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The following are some of the major dates in football history. This is a section that will be updated and expanded upon over time. Since the structured beginnings of football occured in England, British football is covered more fully.

1860's | 1870's | 1880's | 1890's | 1900's
1910's | 1920's | 1930's | 1950's | 1960's

Early 1800s

Football prospers through England's major public schools

1848
Cambridge Rules: drawn up by 14 representatives from various public schools (revised twice during 1850s)

1855
Cricketers & friends from Collingswood School form first football club (Sheffield FC); by 1860 there were 15 clubs in Sheffield

1860s
British railway builders introduce football to Argentina

1863
October 26 -- at the Freemason's Tavern, Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn-Fields, London, the Football Association (FA) was formed November 10 -- the FA meet again to consider a set of Rules for its members to follow December 8 -- clubs and schools preferring the dribbling game adopt its 14 rules and play in jerseys and knickerbockers

1865
Agreement that tape should be stretched across the goal posts at height of 8 feet. Buenos Aires FC formed by British residents.

1869
Goal kicks introduced

1870s

1871
First FA Cup competition (Wanderers v Royal Engineers 1-0 at Kennington Oval)

1872
First International game (England v Scotland: 0-0). France introduced by English sailors playing in Le Havre and club formed. Circumference of ball fixed

1874 Shin guards introduced

1875
Cross-bars replace tape. Oxford University tour Germany and a number of German Universities take up the game (one of first countries to play under FA rules outside Britain)

1876
Canada -- Carlton Cricket Club form football section; subsequently made tours of Britain

1877
Game limited to 90 minutes

1878
Referees allowed to use whistles

1880s

1875
Sweden introduced by British Embassy officials in Stockholm and Scottish textile workers in Gothenberg

1880
Clubs charge for admission Players paid lost wages and expenses (players still part-time)

1882
Uruguay first club formed by English professor at Montevideo University; another club later formed by British railway engineers. Two-handed throw-in introduced 1885
Professional players allowed

1887
British introduce football to Russia

1888
April 17 Formation of the Football League: 12 teams from Midlands and Lancashire founder members at instigation of William McGregor (Aston Villa, Derby County, Notts County, Stoke, West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers; Accrington, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Burnley, Everton, Preston North End)
September 8 first League games played

1889 Denmark -- Boldspil League probably oldest association outside Britain

1890s

Brazil football probably introduced by Charles Miller, Brazilian-born son of English parents who became an enthusiast during education in England

1890
Goal nets used for the first time

1891
Penalty kicks introduced. Referee and two linesmen replace umpires 1892
Argentina: first country outside Britain to inaugurate national championship

1893
Genoa first club formed in Italy

1894
Referee in complete control of game

1898
Number of Official Laws reaches the modern number of 17 (concerning: 1/ the field of play; 2/ the ball; 3/ number of players; 4/ players' equipment; 5/ referees; 6/ linesmen; 7/ duration of game; 8/ the start of play; 9/ the ball in and out of play; 10/ method of scoring; 11/ offside; 12/ fouls & misconduct; 13/ free kick; 14/ penalty kick; 15/ throw-in; 16/ goal-kick; 17/ corner-kick) Athletico Bilbao first club formed in Spain (introduced by British mining engineers working around Vizcaya

1899
Oxford University team tour Austria First club formed in Iceland

1900s

1904
May 21 Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) formed in Paris; 7 founder countries all European: Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland

1905
Goalkeepers ordered to stay on their line for penalty kick

1906
England belatedly join FIFA

1904
December 2 Professional Footballers Association (PFA) formed

1910s

1912
Goalkeeper not allowed to handle ball outside penalty area

1913
Opposing players to stand at least 10 yards from free kick

1920s

1920
First football pools coupons for betting on results issued in Birmingham

1923
First FA Cup played at Wembley Bolton Wanderers 2 West Ham United 0

1924
Goal may be scored direct from corner

1927
First League match broadcast on radio

1929
Goalkeepers have to stand still on their lines for penalty kicks

1930s

1930
First World Cup (Uruguay) Uruguay beat Argentina 4 - 2 in the final

1934
World Cup (Italy) Italy beat Czechoslovakia 2 - 1 in the final

1938
17 laws of game re-drafted into their modern form. World Cup (France) Italy beat Hungary 4 - 2 in the final. First live TV transmission of FA Cup Final

1939
Numbering of player's shirts made compulsory

1950s

1950
World Cup (Brazil) Uruguay winning (beating Brazil in the final 'pool' game). The Seven Seas Cup started by the Norewgian Seaman's Service

1951
Use of white ball permitted

1954
World Cup (Switzerland) Germany beat Hungary 3 - 2 in the final

1955
First European Cup

1956
Floodlighting used for first time at League match (Portsmouth)

1958
World Cup (Sweden) Brazil beat Sweden 5 - 2 in the final

1960s

1960
League Cup is launched. First European Cup Winners Cup

1962
World Cup (Chile) Brazil beat Czechoslavakia 3 - 1 in the final

1966
World Cup (England) England beat Germany 4 - 2 in the final

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