Unstoppable Rise of Football

Unstoppable Rise of Football

Did you know that nowadays favorite game Football struggled with too many opponents including courts, military, Kings, etc? But why? Why did Football banned? Let’s see… Unstoppable Rise of Football…

In our previous article, “History of Football – The Origin“, we examined the history of football and wrote a brief article including milestones within 3.000 years. Meanwhile, it was obvious to realize the resistance of football to survive which I call Unstoppable Rise of Football. Let’s get straight to the point.

Unstoppable Rise of Football in England

During the middle ages (14th Century England), since anyone can join in the games and there were very few rules, medieval football often went out of hand and ended in riots. Playing on the streets also caused trouble for residents and merchants. These forced rulers to issue decrees banning the sport. However, it has already become so popular that its playing was not stopped at all.

At the Beginning of Modern-Day Football (19th Century), while the sport was widely played by youngsters all over England, it was banned in schools because of its fierceness. Lack of rules governing player conduct often resulted in injuries and chaos. [1]

Most modern versions of football are believed to have originated from England in the twelfth century. The game became so popular in England that the kings of that time (Henry II and Henry IV) actually banned football. They believed that football was taking away interest from the traditional sports of England, such as fencing and archery.[2]

  • In 1314, Edward II complained about “certain tumults arising from great footballs in the fields of the public, from which many evils may arise.” At the time he was trying to raise an army to fight the Scots and was worried about the impact that football was having on the skills of his archers. Edward II came to the conclusion that young people were more interested in playing football than practicing archery. His answer to this problem was to ban the playing of the game.
  • In 1331, Edward III reintroduced the ban in preparation for an invasion of Scotland,
  • In 1338, Henry IV was the next monarch who tried to stop England’s young men from playing football when he issued a new ban. This was ineffective and in 1410 his government imposed a fine of the 20s and six days’ imprisonment on those caught playing football.
  • In 1349, King Edward III of England banned the game of football by royal decree, alongside other recreational activities, because of the specific worry that it distracted his people from practicing archery. Although this sounds a little strange, archery was actually essential to 14th-century warfare, and so to the strength of Edward’s army, which was badly affected by the Black Death, a ravaging pandemic that peaked around this time. [3]
  • In 1414, his son, Henry V, introduced a further proclamation ordering men to practice archery rather than football. The following year Henry’s archers played an important role in the defeat of the French at Agincourt.
  • In 1477, Edward IV passed a law that stipulated that “no person shall practice any unlawful games such as dice, quoits, football and such games, but that every strong and able-bodied person shall practice with the bow for the reason that the national defense depends upon such bowmen”. Edward IV was another strong opponent of football.
  • In 1496 Henry VII outlawed football,
  • his son, Henry VIII, introduced a series of laws against the playing of the game in public places.
  • In 1531 the Puritan preacher, Thomas Eliot, argued that football caused “beastly fury and extreme violence”.
  • In 1572 the Bishop of Rochester demanded a new campaign to suppress this “evil game”.
  • In 1576 it was recorded in Ruislip that around a hundred people “assembled themselves unlawfully and played a certain unlawful game, called football”.
  • In 1608 In Manchester “a company of lewd and disordered persons… broke many men’s windows” during an “unlawful” game of football.
  • In 1618, it was such a major problem that the local council appointed special “football officers” to police these laws.
  • After the execution of Charles I in 1649 the new ruler, Oliver Cromwell, instructed his Major-Generals to enforce laws against football, bear-baiting, cock-fighting, horse-racing, and wrestling. Cromwell was more successful than previous rulers in stopping young men from playing football. However, after his death in 1660 the game gradually re-emerged in Britain. [4]

Unstoppable Rise of Football in Scotland

  • In 1424, James I of Scotland decreed that Na man play at the fut ball, in the Football Act;
  • In 1457, a further act of parliament was passed under the rule of James II which banned both football and golf.

Unstoppable Rise of Football in France

  • The French game La Soule is another mass participation ball game similar to the English and Scottish mob football. It was banned by Phillippe V in 1319, and again by Charles V in 1369.
  • In 1440 the bishop of Tréguier threatened players with excommunication and a fine of 100 sol, saying that “these dangerous and pernicious games must be prohibited because of hatred, grudges, and enmities which, under the veil of recreational fun, accumulate in many hearts”. [5]

Why did Football banned?

Every region and century had its own priorities. Lack of rules, and being damaged because of that, seems to be one cause of banning football. And the second one is warfare which was much more critical than playing football. Despite banning Football in many regions through centuries, the rise of football could not be stopped, fortunately.


  1. Who Invented Football – Football Bible,
  2. A Brief History of the Game – Alameda High School,
  3. Edward III Bans Football, Promotes Archery – History Channel
  4. History of Football – Spartacus Educational.
  5. Attempts to ban football games – Wikipedia
  6. Early Days of Sport – Ancient Football