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SBD Global/January 18, 2013/International Football
Not All Smiles For FA Despite 150th Anniversary Celebrations
Published January 18, 2013
TAKING STOCK: In London, David Conn wrote in the GUARDIAN's The Sport Blog "when contemplating the endearing qualities and maddening weakness" of the modern FA as it "treated itself to a 150th anniversary back-slapping banquet, it is crucial to understand how genuinely distinguished its history is." That original gathering in 1863, at a London pub, the Freemasons Arms, where 12 clubs of upper-class gentlemen met "to unify a set of laws, so they could play football against each other, did -- really -- establish the great and beautiful game." Amid the glitz, cheers and back-slapping to celebrate a truly remarkable history and the good work still done in many areas, the modern FA "should make time for a courageous, sober stock-take." Those gentlemen defining the laws at the Freemasons Arms "never imagined their sport would grow to captivate the world, but a surrender to commercial interests, viewing football as an entertainment product, was always the opposite of what they wanted" (GUARDIAN, 1/17).