Football is a sport or an activity that involves kicking a ball around. It has been around since 1863. That works out to be a 155 year old journey. It began in England when rugby football and association football branched off on their different course. The football association in England was later formed becoming the sports first governing body. Since the inception of football, it has undergone a tremendous change in its journey. Changes have been made to the sport as the days, weeks, months, years and decades rolled by.

Some of the change have been needed whiles others were done to improve the game. Some of the changes have been insignificant while others have been significant. Those changes have shaped the game to what we see and know now. In a minute we will look at some of those changes that have taken place. But before we do the question I want you to think about is what football will be or look like in half a century.

Changes to Football.

Since 1863 when the first rules were made to the game, a number of changes have occurred since then. We can talk about the technical changes as well. They include the card system, penalty kicks, Conner kicks, crossbars and goal kicks. There have been technological ones such as goal line technology, video assistant referee (var) system, vanishing spray and referee assistant referee communication. Another change we can talk about is the introduction of referees.

Technical Changes in Football.

Many technical changes have been made to improve the game or sport. The first one that comes to mind is the issuance of cards. Before the issuance of cards verbal warnings were given to players. It was sometimes not clear to the players and spectators. To solve that problem the cards system was introduced into the game in 1970.

Penalty kicks is another change football has witnessed. It was introduced in 1891 and was also known as kick of death. It was used to solve infringements and decide matches.

A picture of Gerrard taking a penalty kick in football.
A picture of Gerrard taking a penalty kick in football.

The Conner kicks in the game today was introduced as far back as 1872. It came into being 5 years after the Sheffield rule. It is now a big part of football.

More Technical Changes.

Crossbar usage in the game or sports came into being in 1875. This development or change came very early. Before then the goal post had two post in a horizontal line. The introduction of crossbar made the post look unique and complete.

Goal kick taking was also introduced in 1869 a few years after the introduction of the sport. This change allows goalkeepers to waste as much as 30 seconds at a time with impunity. It has become an integral part of the game.

Referees were introduced into football in 1891. They were formerly umpires that represented both teams and agreed on actions to be taken. Now they are individuals with the power to take decisions alone.

Technological Changes in Football.

A number of technological changes have been added to football. The first I would like to talk about is goal line technology. The introduction of goal line technology was a difficult story. It took Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal to force its introduction into the game. His effort for England against Germany which crossed the line but was disallowed sparked the introduction of technology. Goal line technology was eventually introduced into football in 2013 and the various leagues adopted it thereafter.

A picture of goal line technology in football.
A picture of goal line technology in football.

The video assistant referee system was officially introduced in the year 2017. Like the goal line technology it also took certain events to force its introduction into the game. Some of those events include Luis Garcia’s ghost goal and Lionel Messi’s hand of god incident. After those and other incidents the technology made it way ceremoniously into the game.

More technological Changes.

Another technological change to the game is the use of the referee assistant referee communication. This is a wireless device that helps referees communicate effectively with their assistants. It was first widely used at the 2006 world cup in Germany.

The vanishing spray was also incorporated into the game after many incidents involving where to take free kicks. This technology helps in free kick taking and setting of walls. It came to being during the 2014 world cup.

A picture of a vanishing spray in football.
A picture of a vanishing spray in football.

We can again talk about the introduction of video evidence in the game. It is mostly used when the fourth official has spotted an incident or infringement in the game. A more vivid use of the technology was in 2006. It was used to spot Zidane’s head-butt.

Half a Century to Come.

This changes or additions to the game have become a norm or tradition. Football fans, pundits, and officials keep expecting changes to be made to the game. Whenever there is a problem or a mistake they cry out for changes. It has become certain that once every few years certain changes has to be made.

The attitude begs the question, are changes in the game all relevant? Are the changes making the game better? Are the changes making the game weaker? Whatever your answer, it raises another question, one I asked earlier. What will football be like in half a century? If over 150 years of history is what is discussed above, what will the next 50 years bring. Will it be good or bad? Will it improve and make the sport better or worse.

This are issues I want to share with you and find answers to them. Personally, I think continuous change will destroy the image of the game and render it image-less. What do you think? Please share your views in the comment section. Please share with your friends and hear their opinions on the debate.

FYA SPORTS: Because you and I love Sports.
By: Fredrick Adehe.

About Fredrick 52 Articles
I am a 22 year old young man born on the 14th of December 1995 at Elmina. My hometown though can be traced to Keta. I had my primary education at Global Evangelical Preparatory School and Christ Cares International School then moved on to Edinaman SHS for my senior years. I enrolled in University of Cape Coast in 2014 to pursue a degree in B.ed Social Studies. I graduate in May 24th of this year. I don't know much about life but i will like to say football, athletics and basketball have led me to places and people. I want to build my experience with you on the other side by sharing your experiences and comments as well as views.


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