It’s a sport which has global appeal and has billions of us tuning in or piling through the turnstiles whenever there’s a game on. However, without constantly evolving, football wouldn’t be the multi-billion pound industry which it has become today.
Here are five examples of changes which have helped to bring ‘the beautiful game’ forward:
The offside rule
A source of controversy within the game for decades, the rule was introduced in the 1860s to try and help stop attackers from being able to ‘goal-hang’. In that respect, the offside rule has been a success, but a series of amendments, the most recent in 2005, have supposedly made it harder to work out.
The backpass rule
Almost 100 years after the advent of the offside rule, this followed. Designed to try and restore a sense of balance, it is rarely breached. The vast majority of goalkeepers now know not to carry a deliberate airborne pass from their teammate (that hasn’t bounced already) with their hands.
Something that took a few years to be perfected since the early 1980s, the quality of artificial grass used for synthetic surfaces has improved so much that grounds such as the Luzhniki in Moscow have had it in place for a number of years.
A spokesperson from Hitechturf.co.uk reported: “Technology in artificial grass has come a long way since the late 80s and artificial grass pitches are now manufactured from polyethylene rather than nylon, this has meant that these new turfs have been approved by FIFA and UEFA.”
One of the most expensive transitions ever made in the history of football, but also one of the most necessary. The move from open terraces, which were often prone to being overcrowded, to all-seater stands has undeniably made many football grounds much safer places to be.
Introduced this season by the English Premier League, it has been a long time coming. Its implementation is meant to ensure that any contentious decisions over the ball crossing over the goal-line are consigned to the dustbin of history, making officials’ jobs a little bit easier.