Soccer / football association
On This Day: The Football Association was Established
The FA crest. Source: Wikipedia When 11 teams in England gathered at one table to discuss general rules of football, at that time the Football Association (FA) was born. On this day 155 years ago, the Football Association was established on October 26, 1863 in London. It was the first football association in the world. It's interesting that its name is "Football Association" only, without England on it, unlike football association in other countries that contain the name of their respective countries. It's like it wanted to say that it was the only football association (at that time) in the world. The establishment of the FA as the first football association is also the proof that England is home to modern football. Despite football can be found in many ancient civilizations like China, it was England who founded the principles of modern football as we know now. Many civilizations have kicking ball games, but those can't be regarded as football. England was the inventor of (modern) football. Before the establishment of the FA, there were two rules that dominated England's football: Cambridge Rules and Sheffield Rules. Most of regions played football with Cambridge Rules which popularized by academics from the Cambridge University in 1848, while Northern people played with Sheffield Rules since the 1850s. This duality made Ebenezer Cobb Morley, founder and captain of Barnes FC, worried. He then wrote an article in the most popular newspaper in England at the time, Bell's Life. He argued that football must have one uniform rules that can be applied in all England regions. He was inspired by cricket which had uniform rules. Morley's writing was the beginning of the foundation of the FA. That's why people regards him as founding father of the FA. Then a meeting was held in London, 11 teams were invited, academics from every university were also invited. The day when they first gathered then recognized as the birthday of the FA. This FA meeting continued until December 1863 with the result of creating new rules that resembled the Cambridge Rules. Some parties who disagree with this decision then left the FA and established a Rugby Football Union that allows the existence of hacking (running while holding the ball). Since that day there was a clear separation between football and rugby. The word 'soccer' then was introduced as a slang of the 'soc' (association) refers to football governed by the Football Association. Some of the rules were: (1) There was no crossbar, so goals can be scored at any height; (2) Carrying a ball with your hand was clearly prohibited, but catching the ball with your hand was permissible if you don't move; (3) Corner kicks were not enforced; (4) There were no specific rules regarding the goalkeeper, the duration of the match, the number of players, the penalty for the violation, and the time of the break. Nine days after the rules was agreed, the FA tested the rules in a match between Barnes and Richmond which ended with a score of 0-0. Unfortunately, the presence of the FA and the rules it made were not immediately agreed by all parties. A number of public schools in London even ignored the FA along with the rules. Outside of London, clubs also still played in their own way including by allowing hacking which opposed by the FA. Being ignored by clubs and schools, the FA then initiated a tournament which started in 1871, known as the FA Cup, the oldest football competition in the world. When the FA Cup was first held in 1871, the goalkeeper was allowed to use his hands. In 1882, the center line of the field was introduced, dividing the territory of the two teams. About five years later, the penalty box was created and penalty kick came into effect to punish the violation. In 1912, the goalkeeper was only allowed to hold the ball inside the penalty box. English clubs slowly began to like the rules applied by the FA and recognized its existence. Since then, the rules of the football has evolved. From England, football then spread to other countries even before FIFA was formed in 1904. The FA rules then adopted by FIFA and became standard rules for football. With technological progress now we can enforce those rules with more precision. Technology such as VAR and goal line technology made it possible to enforce those rules perfectly, not only rely on human abilities. Happy birthday to the FA! Thanks to them we now have beautiful modern football.