The competitive Chinese game Cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is scientific evidence. It appears as the first competitive game that involves kicking a ball through an opening into a net and occurs namely as an exercise in a military manual called Zhan Guo Ce compiled between the 3rd century and 1st century BC. The use of hands is not allowed. Variations of this game later spread to Japan and Korea, known as Kemari and Chuk-guk respectively. Contemporary codes of football can be traced back to the codification of these games at English public schools in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The expanse of the British Empire allowed these rules of football to spread to areas of British influence outside of the directly controlled Empire, though by the end of the nineteenth century, distinct regional codes were already developing: Gaelic football, for example, deliberately incorporated the rules of local traditional football games in order to maintain their heritage. In 1888, The Football League was founded in England, becoming the first of many professional football competitions

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