It all happens in Llandudno!

8 01 2011

Did you know that there is a connection between the town of Llandudno and the match on the following clip?

Don’t worry if you have no idea, the answer is long-winded and a little esoteric.

The process of connection began with Bellone’s penalty in the penalty shootout. The clip shows us that the ball rebounded off the crossbar. hit Carlos, the Brazilian keeper, on the back and went over the line.

The process developed thanks to the fog of mystery; in 1986 nobody was sure when a ball should be declared dead after a penalty kick. You probably noticed the Brazilian finger waggers announcing their uncertainty in the clip.

At the time this issue was literally the slightly tepid potato of world football. I can hear you now, “This is all very well, but what does it have to do with Llandudno?” Bare with me, all will be revealed!

Now is the time to introduce the  body that reforms the laws of football, The International Football Association Board (IFAB for short), into our story.  The words of FIFA tell us this about IFAB ;

The first-ever IFAB meeting took place in 1886 when the English FA, conscious of the need for standardisation, invited their Irish, Scottish and Welsh counterparts to join forces to come up with a uniform code. Up until then, different rules had applied in different countries.

Since its foundation in 1904, FIFA, as football’s world governing body, sought to team up with IFAB. The first real steps were made in that direction two years later, in 1906, when Englishman Daniel Burley Woolfall became FIFA President. And although the 1908 and 1912 Olympic Football Tournaments were run under the FA’s supervision, FIFA began to take part in meetings from 1913 onwards.

Four representatives from FIFA and one each from England, N. Ireland, Scotland and Wales meet at an Annual General Meeting where they set out to identify, study and accept or reject possible alterations to the Laws.

This IFAB seems a little anachronistic doesn’t it? Generous people would say that the body is one of the few historical anomalies, or charming little quirks, that the onward march of commercialisation hasn’t managed to  destroy. Less than generous people would say that it’s one of the last vestiges of a Victorian worldview that told us Britannia ruled the waves.  

The composition of the board (Four members from FIFA, four members from the UK)  is so obviously outdated common sense doesn’t need much encouragement to suggest  questions like; “Why should England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales naturally exercise more power than the other 204 non-British football associations combined?”. The logic of such questions is hard to refute. Some groups and people use this logic to infer that the very existence of the United Kingdom’s four separate football associations should be questioned.

Despite unflattering opinions the IFAB continues to meet on an annual basis. The venue rotates amongst the membership therefore Wales hosts a meeting every fifth year. I’m sure you’re ahead of me now…

The IFAB connects the penalty, the slightly tepid potato and Llandudno. The full answer to the question at the beginning of the post is………..

In 1987 the annual IFAB meeting was held in the Bodysgallen Hall, Llandudno and they clarified the matter of the penalty……..DAAAAAA DAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH;

Prior to a change in the Laws in season 1987/1988, the Penalty-Kick Law 14 was not clear in defining when a penalty kick had been completed; both when time had been extended at the end of a half to allow for the taking of a penalty kick, or when kicks are being taken from the penalty-mark to decide a winner after a match had ended in a draw.

The so-called ‘Madrid Law’ (more correctly the Mexico Rule!) sought to minimise future confusion, following a controversial penalty goal, scored by the French player Bruno Bellone in the classic 1986 Mexico World Cup Quarter Final game between France – Brazil. 

The French player Bellone, hit the crossbar during the penalty shoot-out, and the ball came back out and hit the rear of Brazil goalkeeper Carlos and went into the goal. The Referee allowed the goal to count, and France went on to win 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw following extra time. The Referee was Ioan Igna (Romania), and his linesmen were, Vojtech Christov (Czechoslovakia) and Lajos Nemeth (Hungary).

There was a lot of controversy about the French penalty kick at the time. But it was the Scottish Football Association who successfully sought clarification, by proposing the following Law 14 (Penalty Kick) change that was accepted at the 100th International Football Association Board (IFAB) meeting held at Bodysgallen Hall, Llandudno in Wales on Saturday 13th June 1987.

