The The Football Association reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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The Football Association

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Geoff Thompson
Sven-Göran Eriksson (2001-)
The Football Association (The FA) is the governing body of football in England. The FA was established in 1863 and is the oldest football association in the world. It was instrumental in formulating the rules of the modern game and has a special place in the history of the Sport. It is a member of UEFA and FIFA, and holds a permanent seat on the International Football Association Board (IFAB).

Prior to the first meeting of the Football Association in the Freemason's Tavern in Great Queen Street, London on October 26, 1863, the were no universally accepted rules for the playing of the game of football. The first revision of the rules for the modern game was drawn up over a series of six meetings held in the social room of the public house from October till December. At the final meeting, the representative from Blackheath withdrew his club from The FA over a rule outlawing hacking (kicking an opponent in the shins). The Blackheath club later went on to form the Rugby Football Union.

All of England's professional football clubs must be members of the Football Association. The FA is responsible for the appointment of the management of the English national football team and is the governing body of the FA Premier League (England's second tier league, The Football League (consisting of The Championship, League One and League Two), is self-governing).

The FA also runs several competitions:

The FA plays a major role in the development of English football at the grass roots level, through its continuing support of the amateur game, and organizes the National League System.

Chairmen of The Football Association

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