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The first football game in history

The first football game in history

This Wednesday 14 August Wembley will again host a friendly match between England and Scotland. A priori, the meeting would not have more significance than that of a simple summer gig if it were not because both teams formalized 30 November 1872 the first international meeting between national teams played in the history of football and that it is 150 years of the birth of FA . It was on Hamilton Crescent (Glasgow) before 4.000 spectators in a duel that ended without a goal draw.

Faced in 110 occasions, history indicates that England dominates the confrontations with 45 victorias, by 41 defeats and 24 draws. Mythical have been their duels in the Rous Cup and especially the now-defunct British Home Championship that have caused not a few frictions between both confrontations.

England and Scotland played the first international match in history.
England and Scotland played the first international match in history.

But nevertheless, despite the fact that both teams have the honor of having played the first international match in history, It is not this one, However, the first match played on a soccer field. Such an honor was the duel between him Barnes Rugby Football Club y el Richmond Football Club, that in a match at Mortlake, London, they also tied 0 a 19 from December to 1863, already under the new rules of The Football Association.

And it is that football was not always the sport we know today. For many years, What is now considered the king of sports was played very differently in different parts of the UK. Different field measurements, nuanced or uniform offside rules and various balls marked a disparity of criteria that first the Cambridge Code, later the Sheffield rules and later the Football Association tried to correct. And it is that there were not a few anecdotes and problems offered by the friendlies between Scottish teams, Welsh or English had as they will play in one place or another.

The first football game according to no seats, no nets in the goals. It was more like a gathering of friends, a game. Its true essence.
The first football game according to no seats, no nets in the goals. It was more like a gathering of friends, a game. Its true essence.

As a reminder and tribute we literally transcribe the 13 soccer rules that The Football Association established in 1863, year of the first meeting in history:

  1. The maximum length of the field should be 200 yards, the maximum width shall be 100 yards, the length and width must be delimited with flags; and the goal will be defined by two vertical posts, separated by eight yards, without any tape or bar between them.
  2. A draw for the goals must be held, and the game must begin with a stopped ball kick from the center of the field by the side that has lost the toss for the goals; the other side shall not come closer than 10 yards of the ball until it has been thrown.
  3. After a goal is scored, the losing side must have the right to serve, and the two sides shall switch goals after each goal is scored.
  4. A goal must be scored when the ball passes between the goal posts or over the space between the goal posts. (at any height), without being released, beaten or transported.
  5. When the ball is out of bounds, the first player to touch it must throw it from the point on the boundary line where it left the field in a direction at right angles to the boundary line, and the ball must not be in play until it has touched the ground.
  6. When a player has kicked the ball, anyone on the same side that is closer to the opponent's goal line is out of play, and can't touch the ball, or in any way prevent another player from doing so, until he's in play; but neither player is out of play when the ball is thrown from behind the goal line.
  7. In case the ball goes behind the goal line, if a player on the side to which the goal belongs touches the ball first, one on his side must be entitled to a free throw from the goal line at the point opposite to where the ball must (sic) be touched. If a player on the opposite side touches the ball first, one on his side shall be entitled to a free throw on goal only from one point 15 yards from finish line, opposite to where the ball is touched, with the opposing side at the finish line until you have made your shot.
  8. If a player makes an air catch (“fair catch”), shall be entitled to a free kick, showing that he claims it by marking with the cue simultaneously; and to take that shot you can go back as much as you want, and no player on the opposite side shall advance beyond the mark until he has kicked.
  9. No player shall run with the ball.
  10. No tripping or kicking shall be allowed, and no player shall use his hands to hold or push his opponent.
  11. A player must not be allowed to throw the ball or pass it to another with his hands.
  12. No player shall be allowed to take the ball off the ground with his hands under any excuse while it is in play..
  13. No player shall be allowed to use projecting nails., iron plates or gutta-percha (solid rubber reinforcement) on the soles of his boots.
England and Escoia played in 1875 Under these conditions. The first ones won.
England and Escoia played in 1875 Under these conditions. The first ones won.

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The British Home Championship

Julio Muñoz

Julio Muñoz

Journalist, specialist in international football and retro. I write in Colgadosporelfutbol.com and you can follow me at @ juliomv1982

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