Monday, June 10, 2019

Soccer spreads all round the world

According to Madden (2000) both Union and Confederate troops played a form of football and baseball to relax the combatants during the American Civil War (1861-1865). The games were played with audible jocularity by the men and encouraged by commanders because they rehearsed the skills of combat.

In Germany prior to the First World War the English game was despised because of its origins as well as the attire was considered indecent. In South America, the building of the railways brought British workman who played the game. This English influence was reflected in the names Argentina's two most famous clubs, River Plate and Newell's Old Boys.

Soccer in Brazil had modest start when Brazilian born Scotsman, Charles Miller went to play for Southampton. On his return he brought a copy of Hampshire FA rules, two footballs and some shirts and boots to start three first teams in 1894. Miller was instrumental in setting up the football team of the São Paulo Athletic Club (SPAC) and the Liga Paulista and the first football league in Brazil. The game was associated with the upper middle classes and such a gentleman's game it was common place when a team were awarded a penalty, player would pass the ball to the opposition to avoid an indirect accusation of ungentlemanly conduct being aimed at the player who had conceded the kick. (Liniker & Hey, 1998). A team of former Oxford and Cambridge university graduates visited Brazil in 1910 they made such an impact a Sao Paulo club adopted the same name. By 1914 the game was endemic and two years later the South American Championship was established. Once established touring English Football sides like Southampton, Nottingham Forest and Swindon Town were early visitors to Argentina (Liniker & Hey, 1998). Later with mass emigration from Italy the continental style of the game became established in South America.

In India the game came with the troops and as Muscular Christianity spread more Indians were encouraged to play the game. Soon leagues were developed with clubs like the Mohun Bagan Athletic Club which was established in 1889. Mohun Bagan created history by becoming the first Indian club to win the IFA Shield when they beat the East Yorkshire Regiment 2–1 in 1911. The Mohun Bagan players played in barefoot while East Yorkshire Regiment played with proper footballing equipment

Football in Eastern Europe was directly related to the spread of Communism after the Second World War The Hungarian Football Association was founded in 1901. Scottish exile, Jimmy Hogan expanded their football base in the years immediately after the First World War. Czechoslovakian football started in the late 19th century and was helped by another Scotsman John Dick (Airdrieonians and Arsenal). He left Arsenal in 1912 to coach Sparta Prague. A year earlier Glasgow Celtic completed a European tour and played the FC Deutsche team in two exhibition matches in Prague.

(Video Courtesy: cristy2pac by Youtube Channel)

Lineker G & Hey S 1998 Gary Lineker's golden boots: The world greatest strikers 1930-1998 London: Hodder & Stoughton
Madden D (ed) 2000 Beyond the battlefield : The ordinary life and extraordinary times of the civil war soldier New York: Simon & Schuster

Reviewed 11/06/2019

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