Cuju an ancient Chinese football game, is the very earliest form of football. It is a competitive game that involves kicking a ball through an opening into a net. The use of hands is not allowed. Invented in the Han dynasty, it is recognized by FIFA as the earliest form of football for which there is evidence, being first mentioned as an exercise in a Chinese military work from the 3rd–2nd century BC.
Linzi Football Museum is located at Linzi District, Zibo city, the birthplace of world’s football. Covering an area of 2,500 square meters, it is the first professional football-themed museum which systematically exhibits the over 2,000 years long football culture in China and the world. It is composed of two main parts, the ancient Cuju and the modern football displayed in 10 exhibition units, where over 150 precious cultural relics and more than 300 historical pictures are exhibited, and more than 20 ancient scenes are restored.
This museum has become a harmonious integration of the Cuju cultural history, and the history of world football.
Featured Image: A statue of a caricatured traditional Chinese Cuju player at the Linzi Football Museum / Image: AFP