During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world to play various forms of football. Some came up with their own distinct codes of the game. Ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association (The FA) in 1863 which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemason's Tavern in Great Queen Street, London.
The laws of the game are currently determined by the International Football Association Board(IFAB). The world's oldest football competition is the FA Cup which was founded by C. W. Alcock and has been contested by English teams since 1872.
The first official international football match took place in 1872 between Scotland and England in Glasgow, again at the instigation of C. W. Alcock. England is home to the world's first football league, which was founded in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international football body, was formed in in 1904 and declared that they would adhere to Laws of the Game of the Football Association. The growing popularity of the international game led to the admittance of FIFA representatives to the International Football Association Board in 1913. The board currently consists of four representatives from FIFA and one representative from each of the four British associations.
Today, football is played at a professional level all over the world. Millions of people regularly go to football stadia to follow their favourite teams, while billions more watch the game on television. A very large number of people also play football at an amateur level. According to a survey conducted by FIFA published in 2001, over 240 million people from more than 200 countries regularly play football. Its simple laws and minimal equipment requirements have no doubt aided its spread and growth in popularity.
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