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On this day:

Football Association is Founded

Sweet FA

Where would we be without football rules? Instead of 11 people per team there could be hundreds. Use of disguises or robotic limbs could easily occur. Openly bribing officials would become de rigeur. No, every sport needs its laws and governances, which is handy as today was the day, in 1863, that the Football Association was founded. Prior to that, footballing folk just used to make it up as they went along, which added a certain frisson to matches but was also was quite annoying for everybody concerned.The FA was the brainchild of Ebenezer Cobb Morley who, when he wasn’t starring as a character in a Charles Dickens story, was captain of one of the founding teams: Barnes. Other inaugural teams wanted rules such as ball handling and shin kicking included and when these ideas were rejected they left the FA to form the Rugby Football Union. The first match under the new FA rules was a goalless draw between Barnes and Richmond. After the game, Richmond decided to join the Rugby Union instead. Which was not a ringing endorsement.