Football Bans and Prohibitions
It is an undeniable fact that numerous attempts were made to ban football at varying points in time in history because of the most violent and disruptive forms of the game. Football was considered perilous and sinful by many in England and was banned in 1314 by Nicholas de Farndone, the Mayor of London. The reason for the ban was "the game causes great noise in the city, caused by hustling over large foot balls and from which many evils might arise".
Between 1324 and 1667, England banned football more than thirty times through royal proclamations and legal notices. King Edward II condemned the violent ways in which the football was played and on April 13, 1314 issued a proclamation banning football.
Again, between 1731 and 1841, several local bodies made repeated attempts to ban football from being played in public. As a result, there was hardly any progress in the development of football for many, many years. The redeeming feature was that although the game was persistently forbidden for quite a few years, it could not be totally suppressed.
In 1424, the Scottish parliament passed what is known as the Football Act that made playing football illegal, and punishable by law. By 1608, the local bodies in Manchester condemned and banned football as the game led to damaging of public properties.
During the 100 years' war fought by England and France from 1338 to 1453 the law courts were also expressed disapproval football. The British monarchs Edward III, Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V made playing football punishable by law because the passion for the game deflected the attention of the citizens from practicing the much-needed military disciplines and warfare.
During the 15th Century, the Scottish kings also deemed it prudent to censure and ban playing football. In the course of the sixteenth century football was banned for religious reasons by the followers of Puritanism. They opined the game was frivolous amusement and a violent sport. Their main objection was that it disturbed the peace on the Sabbath.
Since then, playing football on Sundays was forbidden and this regulation remained in force for nearly three-hundred years. The ban was thereafter lifted initially unofficially and later with the formal consent of The Football Association.
Notwithstanding the frequent banning of the game, football survived and grew in popularity in medieval England and it was introduced in English public schools to promote physical fitness of the school-going lads. Each school in fact developed its own rules for the game and football was played in a variety of ways. The basic aspects of the game remained but variations mostly depended on the available size of the playing ground.
The simple fact was the popularity of the game amongst the people never dwindled and they exulted in the rough and tumble for the ball and football was too deep-rooted for extinction.
Finally, it may be said that over the centuries, football had the resilience to withstand the onslaughts of different regimes and threats from the church. Today, football is recognized throughout the world as an exciting game and the foot ball world cup matches draw huge spectators to witness the game and keeps millions of ardent fans worldwide glued to their television sets.