Post by the Omrud Post by Peter T. Daniels Post by bill van
You'll know by now that England is headed for the semi-finals. Still
possible is an England-Belgium final, which
would be lovely: two exciting offensive teams whose scoring stars are
just reaching their primes.
Does actual skill have anything to do with it? It seems like just about
every (important) match has been decided by "penalty kicks." (What are
they penalizing them for?)
Not that I'm the person to explain football, but the style of free kick
used to decide a match on "penalties" is the one previously only awarded
for a foul in the penalty area. They've pressed it into service for
another purpose but failed to change its name.
This article was published yesterday about the origin of the penalty
The goalkeeper from Northern Ireland who invented football's penalty
Saturday 07 July 2018
Football might be coming home but the penalty kick won't be because
Northern Ireland didn't qualify for the World Cup finals.
It was an amateur goalkeeper from County Armagh who invented the
forfeit for foul play that became the source of highest drama on the
You can point to the spot where the very first penalty was taken -
it's marked with a bust of William McCrum on the village green at
<image of the memorial erected about 10 years ago in McCrum Park>
His great-grandson, Robert McCrum, told Sky News: "Only a goalkeeper
could invent the penalty kick because it makes the goalkeeper centre
"The penalty kick's been in my family for a long time. All I can say
is I wish that every time there was a penalty given, we got a
Wikipedia describes other influences on this development, but it was
William McCrum's suggestion to the Irish governing body, the Irish
Football Association (IFA), which in turn proposed the idea to the
International Football Association Board (IFAB) which formally adopted
the idea and amended the Laws of the Game to incoporate it.
IFAB consisted of representatives of the four national governing bodies
FA (England), IFA (Ireland), SFA (Scotland) and FAW (Wales).
Each FA had one vote.
(Today IFAB has additional representatives appointed by FIFA who have 4
votes. Any change to the Laws of the Game requires a supermajority, at
least 6 out of 8 votes.)
(The IFA today covers only Northern Ireland. In a fit of nationalistic
separatism, soccer in the Irish Republic split off and has its own
governing body, the FAI.)
Peter Duncanson, UK