Street football

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Jumpers for Goalposts leads here. For the Ed Sheeran film, see Jumpers for Goalposts: Live at Wembley Stadium
Street football, Venice (1960) Paolo Monti - Serie fotografica (Venezia, 1960) - BEIC 6328452.jpg
Street football, Venice (1960)
Street football in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa Article-1041721-020C009C00000578-857 468x429 popup.jpg
Street football in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa
Street pitches are common in Libya, especially near highways and flyovers Tripoli Libya Flyover.jpg
Street pitches are common in Libya, especially near highways and flyovers

The terms street football and (in the United States and Canada) street soccer encompass a number of informal varieties of association football. These informal pick up games do not necessarily follow the requirements of a formal game of football, such as a large field, field markings, goal apparatus and corner flags, eleven players per team, or match officials (referee and assistant referees). [1] [2]



Boys playing street football in Egypt Boys playing street football in Egypt.jpg
Boys playing street football in Egypt

Street football is more similar to beach football and futsal than to association football. Often the most basic of set-ups will involve just a ball with a wall or fence used as a goal, or items such as clothing being used for goalposts [1] [3] (hence the phrase "jumpers for goalposts"). The phrase was used by Ed Sheeran in his 2015 documentary Jumpers for Goalposts: Live at Wembley Stadium as a nod to playing the concerts at Wembley Stadium, [4] the "home of football." [5]

Children playing with an improvised garbage ball in Tanzania Street football play.jpg
Children playing with an improvised garbage ball in Tanzania

In some cases, a standard ball is not available and street football depends on a ball made out of garbage, such as discarded plastic. [6] [7] Handwalla Bwana, describing street football in the Kakuma refugee camp said "We used to make a garbage ball. We used to go through the garbage cans and make as much soccer ball as we could" and attributed use of the garbage ball to being better with his feet. [8] [9] Johan Cruyff has said "Footballers from the street are more important than trained coaches." [10]

The ease of playing these informal games on the streets and open spaces make football the most popular sport in the world. [11]

Organizations and tournaments

Currently several common street football organisations exist (Streetfootballworld, SISM Street Soccer in the USA, The International Street Soccer Association, WhizzKids United, Buntkicktgut, Street Soccer USA). Nowadays, street football is also one method for coaching young football players [12] and is realized with freestyle football, which has grown in popularity since the early 2000s when Nike began to focus on street football and freestyle via their TV ads. [13] [14]

The first Street Football World Championship took place in the Mariannenplatz in Berlin-Kreuzberg. [15] The World Street 3s, the first international World Street Soccer Championships took place in Manchester on 25 September 2016. [16]

The United States held their first international tournament in 2014. The American Panna & Freestyle Tournament hosted by SISM Street Soccer [17] took place in San Jose, California. The inaugural event consisted of freestyle football, street soccer and panna. The event drew many top professionals from around the world to judge and compete in the Bay Area. [18]

Video games

In 2005, video game publisher Electronic Arts introduced FIFA Street , a franchise based on street football and freestyle football. FIFA Street series focuses on flair, style and trickery, reflecting the cultures of street football and freestyle football played in streets and backlots across the world.

In 2019, Electronic Arts added a Volta gameplay mode to FIFA 20. It shares similarities to the FIFA Street series and has a storyline of a street football player playing through the ranks, both making new friends and losing old ones along the way. [19] [20]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Rinus Michels

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Handwalla Bwana is Kenyan-American professional footballer who plays for Nashville SC of Major League Soccer.

<i>Jumpers for Goalposts: Live at Wembley Stadium</i> 2015 video by Ed Sheeran

Jumpers for Goalposts: Live at Wembley Stadium is a home video by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, released on Blu-ray on 13 November 2015. It features the footage taken from Sheeran's x Tour, when he became the first solo artist to take the stage at Wembley Stadium in London and played across three sold out nights to a crowd of 240,000 people. Jumpers for Goalposts: Live at Wembley Stadium features performances of hits like "The A Team", "Sing" or "Thinking Out Loud". Sir Elton John duets with Sheeran on two songs.

World Freestyle Football Association Governing body of freestyle football

The World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA) is an international governing body of Freestyle Football.

<i>FIFA 20</i> 2019 video game

FIFA 20 is a football simulation video game published by Electronic Arts as part of the FIFA series. It is the 27th installment in the FIFA series, and was released on 27 September 2019 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Its successor, FIFA 21, was released on 9 October 2020.


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  11. "Street Soccer" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 15, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2019. Soccer is the undisputed # 1 game in the world and the primary way kids around the world developed their ball skills was through “street soccer”. World-class players came out of this environment.
  12. Modern Sports Stories Publication, published 09/09/2013. Staff interview with Darren Laver, Page 96.
  13. "UK's and World's Best Football Freestyle Agency". Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  14. "Welcome". World Class Freestyle - Freestyle Football Event Hire - Search Freestylers by Location - #1 Freestyle Soccer agency. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
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  18. "History of American Panna & Freestyle Tournament". SISM Street Soccer. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  19. Yin-Poole, Wesley (8 June 2019). "Confirmed: FIFA 20 has a FIFA Street mode called Volta Football". Eurogamer . Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  20. Horti, Samuel (8 June 2019). "FIFA 20 has a FIFA Street-style mode called Volta, EA confirms". PC Gamer . Retrieved 4 November 2020.