|Founded||26 October 1863|
The Football Association (FA) is the governing body of association football in England and the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in its territory.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
The Crown dependencies are three island territories off the coast of Great Britain that are self-governing possessions of the Crown: the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Isle of Man. They do not form part of either the United Kingdom or the British Overseas Territories. Internationally, the dependencies are considered "territories for which the United Kingdom is responsible", rather than sovereign states. As a result, they are not member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. However, they do have relationships with the Commonwealth, the European Union, and other international organisations, and are members of the British–Irish Council. They have their own teams in the Commonwealth Games. They are not part of the European Union (EU), although they are within the EU's customs area. The Isle of Man is within the EU's VAT area.
The FA sanctions all competitive football matches within its remit at national level, and indirectly at local level through the county football associations. It runs numerous competitions, the most famous of which is the FA Cup. It is also responsible for appointing the management of the men's, women's, and youth national football teams.
The county football associations are the local governing bodies of association football in England and the Crown dependencies. County FAs exist to govern all aspects of football in England. They are responsible for administering club and player registration as well as promoting development amongst those bodies and referees.
The FA Cup, also known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest national football competition in the world. It is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2019 it is also known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent women's tournament is also held, the FA Women's Cup.
The England women's national football team has been governed by the Football Association (FA) since 1993, having been previously administered by the Women's Football Association (WFA). England played its first international match in November 1972 against Scotland. Although most national football teams represent a sovereign state, as a member of the United Kingdom's Home Nations, England is permitted by FIFA statutes to maintain its own national side that competes in all major tournaments, with the exception of the Women's Olympic Football Tournament.
The FA is a member of both UEFA and FIFA and holds a permanent seat on the International Football Association Board (IFAB) which is responsible for the Laws of the Game. As the first football association, it does not use the national name "English" in its title. The FA is based at Wembley Stadium, London. The FA is a member of the British Olympic Association, meaning that the FA has control over the men's and women's Great Britain Olympic football team.
The Union of European Football Associations is the administrative body for association football, futsal and beach soccer in Europe, although several member states are primarily or entirely located in Asia. It is one of six continental confederations of world football's governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is an organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, and efootball. FIFA is responsible for the organization of football's major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women's World Cup which commenced in 1991.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) is the body that determines the Laws of the Game of association football. IFAB was founded in 1886 to agree standardised Laws for international competition, and has since acted as the "guardian" of the internationally used Laws. Since its establishment in 1904, FIFA, the sport's top governing body, has recognised IFAB's jurisdiction over the Laws. IFAB is known to take a highly conservative attitude regarding changes to the Laws of the Game.
All of England's professional football teams are members of the Football Association. Although it does not run the day-to-day operations of the Premier League, it has veto power over the appointment of the League Chairman and Chief Executive and over any changes to league rules.The English Football League, made up of the three fully professional divisions below the Premier League, is self-governing, subject to the FA's sanctions.
The Premier League is the top level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League (EFL).
The English Football League (EFL) is a league competition featuring professional football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888 as the Football League, the league is the oldest such competition in world football. It was the top-level football league in England from its foundation until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League.
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For centuries before the first meeting of the Football Association in The Freemasons' Tavern on Great Queen Street, London on 26 October 1863, there were no universally accepted rules for playing football.Six meetings near London's Covent Garden, at 81-82 Long Acre, ended in a split between the Football Association and what would have become the future rugby ten years later. Both of them had their own uniforms, rituals, gestures and highly formalised rules.
The Freemasons' Tavern was established in 1775 at 61-65 Great Queen Street in the West End of London. It served as a meeting place for a variety of notable organisations from the eighteenth century until it was demolished to make way for the Connaught Hotel in 1909.
Great Queen Street is a street in the West End of central London in England. It is a continuation of Long Acre from Drury Lane to Kingsway. It runs from 1 to 44 along the north side, east to west, and 45 to about 80 along the south side, west to east. The street straddles and connects the Covent Garden and Holborn districts and is in the London Borough of Camden. It is numbered B402.
London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, and the largest city in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
In each public school the game was formalised according to local conditions; but when the schoolboys reached university, chaos ensued when the players used different rules, so members of the University of Cambridge devised and published a set of Cambridge Rules in 1848 which was widely adopted.Another set of rules, the Sheffield Rules, was used by a number of clubs in the North of England from the 1850s.
