An essay on the game of football.
The game of football has now become very popular in India. It is not an Indian game. It is an English game. We have learnt to play it from the English. Now-a-days every school has a football team.
Football is played in the open field. Hence it is called an outdoor game. The game is played with a leather ball. There is a rubber bladder inside it. Air is pumped into the bladder. The fields are generally 100 yards long and 55 yards broad. Two goal-posts with a bar over them are placed at each end of the two opposite sides. The game is played between two teams. Each team consists of eleven players. At present there are one goalkeeper, two full backs with two stoppers between them, three linkmen and three forwards. The teams stand face to face on their respective sides. The play begins at the centre. The centre-forward of one team or the striker, as he is now called, first kicks the ball. Then each team tries to kick the ball inside the goal-posts of the opposite team. Each team tries to baffle such attempts of the opposite team. The team that scores the largest number of goals becomes the winner. Sometimes, an equal number of goals is scored by each side. Sometimes, no goal is scored by either side. It is then called a drawn game. In such cases, the game is sometimes played again till one party wins.
Rules of the game
The game is played generally for ninety minutes. But there is a period of rest for five or ten minutes after the half time is over. During the play only the goalkeeper can touch the ball with his hands. If other players touch the ball with their hands, they commit an offence. It is called a ‘hand ball’. A free kick is allowed against the offender. Penalties are also imposed for the breach of other rules.
There is a referee to supervise the game. He is helped by two linesmen. There are also two goal judges to help the referee. In competition matches medals, cups and shields are presented to winners.
Usefulness of the game
It is a very interesting game. It gives amusement and recreation to many people. Besides this, it is a very useful game. It teaches the players the value and importance of discipline. It improves in them the feeling of cooperation, that is, how to work together in harmony. Players learn the value of judgment. It is a healthy exercise if it is played moderately. Professional players earn a lot of money by playing football. Many good players have a fair chance of securing jobs in these hard days.
Our Government has now Sports Ministers both at the Centre and at the States to look after the improvement of games like football, cricket etc. It has created a statue of Late Gostha Pal, the famous football player of the Mohan Bagan F.C. in the maidan of Calcutta to show honour to him.