An early form of football played in 16th-century Florence, Italy, that became known as the Florentine kick game (calcio means ‘kick’). Its documented rules allowed the use of hands as well as feet, and specified teams of 27. The formulation of a game of this sort so early has led historians to dispute the claims made by many that Britain is the birthplace of football/soccer. Some of these discussions are of little value, though, as the calcio game, played initially by the privileged elite, did not sustain a strong cultural profile, and so can hardly be seen as a precursor or antecedent of the modern organized form of soccer. Revivals of the sport date from the 1930s, but these are marginal practices within Italy's sporting culture. The term has been used by some to lend a distinctive national historical dimension to the term soccer, though this establishes no credible historical lineage.
Subjects: Sport and Leisure.