The Beautiful Game as we know it today has mostly stayed the same. The core fundamentals are there: run around a field, don’t touch the ball with your hands, get it in the goal.
But looking closer, football wasn’t always played this way. Historical changes and modern technological advancements have had their effect on the game, creating a different experience than most people of yesteryear would expect.
Read on to see how we got to the game today.
The concept of a sport with the intent of kicking a ball into a goal has been around across countries and cultures throughout history. And it's popularity has spawned off into their own games like rugby and American football. But what us Brits know today as football really came into popularity during the 19th century.
Today, after establishing rules based mainly on The Cambridge Rules of 1848, and tweaking them here and there as needed, football is the most popular sport in the world. The Premier League alone attracts somewhere between 300 million and 800 million viewers a year.
Take that, American football. Who only sees numbers of 100 million viewers every Super Bowl – and they need Beyonce to sell it!
Betting on football has been popular almost as long as the sport has been around. In the 1920’s sports betting was mainly kept to dog and horse racing. So football fans had to set up underground “football pools”. Where betting men could pick a number of games and predict the scores. Whoever had the most correct picks got the pool.
Nowadays, games can be bet on in person, or online, with options like online slots UK NetBet for example being one of many options to keep games interesting with betting.
Technological advancements in football have been at the forefront of players and fans' minds, particularly the last couple of years. The 2020/2021 Premier League was affected by Video Assistant Referees (or VAR). This seen a series of changes to their usual way of “clinically” analysing subjective breaches of football rules.
This method uses one field referee, three additional assistants on the sidelines, and a video referee. The video referee was making decisions resulting in penalties and disallowed goals due to things like a toe being a centimetre offside.
For this year’s Premier League those rules have slackened a bit. This season has seen more human analysis of situations giving a more subjective result.