|The History of the Association|
Football Or Soccer
Those British sports lovers who thought that football should be a kicking and not a handling game, formulated the laws and regulations of this game on this idea. In 1863 the Football Association was formed for the purpose of organizing and running this new game which took its name after the name of this body and hence the term "Association Football". However, outside Great Britain, the game is more referred to as "soccer" than "football".
It is a sure fact that football or soccer is the most popular sport in Malta and Gozo and the oldest of all the national sports disciplines practiced and followed in Malta and Gozo and thus qualifies for the title 'the national game'.
Birth of Maltese Football
Football started to be played in Malta towards the end of the nineteenth century when the country, then a Crown Colony, was under the governorship of the British Sir Arth Borton. As a matter of fact, local football owes its origin to the members of the British Services, which were stationed in the colony. Records prove that it was introduced as early as 1884 when soccer was "played bootless on a piece of land which could be described as anything but a football pitch". It is said that football boots were used for the first time in 1885 and a year later the referee's whistle was introduced at a match played in Zabbar between the Trashier Regiment and Cospicua St. Andrew's, an encounter which finished in a one-all draw. In 1908 the crossbar and extra-time were introduced. Goalnets and the numbering of players in local football were introduced later.