7 Football Facts For Novices

Photo by Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash

The game of football is beyond what we all know: eleven players on the field and millions of fans around the world playing to win a game and some titles.

For starters, the game of football is not the same as Rugby, Flag football, or American football. In fact, these are all different types of football sports. There’s the most popular known football which is actually called association football (also known as soccer in some countries); then there’s gridiron football specifically and publicly called American football or Canadian football; We also have Australian rules football otherwise known as rugby football, rugby union or rugby league; and finally there is the Gaelic football. These various forms of football share to varying extent common origins known as football codes. They mostly require a goal scoring to prove a win.

Now, to discuss association football, which in this article will be referred to as football, comes with a lot of side information. So, here’s a little ‘let me explain that for you’ manual that explains the entire concept of football, the most human binding sport in the world. Yup, you heard that right. In FIFA’s last global census, it was estimated that there are 265 million people who play the sport along with more than 5 million referees, which equates to 4% of the world’s population. Okay, here we go.

  • It’s not just the referee on pitch who makes decisions about extra times during half time and end of game. The referees will often ask their assistant referees and fourth official to keep a mental note of the stoppage time that is lost and the referee will also do the same. The referee then consults with the other officials, usually with about five minutes left in the half, and then informs the fourth official. What is grounds for extra time and are there determinants of who gets extra time and how much extra time? Well, according to FIFA’s official rules, the following occurrences are to be factored into when choosing extra times: substitutions, assessment and/or removal of injured players, disciplinary sanctions, hydration breaks, and any other cause, including any significant delay to a restart which could be caused by goal celebrations.
  • We no longer have to engage in worldwide, never ending debates about something being wrong or right. For the sake of accuracy and fair decision making, we consult the VAR — which stands for Video Assistant Referee and is football’s first use of video technology. The primary role of the VAR is to assist the referee to determine whether there was an infringement with a goal, and if found infringed, that means such a goal would not be awarded. Another role of the VAR is to ensure that no clearly wrong decisions are made in conjunction with the award or non-award of a penalty kick. VAR is also to ensure that no clearly wrong decisions are made in conjunction with sending off or not sending off a player. And finally, if the referee cautions or sends off the wrong player, or is unsure which player should be sanctioned. The VAR will inform the referee so that the correct player can be disciplined. I like to think of it as a football game CCTV.
  • When you hear the term fixtures, they’re not talking about something securely, and usually permanently, attached to a house, they mean a settled date or time especially for a sporting or festive event; basically, a regularly scheduled affair. The Chelsea and Newcastle game by 4pm tomorrow is a perfect example of a fixture. That’s not a real game, just an example.
  • Leagues. This is a combination of different teams competing over a number of home and away games, to win a cup or a qualification. The teams play against each other twice. For every win, (this should not be confused with goals scored) the team gets three points. For every draw, you get one point, and for every loss, get zero points. In the end, whoever has the most points, and beats most teams, has won the league. There are different football leagues, depending on the country. Some examples of these major leagues are Germany’s Bundelsiga, Spain’s La Liga and Nigeria’s Nigeria Premier League. The hierarchy is usually league-championship-division1-division2. Please note that this depends on the different league types.
  • Match fixing. This is not a good thing and is in no way related to matchmaking. Match Fixing in football is when the outcome of a match in organised sports has been manipulated. The usual reason for fixing a match includes ensuring a certain team advances or doesn’t. Match fixing is seen as one of the biggest problems in organised sports. It’s a crime as weighty as wire fraud. One time in 2006, Juventus was involved in an Italian match fixing scandal that saw them demoted to Serie B and stripped of their 2005 and 2006 Serie A league titles. Former Juventus director Luciano Moggi was sentenced to five years and four months in prison. Wow. They aren’t playing no games, pun intended.
  • Financial fair play or FFP. It was established by UEFA to make sure that football clubs were not spending more than they earned and to prevent clubs from over-spending across several seasons within a set budgetary framework. Basically, FFP is your tax officer and will not take less than excellent for a record. Most recently, Man City was banned (although now revoked) for two years for breaching financial fair play and banned from the premier league.
  • Purchase and recruitment of new players. Part of the money clubs have is to get the best talent on the team by buying and training. You must have had one of your favorites being bought by another club. And after a player has been bought off by another club, the club who sold, has to replace. They can either buy players from another team or recruit new ones.




Novelist, poet, and editor. Academic in the making. Purchase my books here—http://stephanieodili.com/books/

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Stephanie Chizoba Odili

Stephanie Chizoba Odili

Novelist, poet, and editor. Academic in the making. Purchase my books here—http://stephanieodili.com/books/

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