lunes, 13 de enero de 2014


(Part 2)


The fifth historical meeting of Tuesday, December 8, 1863 in England (as I was telling) was the fifth and last act in which opposing groups were trying to find an agreement to the rules of Football Association.  A Committee of six people, with authority to decide, had split 50/50 regarding the original Rules IX and X.   Thus now in the deciding reunion there were 17 attendants.  One of the members,  

Mr. Campbell led the opposing group that favored holding, tripping up, holding with the hands and shinning the opponents during the game.  He made a long defense of his position, insisting that “all schools of London liked running and hacking and will not play any other game”.

There was hostility in the air the evening of that December night.  The meeting began at 7 p.m.  For if any of my readers have the opportunity he can go to where it happened: in the old Freemason’s Tavern, Great Queen Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and London.   Attending were eminent mid-Victorians, some recently part of the Crimean War, with beards and smoking, both habits that had gone out of favor in political circles years before.  The voting was clear: 13 to 4 votes they adopted the laws of the Game as of today are the ones that rule the game of Football Association.

Original Manuscript of the first Football's rules.
F. Campbell heading the dissidents finally accepted the parting of the ways.  He said that although his club approved entirely the objective of the Football Association, the laws that had been adopted “utterly destroyed the game and took all interest away from it – they just made a difference between baseball and football and his club wished their names to be withdrawn from the list as  Football Association members.  Thus rugby became a different game than soccer.

In retrospect it would seem a tragedy that conciliation did not find a solution for the situation.   Probably it would have been achieved a blending of different philosophies.  Yes, if the last obstacle had been overcome, one also wonders how long the fusion would have lasted, since the games were fundamentally different in outlook.  After all there are examples of religions springing from the same stem that have grown up side by side but at variance the one with the other.


Thus, this is why and when football association and rugby were born.


GEOFFREY GREEN as told to Carlos F. Ramirez.

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