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Poor sad Fifa, always so out of touch

By Tony Attwood

Amusing piece turned up on the Fifa web site about the term ‘gol olímpico’ (Olympic Goal), which they says is used to describe a goal scored directly from a corner.

The site then claims to have a “look back at the history of the corner-kick goal and some of the players who have enhanced their reputations by mastering it.”

Here’s how the article goes on.  Can you spot the mistake?

Testing the boundaries
Way back in June 1924, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) modified article 11 of the Laws of the Game to allow goals to be scored directly from a corner kick for the first time. Upon reading about said change, a sports journalist from Liverpool called Ernest Edwards found a loophole in the new edict, which he shared with the powers-that-be at Everton: “There’s nothing in the book as it stands to prevent you dribbling the ball right into the middle instead of kicking it from the corner. Why not try it out and see what happens?”

Edwards had an ideal accomplice for his experiment in the shape of Everton’s then forward and usual corner-taker Sam Chedgzoy. Following Edwards’ suggestion in a game against Woolwich Arsenal, Chedgzoy placed the ball for a corner kick before calmly dribbling it goalwards, while everyone present looked on in amazement. When the referee began to reprimand him, the winger simply asked him, “What’s in the rules to stop me doing it?”

This incident, if true, would have taken place in 1924/5 season, but of course, there was no Woolwich Arsenal FC in that season.  By then Woolwich FC who had taken over the Manor Ground was long since gone, and Woolwich Arsenal had transformed itself first into The Arsenal FC and then Arsenal FC – all done and dusted before football stopped for the first world war.

Arsenal did play Everton twice in 1924/5: at Everton on November 15, 1924, and at Highbury on May 21 1925.  We won the first game 3-2 and the second 3-1.

But now the story gets odd, because elsewhere in the article it says that following the event there was “an emergency meeting of the IFAB, who amended the rules in early August 1924. The first goal struck after the rule change was scored by Billy Alston later that month in Scottish second-division action, although the first to be dubbed a gol olímpico would not come until October.”

So if I read this right, the rule was modified in June 1924, and supposedly Everton played Woolwich Arsenal and then the rule was changed again in August 1924.

That now rules out our two league matches in the 1924/5 season.

Bit of a puzzle, but then, that is Fifa for you.

2 comments to Poor sad Fifa, always so out of touch

  • FIFA got the date wrong. It happened in the game on 15 November 1924 – report from the Daily Mirror (note “the Arsenal”):

    ARSENAL’S GRIT

    Curious Incident in Game with Everton at Goodison Park

    Few people expected the Arsenal to win at Goodison
    Park. Everton pressed in the first half, but
    could not beat a fine defence, and just on the interval
    Ramsay scored for the Arsenal.

    Everton made all the pace at the start of the
    second half. Irvine soon equalised, and Hargreaves
    gave Everton the lead. In a dingdong finish
    Young equalised and then Ramsay scored the winning
    goal

    There was a curious incident in the game. The
    F.A., in changing the corner kick rule, did not
    say that the ball should not bo played twice in succession
    by the same player. Chedgzoy, in taking a
    corner, hit the ball ten yards, and, following-up,
    sent in shot before another player had touched it.
    The referee obviously agreed with Chedgzoy’s idea
    of the rule for he waved for the play to proceed.

  • How strange that a week after this post we saw this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvcYge_yCgk

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