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‘Tsu chu’, as old as the Shang dynasty

The first mention of a game of football in history dates back to the Chinese empire of Shang in about 2000BC. The Shang dynasty extended from about 1800-1100BC. The story was discovered during archaeological digs from 1927-1950 that found numerous royal tombs and important inscriptions … Legend attributes the invention of a ball game to the time of the mythical emperor Huang-Ti, at around 2500BC, and a practice that was part of military training. The ball was round and made from pig or dog leather. The ball was launched from between two planted sticks … Chinese military called it ‘tsu chu’.

Philippe Villemus, Le Dieu football (The Football God) (Ed. Eyrolles 2006)

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