Football: 10 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in the world. It brings joy to millions of fans, while the revenues of football clubs compete with the budgets of some countries, and best players are widely known all over the world.

You can also make a lot of money betting on soccer at Parimatch sports betting, as online betting is incredibly popular nowadays.

Take a look at these 10 interesting facts about football:

1. Red and yellow cards were not a thing until the late 1960s

Before this, football referees had to write down everything in a notebook. Having analyzed some scandals in international matches related to the language barrier between referees and players, Ken Aston, the head of the World Championship judges, decided to make the punishment system more visible.

He made such a decision in his head when he was driving a car and stopped at a traffic light. Upon arrival home, he shared the idea with his wife, who immediately turned his idea into life by cutting out red and yellow cards from colored cardboard.

Ken Aston

2. Football fields are striped

This is not because they are planted with different types of grass, but as a result of the work of lawn mowers. Mowers are masters at creating the illusion of stripes.

If the grass is tilted away from the viewer, the lawn appears lighter due to the higher area of reflection from whole stems, and vice versa. Such coloring of the field not only pleases the eye, but also helps the referees in tracking offsides

3. Liverpool won the 2004–2005 Champions League, but only finished in fifth place in the English Premier League 

This is despite the fact that England had the highest possible four places in the Champions League at that time. UEFA rules allowed the club to defend the title in the main European tournament, even if it did not make it through the national championship, but the English Football Association refused to give Everton’s place to Liverpool.



As a result, The UEFA Executive Committee made an exception and allowed Liverpool to compete as champions starting from the very first qualifying round. The club successfully passed the qualifying round and made it to the group stage. The UEFA Executive Committee changed the rules in 2013, increasing the maximum number of teams per association to five.

4. Andres Escobar was killed because he scored an own goal

The Colombian national team defender scored the own goal in a 1994 World Cup match in the USA. After losing that game, the Colombians didn’t make it out of their group and they had to fly back home. A few days later he was shot in a car by a Colombian fan.

Andres Escobar

5. Stanley Matthew is regarded as one of the best British football players

In addition, he is the only player who has been knighted while still playing football, and is the first winner of both the European Footballer of the Year and the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year awards.

6. Some football goalkeepers score goals themselves

They help their teams by not only by preventing opposing players from scoring, but also by taking penalties and free kicks and scoring goals.

This is especially common for South American goalkeepers. The best goalscoring goalkeeper is the Brazilian Rogerio Ceni, who managed to score more than 100 goals.

Jose Luis Chilavert

The extravagant goalkeeper from Paraguay Jose Luis Chilavert is also widely known. He scored 62 goals, but remains the only goalkeeper who managed to score a hat-trick in one match. Click here to find out who the top-10 goalscoring goalkeepers.

7. As of today, there are two cases when the referees showed a red card to themselves

The first was Andy Wayne (who was judging the Peterborough North End – Royal Mail match). The second was Melvin Sylvester at the Southampton Arms – Hurstbourne Tarrant British Legion match.

The first one ran to the goalkeeper after an another complaint from him, but stopped in time and decided to show a red card to himself, so as not to bring the matter to physical assault. And the second one struck the player several times after a push from him.

8. Athletic Bilbao is only staffed by local footballers

The club is in the center of the Basque Country in Northern Spain. They only staff local players or players from other countries with Basque roots.

9. Barbados scored an own goal on purpose

In 1994, the football teams of Barbados and Grenada met as part of the Shell Caribbean Cup. Barbados needed a victory with a margin of 2 goals to reach the next round. The score was 2:1 five minutes before the end of the match, and at that moment Barbados scored the own goal.

According to the rules of the competition, additional time was appointed in case of a draw, and the first team to score in it was awarded a 2-0 victory. Thus, Barbados had to defend both their own and the opponent’s goal at the last minutes of the match.  As a result, Barbados turned the game into overtime and managed to win the game.

10. The Netherlands demanded a bonus for an own goal

At the 1974 FIFA World Cup, The Netherlands scored 14 goals before the finals, and only conceded one. The one conceded goal was an own goal from the Dutch defender.

The team demanded from the sponsor to pay Krol a bonus, since the contract did not stipulate exceptions for own goals, which are recorded in the protocol of a football match to the account of their authors along with regular goals. After this tournament, sponsors have always specified the absence of bonuses for such cases.

Have any other interesting football facts to share? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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Staff Writer

Running Wolf's Rant's correspondent who chooses to remain anonymous...

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