The approved text, was inserted at the bottom of the first paragraph of Law XIV, page 31 of the revised 1987/1988 ‘Referees’ Chart and Players Guide to the Laws of Association Football’, and was as follows: 

“When a penalty kick is being taken during the normal course of play, or when time has been extended at half-time or full-time to allow a penalty-kick to be taken or retaken, a goal shall not be nullified if, before passing between the posts and under the cross-bar, the ball touches either or both of the goalposts, or the cross-bar, or the goalkeeper, or any combination of these agencies, providing that no other infringement has occurred.” 

At the same time, the following words, were also added to the end of the F. A. Board Decisions No. 6 paragraph as shown in italics below: 

“When a match is extended, at half-time or full-time, to allow a penalty kick to be taken or retaken, the extension shall last until the moment that the penalty-kick has been completed, i.e., until the referee has decided whether a goal is scored or not, and the game shall terminate immediately the Referee has made his decision.” 

In other words, IFAB decided that something was alright unless it wasn’t alright. You can see why the confusion around this issue arose;

“Previous to season 1987/1988, the wording originally introduced by the IFAB on 17th June 1901 at Llangolen Wales, only referred to a goal being allowed if the ball touched the “goalkeeper” before passing between the posts. It made no mention of the ball bouncing off the framework of the goal and then deflecting into the goal off the goalkeeper.”

The connection between FIFA and Llandudno is deeper than this single meeting; the IFAB visited the home of the Jet Set on 4 prior occasions; June 1966, June 1956, June 1937 and June 1932 . You could check out the IFAB archives here in order to find out what they got up to but I’ve taken the trouble of finding out for you.

– In 1932 they decided against substitutes and redesigning the area into a square shape but decided in favour of international referees wearing blazers of “distinctive” colours. After this hard work they had a nice tour of “Saxon” north Wales that ended with tea in the Dolbarden Hotel. The “Ladies of the Party” had a “morning programme” written for them.

– In 1937 they proposed adding an arc to the area, which was adopted. This was followed by another tour of north Wales and entertainment “for the ladies of the party”., including a visit to “The Shops” where “The Ladies” could “…make hunting whilst the going is good”

– In 1956 they still decided against substitutes but they decided that children of 17 were not to be considered as full professionals. The entertainment this time consisted of a trip to “Betwsycoed” but there were no special arrangements “for the ladies of the party”.

– In 1966 they really tried to introduce substitutes but referred the matter “back to the committee of Study for further evaluation”, they decided that a crossbar was needed to judge whether a goal had gone in and that the goal could only be made of metal or wood. They also decided that refs for internationals would be paid £18, linesman would be paid £9. For entertainment they could eat a “Bombe Cymru”.

– In 1987 football’s Godfather and his stooge turned up. Yes Havelange and Blatter managed to  make it all the way to the cherished home of the Jet Set. All of a sudden I feel dirty. There was no sign of entertainment this time so we’ll have to imagine how they entertained themselves…….

………Blatter promenading down Llandudno’s pier before buying a bargain book…………..Joao in the Golden Goose amusements trying to cause an avalanche of 10p pieces by tipping up the coin pushers……………Joao trying to force Sepp to leave the fruit machines alone but Sepp says; ” They’re going, they’re going!! (In French of course)”

We’re surprised that Llandudno’s tourist board haven’t thought of using these images to promote LLandudno around the world.

It’s funny to see the effect that Llandudno has had on the world of football!

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3 responses

8 12 2013
Football Finds (weekly) | footysphere

[…] It all happens in Llandudno! | XXXXXXXXX Jet Set […]

5 02 2011
Fifa introduces goal line technology | Jailbreak FM

[…] It all happens in Llandudno! […]

8 01 2011
Tweets that mention It all happens in Llandudno! « Llandudno Jet Set -- Topsy.com

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Matt Johnson. Matt Johnson said: NEW Post, Sepp and Joao have been to the home of the Jet Set!! It all happens in Llandudno!: http://t.co/Fs1OqFc […]

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