The Rules of Association Football were codified in 1863 as a way of establishing a definite set of rules for Football and also to distinguish the game from other forms of 'football' around at the time, such as Rugby Football.
The earliest forms of football go back to China in the second century, the first description of a football match in England was written by William FitzStephen in about 1170, and there are many British traditions going back hundreds of years pitting one village against another to force a 'ball' over a 'goal line'.
Basically, the Rules of Association Football took the best bits from the many similar games around at the time and combined them to produce the game we know and love today.
And this is very much what those that wrote the bible did when they invented Christianity. They took the best bits from all the previous religions and combined the stories to produce what we recognise as Christianity today.
The following, which illustrates this point excellently, was found on the Religion Poisons website
So, I guess that on this point, Football and Religion are fairly similar, in that they have both been manufactured by man from previous, but less successful attempts at the same thing.
Now one of them is very popular, gets people of all types together and can be a social force for good, the other is Religion.