When there was no referee in football because it was not necessary

When there was no referee in football because it was not necessary
Partido de fútbol primitivo con presencia del "umpire" behind the goal. (elfútbolymásallá)

Last update October 7, 2020 by Javier Argudo

Reading the interesting article by Manuel Granada Palma on the evolution of football and specifically on the figure of the referee, one realizes that this has changed a lot and, in many aspects, you have not done just for good.

to get started, and it is surprised when one reads that initially, Mid-nineteenth century, there was no referee in a football game since players contesting a meeting they will be assumed honesty and chivalry… that it sounds right?

evidently, the game started being totally amateur and as it was evolving and growing someone's presence was necessary to put some authority. In the first parties more or less serious than vied, Both teams agreed the rules before starting (still he had not drawn up an official regulation) and they were met without major problems.

The appearance of the referee or referee still long in coming. As a preliminary step figure emerged from the captain (I had nothing to do with current) and it was kind of “chief” He not even played the game but was off the pitch. In case of dispute and not put the players agree, something very unusual, both captains chatted and took a decision to continue the game.


In 1850 created the inPires which it comes from an old French word meaning “Man solo”, very successful indeed. If the Players are already involved nobility and chivalry, to the umpires, who they were chosen to be people of great integrity and hierarchy, even more. These were usually placed behind the opposing goal his team (since each had his) and its main function was to carry the scoring of goals scored and decide whether a ball had crossed or not the goal line, something that was not always easy as it was customary for many players accumulate, some with the intention of clearing and others with dial. Once again, the umpires almost they never intervened in the decisions of the game as it was very strange that the players do not agree on some action.


At last, in 1863 born in London Football Association, the first official regulation is drawn up and shortly thereafter, in 1871 already they used the first referees (referees) in the first official competition of history, la FA Cup. the umpires still behind the goals remain but it is neutral persons and umpire observes the game from outside the field.

But now comes the best. It turns out that the penalty was created and introduced in 1891 and it was pointed out… The player who suffered was the one to claim it! Something that rarely happened since it was not good seen it done. Think for a moment what we are used to seeing today in any match.

Of course it is completely utopian to want to reach the level of nobility, Chivalry or even what some might define as cursilería, but it would be nice that when enloquecemos a football game or dedicated all kinds of expletives towards the referee or players of opposing teams look back and waited for us we thought in the true spirit in which he invented the beautiful game.



Javier Argudo

PC Football changed my life.

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