Formation of Scottish Football Association
The second oldest football association in the world, the SFA was at the vanguard of the nascent professional football scene.
The beautiful game was in its primacy. The previous year saw Scotland and England share the spoils in a nil-nil draw at Hamilton Crescent Cricket club, and with more people taking up the game, there was an increase in demand for a more codified administration of the sport.
Scotland’s oldest football club, from which the majority of the Scottish national side was plucked from, was Queen’s Park FC . The Spiders, formed in 1867 and now plying their trade in the Scottish Third Division, were instrumental in the foundation of the Scottish Football Association. Fitting, in that they play their home games at the national stadium, Hampden Park, in Glasgow’s Southside.
Queen’s Park rallied seven clubs for a meeting in Glasgow’s Dewar’s Hotel to effectively decide the future of the game. Clydesdale, Vale of Leven, Dumbreck, Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers, Eastern and Granville joined them in talks that would give the game some structure in a hurdy-gurdy era when the game was often played in cricket whites and formal competition was yet to be properly established. Kilmarnock FC had also noted their willingness to join the association.
And that was it: the Scottish Football Association was founded by eight clubs, only two surviving to this day – Queen’s Park, and Scottish Premier League side, Kilmarnock FC. The newly formed SFA sought to promote the game in Scotland and abroad in accordance to the rules already laid down by the English FA. The infamous first international between Scotland and England may have bore little resemblance to the current game – for starters, cynicism and big business had yet to stick their claws into football’s rump – but this was the big bang, from which the world took the lead.
The SFA joined FIFA in 1910, and UEFA in 1954, and it is slightly ironic to think that in the modern era, where the Italian, Spanish and German FAs all enjoy more prominence and influence in football’s ruling elite, it was the SFA and the FA who were modernising the world’s game.
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