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English Football Ball

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In general, each football club, school, or university tended to have its own rules, which might differ on such fundamental questions as whether to follow the example of Rugby School by allowing the ball to be carried, with players carrying the ball being allowed to be "hacked" (kicked in the shins) by their opponents. The desire of football clubs for a common code was the impetus behind the foundation of the Football Association (FA) in 1863. Within the FA, there was an acrimonious debate between the "hacking" and "non-hacking" clubs. When the first meetings were held to discuss the FA's laws of football, the "hackers" were in the ascendancy, but the publication of the 1863 set of Cambridge rules (which forbade hacking) enabled the "non-hackers" to prevail, with the FA's first Laws of the Game, published in December 1863, banning hacking and carrying the ball. The FA, initially dominated by London-based clubs, saw its influence gradually spread over the country as the result of the success of FA Cup, first contested in the 1871-2 season.

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