In what country was footballl invented?

The first mention of anything like football comes from China in the 2nd and 3rd century BC. A military training exercise involved kicking a ball through a target, whilst being attacked by opponents. Something similar also existed in Japan. The first game of this type was played in ancient Greece and Rome, but this was really more like violent dodgeball.

The game closest to the modern game developed in Britain over the last 1500 years or so. Its origins are unclear (some say it's Anglo-Saxon, some say it is Celtic), however by the time of Norman conquest in 1066 it was well established. There were hundreds of different variations of the game depending on where in the country you went to. They all had the same basis though; get a ball to the opposition 'goal'. An example of this was played between neighbouring villages. The two villages would meet half way between to start the contest. The objective was to get the ball to the oppositions church by whatever means necessary (except murder, etc.). As the contests tended to be very violent, successive laws and decrees were passed over the centuries, to try and limit playing. Fortunately they were unsuccessful.

By the 1800's the games were getting a lot more organised, especially at the universities and big schools. Rules and scoring were beginning to be developed and the 'field' reduced to an appropriate size (i.e. an actual field). This is when the splits started to happen and differences over what the rules should be emerged. In 1863 a meeting was held between the big London clubs and schools to once and for decide upon the rules. Unfortunately, they couldn't. Some schools, such as Rugby and Cheltenham, preferred the more physical game in which handling the ball was allowed (a feat introduced by a student by the name of Web Ellis in 1823), others such as Eton and Harrow, rejected this prefering the more skillful game involving dribbling the ball with the feet. The split was irrevokable. It was decided that handling of the ball could not be allowed (neither could wrestling an opponent, shin kicking, etc). And so the English Football Association was founded and the rules for association football laid down. Eight years later the worlds first competition, the FA cup was started and shortly afterwards the first international between England and Scotland. In Paris in 1904 FIFA was founded - the Federation Internationale de Football Association - association football (or soccer's) World governing body. Football (soccer) is now the worlds biggest sport (bigger than most of the others combined)