19 Aug 2010
The basic principles relating to the spirit of the game
All players must have an equal opportunity to demonstrate individual skills without unfair interference from opponents. Physical size or brute strength is not and should not be an essential element for success. Players of smaller stature who have quick feet, sharpness, quick reactions and balance should be allowed to demonstrate their skills without fear of physical intimidation. Equally players whose assets include height, strength and power, should have no fear that these qualities will be penalised unfairly.
Playing the game of football involves lots of physical contact situations, which can be tough. Stoke Manager Tony Pulis once said, “this is football, not netball”. The rules of the game provide protection for the players in certain specified situations. These include the use of protective equipment, suitable footwear, and treatment of injuries and limit physical challenges for the ball.
The rules of the game of football are very clear on what is unfair play and acts of gross misconduct which destroy skill and the pleasure of playing and watching the game. The purpose of the written rules is to provide a stimulating and healthy sport in which people of ages, sizes and experience can play and enjoy “the beautiful game”