The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university. The university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The two 'ancient universities' share many common features and are often referred to jointly as 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Cambridge has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
The Sheffield Rules was a code of football devised and played in the English city of Sheffield between 1858 and 1877. The rules were initially created and revised by Sheffield Football Club, with responsibility for the laws passing to the Sheffield Football Association upon that body's creation in 1867. The rules spread beyond the city boundaries to other clubs and associations in the north and midlands of England, making them one of the most popular forms of football during the 1860s and 70s.
Eleven London football clubs and schools representatives met on 26 October 1863 to agree on common rules.The founding clubs present at the first meeting were Barnes, Civil Service, Crusaders, Forest of Leytonstone (later to become Wanderers F.C.), N.N. (No Names) Club (Kilburn), the original Crystal Palace, Blackheath, Kensington School, Perceval House (Blackheath), Surbiton and Blackheath Proprietary School; Charterhouse sent their captain, B.F. Hartshorne, but declined the offer to join. Many of these clubs are now defunct or play rugby union. Civil Service FC, who now plays in the Southern Amateur League, is the only one of the original eleven football clubs still in existence and playing Association Football. although Forest School has been a member since the fifth meeting in December 1863.
Central to the creation of the Football Association and modern football was Ebenezer Cobb Morley. He was a founding member of the Football Association in 1863. In 1862, as captain of Barnes, he wrote to Bell's Life newspaper proposing a governing body for the sport that led to the first meeting at The Freemasons' Tavern that created the FA.He was the FA's first secretary (1863–66) and its second president (1867–74) and drafted the Laws of the Game generally called the "London Rules" at his home in Barnes, London. As a player, he played in the first-ever match in 1863.
The first version of the rules for the modern game was drawn up over a series of six meetings held in The Freemasons' Tavern from October till December.Of the clubs at the first meeting, Crusaders, Surbiton and Charterhouse did not attend the subsequent meetings, replaced instead by the Royal Navy School, Wimbledon School and Forest School. At the final meeting, F. M. Campbell, the first FA treasurer and the Blackheath representative, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting, the first which allowed for the running with the ball in hand and the second, obstructing such a run by hacking (kicking an opponent in the shins), tripping and holding. Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA but instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The term "soccer" dates back to this split to refer to football played under the "association" rules. After six clubs had withdrawn as they supported the opposing Rugby Rules, the Football Association had just nine members in January 1864: Barnes, Kilburn, Crystal Palace, War Office (Civil Service), Forest Club, Forest School, Sheffield, Uppingham and Royal Engineers (Chatham).
An inaugural game using the new FA rules was initially scheduled for Battersea Park on 2 January 1864, but enthusiastic members of the FA could not wait for the new year and an experimental game was played at Mortlake on 19 December 1863 between Morley's Barnes team and their neighbours Richmond (who were not members of the FA), ending in a goalless draw. The Richmond side were obviously unimpressed by the new rules in practice because they subsequently helped form the Rugby Football Union in 1871. The Battersea Park game was the first exhibition game using FA rules, and was played there on Saturday 2 January 1864. The members of the opposing teams for this game were chosen by the President of the FA (A. Pember) and the Secretary (E. C. Morley) and included many well-known footballers of the day.After the first match according to the new FA rules a toast was given "Success to football, irrespective of class or creed".
Another notable match was London v Sheffield, in which a representative team from the FA played Sheffield FC under Association rules in March 1866; Charles Alcock described this game as "first [match] of any importance under the auspices of the Football Association".Alcock (of Harrow School) of the Wanderers was elected to the committee of the FA in 1866, becoming its first full-time secretary and treasurer in 1870. He masterminded the creation of the Football Association Cup —the longest-running association football competition in the world—in 1871. Fifteen participating clubs subscribed to purchase a trophy. The very first Cup Final was held at The Oval on 16 March 1872, fought between the Wanderers and the Royal Engineers (RE), watched by 2,000 spectators.
This competition was initially contested by mostly amateur teams but by the end of the 19th century it was dominated by professional teams that were mostly members of the Football League that had been founded in 1888 and expanded during the 1890s.[ citation needed ]
After many years of wrangling between the London Association and the Sheffield Football Association, the FA Cup brought the acceptance that one undisputed set of laws was required. The two associations had played 16 inter-association matches under differing rules; the Sheffield Rules, the London Rules and Mixed Rules. In April 1877, those laws were set with a number of Sheffield Rules being incorporated.
