2014 Volume 59 Issue 2 Pages 869-885
A number of studies, both in Britain and Japan, have focused on the establishment of modern British football. Several studies agree that in the process of formation of the Football Association (F. A.), six meetings were held from October to December 1863, and that the F. A. was formed at the first meeting held on October 26th. Subsequently, at the sixth meeting on December 8th, two representatives of the club, who loved Rugby Football, left this meeting in protest against the banning of “hacking” and “running with the ball”. Ultimately, clubs that emphasized “kicking” and “dribbling” took charge in formulating the F. A. laws.
Researchers in both Japan and Britain have been satisfied with the description given in The History of the Football Association 1863-1953, and they have neglected to take a closer look at the process of deliberation over the formation of the F. A., the formulation of the F. A. laws, and the contents of various decisions. However, Adrian Harvey's Football: The First Hundred Years: The Untold Story has revealed facts that were not included in The History of the Football Association, and it has become possible for us to paint a more accurate picture of the early period of football history that differs from that of the past. Harvey indicated that the roles played by public schools and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the formation of the F. A. were more indirect than initially believed, and that—at that time—the F. A. did not occupy an important position in British football.
In this paper, I aim to confirm the facts that were not contained in The History of the Football Association, and reconsider the reasons for the formation of the F. A. and enactment of the F. A. laws 150 years ago, by analyzing in detail Harvey's book and newspaper articles dealing with this issue published at the time.
The conclusions of the study are as follows: 1) The F. A. was formed by 14 representatives of 11 clubs that were based in London. 2) The F. A. Committee did not intend to enforce the F. A. laws throughout Britain at the time of formation of the F. A., and tried to reach an agreement with the London clubs that “kicking” and “dribbling” were important. 3) The people who formed the F. A. were youths belonging to the middle class whose occupations included clergymen, lawyers, doctors, government officials, military officials, lawmakers, academics, and rich businessmen involved in commerce and finance.