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Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players, and is widely considered to be the most popular sport in the world. It is a football variant played on a rectangular grass or artificial turf field, with a goal at each of the short ends. The object of the game is to score by manoeuvring the ball into the opposing goal. In general play, the goalkeepers are the only players allowed to use their hands or arms to propel the ball; the rest of the team usually use their feet to kick the ball into position, occasionally using their torso or head to intercept a ball in midair. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time and/or a penalty shootout, depending on the format of the competition.

The modern game was codified in England following the formation of The Football Association, whose 1863 Laws of the Game created the foundations for the way the sport is played today. Football is governed internationally by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (International Federation of Association Football), commonly known by the acronym FIFA. The most prestigious international football competition is the FIFA World Cup, held every four years. This event, the most widely viewed in the world, boasts an audience twice that of the Summer Olympic Games.
Wikipedia contributors, "Association football," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed September 19, 2008))


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