In 1992, the Football Association took control of the newly created Premier League which consisted of 22 clubs who had broken away from the First Division of the Football League. The Premier League reduced to 20 clubs in 1995 and is one of the richest football leagues in the world.
The Football Association celebrated their 150th year by changing their logo. The new logo has retained the current logo's three lions but it would be in golden colour and also have "The FA" written above and also have "1863 150 years 2013" written below. It also has some writings of the laws of the game penned at the first meeting held at The Freemasons' Tavern.
By 1921 women's football had become increasingly popular through the charitable games played by women's teams during and after the First World War. In a move that was widely seen as caused by jealousy of the crowds' interest in women's games which frequently exceeded that of the top men's teams, in 1921 the Football Association banned all women's teams from playing on grounds affiliated to the FA because they thought football damaged women's bodies.
For several decades this decision meant that women's football virtually ceased to exist. It only reversed from 1969 when, after the increased interest in football caused by England's 1966 World Cup triumph, the Women's Football Association was founded,although it would take a further two years - and an order from UEFA - to force the (men's) Football Association to remove its restrictions on the playing rights of women's teams. It was not until 1983 that the WFA was able to affiliate to the FA as a "County Association" and only in 1993 did the FA found the "Women's Football Committee" to run women's football in England.
In mid-November 2016, allegations of widespread historical sexual abuse at football clubs dating back to the 1970s began to emerge. On 21 November, the Football Association said it would set up a helpline;this was established with the NSPCC and opened on 24 November, reportedly receiving over 50 calls within the first two hours, over 100 by 27 November, and 860 ("more than three times as many referrals as in the first three days of the Jimmy Savile scandal") by 1 December with 350 individuals alleging abuse. The FA and NSPCC also collaborated to produce a film about how to keep children safe in the sport, featuring the captains of England's men's, women's and cerebral palsy football teams (Wayne Rooney, Steph Houghton and Jack Rutter).
On 27 November, the FA announced it was to set up an internal review, led by independent counsel Kate Gallafent QC, into what Crewe and Manchester City knew about convicted paedophile Barry Bennell and allegations of child sexual abuse in football, and investigate what information it was aware of at the time of the alleged offences.
The FA was criticised by Conservative MP Damian Collins, chair of the House of Commons' Culture, Media and Sport Committee, for being too slow in reacting and not instigating a wider review.Former sport minister Gerry Sutcliffe talked of previous concern about how the FA dealt with governance of the sport and with youth development (in the 1990s, the FA was said to have reacted "dismissively" to worries about sexual abuse in the game, and too slow to implement criminal record checks; in 2003, the FA had scrapped a project meant to ensure children were being protected from sexual abuse; and FA officials had been uncooperative with the review project, with ten of 14 FA staff not replying to interview requests and a report by the researchers of others being "prevented/bullied" from talking). Sutcliffe said an independent body, such as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport should look at the issue rather than the FA investigating itself: "What I've seen in football over the years is that they're very narrow, very insular, and may not do a proper job even though with the right intentions."
On 6 December 2016, the FA announced that, due to "the increased scope of the review since it was announced"and Gallafent's other professional commitments, the review would be conducted by Clive Sheldon QC. On 11 January 2017, the Sheldon review had made its first call for evidence, writing to all football clubs in England and Wales, amateur and professional, asking for information by 15 March about allegations of child sexual abuse between 1970 and 2005. In March 2018, it was reported that the scale of evidence provided, plus the "chaotic nature of the archiving", had delayed the inquiry team's sift through the FA's legal files; around 500,000 pages of material from 6,000 files were uploaded to a digital platform, and 353 documents were identified as highly relevant. Sheldon expected to start writing his final report in August 2018.
In July 2018, it was reported that the FA's independent inquiry had found no evidence of an institutional cover-up or of a paedophile ring operating within football. Sheldon's report, likely to be highly critical of several clubs, was initially expected to be delivered to the FA in September 2018,but its publication was delayed, potentially by up to a year, pending the retrial of Bob Higgins and possible further charges against Barry Bennell.
