amendments to the rules take effect in certain competitions and overseas matches as laid down by the sport's world governing body, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA, 1904). FIFA organizes the competitions for the World Cup, held every four years since 1930.
The field has a halfway line marked with a center circle, two penalty areas, and two goal areas. The game is played with an inflated spherical ball. There are two teams each of 11 players, broadly divided into defense (the goalkeeper and defenders), midfield (whose players collect the ball from the defense and distribute it to the attackers), and attack (forward or strikers). The object of the game is to kick or head the ball into the opponents' goal. When the ball is in play, only the goalkeeper is allowed to touch the ball with the hands and then only in an assigned penalty area. The game is started and restarted after each goal, from the center spot. It is played for two periods of 45 minutes each, the teams changing ends at half-time. The game is controlled by a referee; two linesmen indicate when the ball is kicked into touch and bring other rule infringements to the referee's attention. Teams committing a foul forfeit possession. For major offenses committed within the defenders' penalty area, a penalty
kick may be awarded by the referee to the attacking team.