Like many other sports, football has moved with the times. Welcoming technological advances with open arms, making spectators at stadiums more comfortable and introducing rules designed to make the game fairer and better to watch, it’s fair to say that the powers that be within the sport have done their best to change the game. Here are five key changes during the game’s history:
The offside rule
Back in 1863, a basic version of the rule we all know and ponder about today was introduced by the Football Association. Numerous changes to the rule have since been made, the most recent in 2005. It has helped to encourage fair play, up to a point, but recent changes made it a little easier on attacking players.
The backpass rule
Almost a century later, this rule was introduced to try and cut out overly-defensive play in the game. The rule stops goalkeepers from retrieving an airborne pass or a throw-in from one of their teammates, but is rarely breached today, perhaps proving that the rule is working as well as FIFA intended it to.
Although the majority of football clubs play on natural grass, in colder parts of the world like Scandinavia, Scotland and Russia, artificial grass pitches are necessary and help to stop games from being postponed.
“Technology in artificial grass has come a long way since the late 80’s 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”, said a spokesperson from Hitechturf.co.uk.
Now commonplace in the highest echelons of the game, the idea of having all-seater venues was first raised by the Taylor Report, a response to the growing safety concerns over old-style terraces. All-seater stadiums are typically safer, more comfortable and more family-friendly places to watch a game.
From the start of the current season, this was introduced for one main reason – to stop any contentious decisions over whether the ball has crossed the line or not. Premier League clubs are among those using it, and its introduction has given everyone with some attachment to the game reason to feel assured in case such a situation arises.