Also in December 2016, five former FA executives - David Bernstein, David Davies, Greg Dyke, Alex Horne and David Triesman - called on Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee to propose legislation to reform the FA, saying it was outdated, held back by "elderly white men", and unable to counter the power of the Premier League or "to reform and modernise in a fast-changing world".
In April 2017, it was announced that some reforms, including reducing the size of the FA's board and increasing the number of women, would be submitted for approval to the FA's annual general meeting on 18 May. However, the proposed changes were criticised by some for not going far enough, particularly to improve minority representation.The proposals were approved at the AGM and include:
However, pressure for FA reform continued fuelled by allegations of racism and bullying in relation to the Mark Sampson and Eniola Aluko cases, and the historical sexual abuse scandal.In October 2017, FA chairman Greg Clarke announced a "fundamental" review of the FA after admitting it had "lost the trust of the public" following the Sampson controversy. In the same month, Clarke was criticised by sexual abuse victim Andy Woodward and the Professional Footballers' Association's chief executive Gordon Taylor for remarks Clarke made to a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing.
The football associations within the Crown dependencies of Jersey (Jersey Football Association), Guernsey (Guernsey Football Association) and the Isle of Man (Isle of Man Football Association) are affiliated to the FA despite having a separate identity from that of the United Kingdom and by extension England.They are considered county football associations by the FA. Matt Le Tissier and Graeme Le Saux have represented the FA's full national representative team and were born in Guernsey and Jersey respectively.
The Guernsey Football Association, Isle of Man Football Association and Jersey Football Association have been affiliated with the FA since 1903, 1908 and 1905 respectively.
The British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar's Gibraltar Football Association was affiliated to the FA from 1911 until it opted to become a fully recognised member of UEFA, a feat achieved after a 14-year legal battle. Joseph Nunez, the Gibraltar FA President claimed they were "unilaterally thrown out" of the FA following an intervention from Geoff Thompson.
A loophole was closed in May 2008 by FIFA which allowed players born in the Channel Islands to choose which home nation within the United Kingdom they will represent at international level. During the 1990s, Trevor Wood (Jersey) and Chris Tardif (Guernsey) represented Northern Ireland.
Some of the other British Overseas Territories have local football associations or leagues (including the Anguilla Football Association, the Ascension Island Football League, the Bermuda Football Association, the British Virgin Islands Football Association, the Cayman Islands Football Association, the Falkland Islands Football League, the Montserrat Football Association, the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association), but these are not considered subsidiary to the Football Association. Although the British Overseas Territories are too small to support professional teams,[ citation needed ] they have produced players such as Clyde Best who have gone on to play professionally in the Football Association, and referees such as Carlyle Crockwell, who have refereed FIFA matches.
The Football Association first joined FIFA in 1905. The British Associations (England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) opted to leave FIFA after World War I when FIFA chose not to exclude those who were part of the Central Powers from the organisation. The British Associations' stance had changed by 1922 and in 1924 they had rejoined FIFA.
The British Olympic Association had fought against 'broken time' – monetary compensation for athletes' earnings when competing in the Olympic games. At the 1925 Olympic Congress in Prague, the British had made an amendment that concluded governing federations should define amateur status for their sports but only in accordance with the definition of amateurism accepted by the Olympic Congress. In 1928, Switzerland proposed to FIFA that in certain circumstances, 'broken time' payments should be allowed and FIFA accepted. The FA resigned from FIFA in protest against the proposal. As a result of the FA's resignation, England did not participate in the 1930, 1934 or 1938 FIFA World Cup.
At the 1930 Olympic Congress in Berlin, Belgian delegates proposed that for each sport the definition of amateur status be left to its international federation. The BOA argued for a common definition of amateurism and argued that 'broken time' payments were against the Olympic ideal.
The FA rejoined FIFA in 1946 and participated in their first World Cup in 1950. One of the first actions of the Football Association was to request the expulsion of the German and Japanese national football associations for their countries' role in World War II. Germany and Japan were prevented from qualifying for the 1950 FIFA World Cup as a consequence. They were re-acquainted with FIFA in 1950 following a second request from Switzerland who had had a previous request rejected in 1948.
The FA's main commercial asset is its ownership of the rights to England internationals and the FA Cup. Broadcasting income remains the FA's largest revenue stream with both domestic and international broadcasting rights for England fixtures and the FA Cup tied up until at least 2021.
