The FIFA Museum launches its first global digital exhibition entitled “Origins: Prehistories of Football”


With a virtual interactive multimedia experience accessible worldwide, the FIFA Museum has published the first chapter of its first digital exhibition entitled “Origins: prehistories of football” on its official website.

The FIFA Museum’s first digital exhibition, “Origins: Prehistories of Football”, focuses on four different ball games of yore: the Mesoamerican ball game, Kemari in Japan, Cuju in China and the ball games of the Greece and ancient Rome. The Museum will unveil each of these four chapters over the coming weeks. Starting today, virtual visitors can enjoy the first part of this digital exhibition on the Japanese game Kemari via the following link below (

“Origins: prehistories of football”

Association football, as we know it today, was born in London in 1863. Yet the question of what influenced the development and codification of the world’s biggest and most important sport fascinates historians than football fans. What cultural traditions lead some people to “play” different ball games and others to watch them? Although there is no indication of a direct link between these precursors and the modern game, these pastimes demonstrate humanity’s innate predisposition to play with a ball, whether for social interaction, military training, as part of a ritual ceremony or simply as a means of entertainment.

An exhibition based on scientific research

“For our first digital exhibition, we relied on the research and expertise of an international committee of scholars to investigate various ball sports from antiquity which we call the prehistories of football,” explained Marco Fazzone. , director of the FIFA Museum. “We decided to start with four examples in which ball games were a documented feature of society. The intention was not to assign any particular value or significance to any specific game, but rather to show how ball games have been an integral part of everyday life, and we look forward to launching our first digital exhibition on this fascinating and profound subject so that it is accessible to people around the world.

To give a physical dimension to this digital exhibition project, the Museum has developed a program for schools in close collaboration with the teaching team of Museum Rietberg in Zurich. In “Return to origins: discovering the old, exploring the new”, which takes place from March to July 2022, schoolchildren will be able to learn more by following the discovery trail between the two museums. “We really appreciate this innovative collaboration,” said Emmanuel Bucher, Team Leader Education at the FIFA Museum. “It should allow many school children to learn about mankind’s fascination with ball games in a fun way.” We are particularly excited about the participatory games that the classes will develop themselves and to see the new hobbies that will emerge at the end of the project.

The FIFA Museum in Zurich preserves and celebrates the rich cultural heritage of football. It offers exhibitions and cultural events as well as educational programs to show how the world’s most popular sport inspires and connects people around the world.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FIFA.

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© Press Release 2021

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