Pan Am Football

Football (Soccer)

Football (Soccer)

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Sport Overview

The most popular sport on earth, football (soccer) offers intense competition, great spectacle and avid displays of national pride.

Eight teams will compete in both the men’s and women’s football tournament in 2015, in a competition which is sure to feature some young rising stars from across the Americas. With 10 of the top 30 men’s nations in the world and three of the top seven women’s nations competing, this will be a sport to watch.

The men’s competition is an under-22 event, providing a rare opportunity to see the next generation of world football stars close up. Argentina has won the Pan Am Games football championship six times, while Mexico and Brazil have been champions four times each. Mexico won most recently at home at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara.

On the women’s side, Canada is always in the medal hunt and in 2011 defeated Brazil to become the Pan Am Games champion.


It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly who invented football as early evidence from 2,000 years ago shows people kicking a ball in a game in ancient China, and the Greeks and Romans also had their own versions. The game continued to evolve on the streets of medieval England and, in 1863, basic rules were implemented. Today football, or soccer as it is known in North America, is the world’s most popular and widely played sport.

How it works

Football teams are comprised of 11 players. Over the match’s two 45-minute halves, players move the ball in an attempt to get it in the opponent’s goal. Players may use only their feet, head and chest in moving the ball. Goaltenders, however, may use their hands to stop or move the ball but only within their designated goal area.

If the ball crosses the sideline, the team that was not the last to touch the ball throws it back in. Penalties and free kicks are awarded by referees and linesmen when rules are broken.


Any illegal interference with an opponent, including shoving, tripping, kicking, pushing.

Free kick
Awarded after an offence has occurred and taken from the spot where the offence occurred.

When a player uses his/her head to hit the ball.

Penalty kick
A free kick awarded in front of the goal after a foul has been committed. Only the goaltender may defend the kick.

Penalty card
Used by referees to indicate when a player has committed an offence.

Yellow card
Serves as a warning to the player when a serious offence has been committed; a second offence to the same player will result in a red card and the player is expelled from the game.

Red card
A penalty card given on a second offence, resulting in expulsion. Red cards are also given for more flagrant fouls.

Additional Information

Additional Information