Despite all its charms and crowd-pulling features, football has oftentimes witnessed violent encounters between the opposing teams. Football is arguably a premier sport in the United States and entire Europe. The present-day football is more fashioned after the English game of rugby, which again is a revised version of the much older game of soccer.
The basic offensive characteristic of football has remained unchanged whatever the variations of the game. Both the players as well as the spectators are passionate about the game and a football match invariably becomes a battle for territorial supremacy and tempers fly.
There are historical evidences to suggest that football matches have led to a lot of public disturbances, unruly scenes and law & order problems. For instance, in Manchester in 1608, football was repeatedly banned because so window panes had been broken.
In 1314 the Lord Mayor of London went to the extent of issuing a proclamation forbidding football within the city due to the public disturbances it caused. King Edward III passed severe laws in 1331 to suppress football, which was sparking violence. At the same time, similar measures to limit playing football were also introduced in France.
During the sixteenth century, football met with a lot of public resentment. The Puritans condemned football as a frivolous and violent sport and complained it disturbed the peace of the Sabbath day. Football had consistently come in for criticisms and banishments for its violent ways, but none of these obstacles came even close to eliminating football from the world scene.
The level of violence within the game and the spectator areas were horrifying. Players of were brutally kicked and punched by opponents from either side. Apart from all personal injures inflicted on players, numerous properties were damaged when a football match tool place.
Fields, fences and hedges suffered worst damages. People's houses and businesses within the main streets near football grounds were vandalized. Early records do mention the violent nature of the game within cities and even deaths were reported in some places. The one saving grace was football was still acceptable as it was considered a useful distraction from heavy drinking and gambling men were otherwise accustomed to.
As a consequence, football has essentially remained rough and violent and disorganized. A change in the attitude to football came about during the beginning of the nineteenth century when school football became popular among the boys – particularly in leading public schools. This proved a turning point. In this new environment, some innovations and refinements to football took place.
The traditional aspects of the game remained but a fair degree of sophistication was imparted to the game. This new approach led to a greater dependence on the players' dribbling skills than the physical might to assault the opponent. All these improvements to football made it possible for the game to be a great entertaining sport and not a violent fistfight.
Football tournaments the world over have a high injury rate among its players. Many prestige football matches are unfortunately violent and sometimes one witnesses ugly scenes. Knee injuries, foot bruises, cartilage and ligament tears have become far too common among all football players. Whatever the criticisms and condemnation, people's love for the game continues unabated.