by Juanita Nonwo – EM TV Online
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world with billions tuning in to watch the FIFA World Cup every four years.
While you may play the sport on a regular basis, how often do you stop to wonder where it all began and how the rules developed?
One of the most well-known rules in Soccer is ‘handball’ – when the ball comes in contact with your hand or arm and while this may seem somewhat normal to us all now, it came about through some very unfortunate circumstances.
It all started in England, during the 1800s when soccer was developing and cities were suffering from high crime rates. During this period any crime committed, whether minor or serious, could leave you facing the death penalty.
Criminals were sent to the most notorious prison in Britain, Newgate. The conditions were terrible, with overcrowded cells, underfed prisoners and cruel wardens.
It was in this miserable place that soccer started. A group of individuals who had their hands cut off (yes you read right) as punishment for theft came up with a game to keep their minds off the misery while awaiting their fate. As they no longer had use of their arms, this game could only involve their feet.
So from not being able to use their hands, the handball rule was created and soccer eventuated from there, spreading throughout England and the world. The rest is, as they say, history!