History


Association Football, known the world over as football, is the prevailing passion for billions of people.

Games similar to what we now know as football have been played throughout the ages. The Chinese played a game, so did the Japanese. The ancient European civilisations, the Greeks and the Romans both had games. So too did Native peoples in both North and South America.

But what of modern football? Well, possibly evolving from games between neighbouring villages, various game called football were played in British public schools.  However, each played to different rules and this created problems when they went up to University and later still when they started to form clubs to play football after University.  So, in 1848 we had the Cambridge Rules, followed in 1858 by the Sheffield Rules - although these, it should be noted, were drawn up by a pair of public school types who did not go on to attend university.

Eventually, in 1863, eleven teams in the London area joined together to form the Football Association.  The excellently monikered Ebenezer Cobb Morley of the Barnes Football Club was its first secretary, second president and most importantly the draughtsman of the original Laws of Football, which were approved and published in December 1863.

In 1871, we saw the first use of the term soccer to describe association football, the game that we call football nowadays. It was at this time that the (English) Rugby Football Union was formed by clubs that wanted to continue with the practice of running with the ball in the hand, hacking, tripping and holding - activities outlawed in association football since 1863.

In 1873 the Scottish Football Association (SFA) was formed, followed in 1876 by the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and in 1880 by the Irish Football Association (IFA).  In 1886 in order to normalise the laws of the game for the purposes of playing International matches, the four Associations formed the International Football Association Board (IFAB).  Nowadays with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA - formed in 1904) as a member, the IFAB is still the body which determines the laws of the game of association football.



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