The Growing Evolution of Football as a Non-Contact Sport

Football is one of the most popular team sports in the world has been doing its part in going beyond their constant search for bigger advantage. This commonly translates to aggression on the field through training sprints and stealing yards among competitive athletes.

A prime example would be the game between Liverpool and Tottenham at Anfield last Sunday. Virgil van Dijk carelessly executed a kick towards Erik Lamela who fell down with an accompanying penalty. This gave Harry Kane the chance to catch up and equalize the game.

virgil van dijk and erik lamela

Losing the point of contact sports

Liverpool’s club manager Jurgen Klopp bogusly intimidated officials and Van Dijk who turned on Kane. Officials claim that Van Dijk turned on Kane diving to win a penalty earlier in the game.

Another instance would be Kane beating Loris Karius in a race, shifting the ball aside and waiting for contact as the other slid his way. This was determined as a foul by higher-ups and claims that there was actual contact.

So the question seems to linger, but remains unanswered: When did football become a contact sport? When was the basketball term “drawing a foul’ adopted in football?

Looking back at how football rose to its fame, center forwards were even deemed heroic and brave for getting up after a rough fall. Staying down and being out-muscled often translated as signs of weakness. Staying on your feet was of utmost importance that boasts and requires strength to withstand the knocks; thus the intense conditioning of footballers.

Many reverent veterans of the sport came to the realization that football had a more honest nature in the past and that knockdowns often occurred now, seasoning into a cheating scam in the attempt to cheat referees.

The Ever Changing Dynamics of the Game

As times change, the way football is played varies as well. The speed and intricacy of football have been constantly changing, along with the expectations that are imposed on every position and player. Strikers and defenders are to be steadier and more refined through the aggression that comes with the game.

The reality of football goes with the conclusion that officials and higher-ups are more present than ever in television analysis where conversations and unpopular opinions are heard of. Tackles and shirt-pulls turn into reckless red cards. Yellow cards carefully become a red flag as a result of hasty strategy and gameplay.

michael owen fall

Another principal example is the 2002 World Cup with Michael Owen. The contact was deemed minimal but a huge fall down took place wherein David Beckham scored a penalty in the process. Mauricio Pochettino who was said to have caused the fall, claims that Owen jumped like it was towards the deep end of a pool with no inflicting touch or pain from Pochettino.

Inactivity within the diving panel has commenced due to the tenacious speed of strikers who discreetly initiate or execute exaggerated contact throughout the game. Indeed, messing with referees and claiming penalties have become doable in modern football, slowly losing the main point of football being a contact sport in the modern age.

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