For the four seasons from 2008 to 2012, the FA secured £425 million from ITV and Setanta for England and FA Cup games domestic television rights, a 42% increase over the previous contract, and £145 million for overseas television rights, up 272% on the £39 million received for the previous four-year period.However, during 2008–09 Setanta UK went into administration, which weakened the FA's cashflow position.
Turnover for the year ending 31 July 2016 was £370 million on which it made a profit after tax of £7 million. It has also made an investment of £125 million back into every level of Football in 2016. In July 2015 the FA announced plans to carry out a significant organisational restructure, in order to deliver considerable cost savings to invest in elite England teams, facilities and grassroots coaching.
The FA's income does not include the turnover of English football clubs, which are independent businesses. As well as running its own operations the FA chooses five charities each year to which it gives financial support.
During the last three years, the FA received £350,000 in fines from players over comments made on Twitter, the most recent fine being a £25,000 to Rio Ferdinand. The highest fine given during the last three years was a £90,000 fine to Ashley Cole in 2012 after calling the FA "a bunch of twats." The FA has been more and more strict on comments made by players on Twitter, as the FA has disciplined 121 players overall in the last three years.
The FA also runs several competitions:
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The FA has a figurehead President, who since 1939 has always been a member of the British Royal Family. The Chairman of the FA has overall responsibility for policy. Traditionally this person rose through the ranks of the FA's committee structure (e.g. by holding posts such as the chairmanship of a county football association). In 2008 politician David Triesman was appointed as the FA's first "independent chairman", the first from outside the football hierarchy. The day-to-day head of the FA was known as the Secretary until 1989, when the job title was changed to Chief Executive.
|Sir Charles Clegg||1923–1937|
|The Earl of Athlone||1939–1955|
|HRH the Duke of Edinburgh||1955–1957|
|HRH the Duke of Gloucester||1957–1963|
|The Earl of Harewood||1963–1971|
|HRH the Duke of Kent||1971–2000|
|HRH the Duke of York||2000–2006|
|HRH the Duke of Cambridge||2006–present|
|A. G. Hines||1938|
|Amos Brook Hirst||1941–1955|
|R. W. Willis||1866–1868|
|R. G. Graham||1868–1870|
|Chief executive||Graham Kelly||1989–1998|
|David Davies||2002–2003 (acting)|
|David Davies||2004–2005 (acting)|
|Alex Horne||2010–2010 (acting)|
|General Secretary||Alex Horne||2010–present|
|Executive Director||David Davies||1998–2000|
Taken from The FA's website on 29 September 2017
National Game representatives:
Professional Game representatives:
Independent Non-Executive directors:
Crewe Alexandra Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Crewe, Cheshire, England. The team compete in League Two, the fourth tier of the English football league system. Nicknamed The Railwaymen because of the town's links with the rail industry, they have played at Gresty Road since 1906, when they moved from their original home at the Alexandra Recreation Ground. Supporters maintain rivalries with a number of nearby clubs, their fiercest rivals being Staffordshire-based side Port Vale.
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Chelsea Football Club Women, formerly known as Chelsea Ladies Football Club, are an English women's football club based in Fulham, England. Since 2004, the club has been affiliated with Chelsea F.C., a men's team in the Premier League. Chelsea Women were a founding member of the FA WSL in 2010, the top level of women's football in England since 2011. From 2005 to 2010, the side competed in the Premier League National Division, the top tier of women's football in England at the time.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, can be traced to as far back as the ancient period in China. The modern game of association football originates from cuju, an ancient Chinese football game, as recognized by FIFA. The formation of The Football Association was later implemented in London, England in 1863 based on multiple efforts to standardize the varying forms of the game. This allowed clubs to play each other without dispute and which specifically banned handling of the ball and hacking during open field play. After the fifth meeting of the association a schism emerged between association football and the rules played by the Rugby school, later to be called rugby football. At the time, football clubs had played by their own, individual codes and game-day rules usually had to be agreed upon before a match could commence. For example, the Sheffield Rules that applied to most matches played in the Sheffield area were a different code. Football has been an Olympic sport ever since the second modern Summer Olympic Games in 1900.
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It was here that the Football Association met in 1863 to thrash out the laws of a game now played in more than 200 countries across the globe.