By Tony Attwood
Amusing piece turned up on the Fifa web site about the term ‘gol olímpico’ (Olympic Goal), which they says is used to describe a goal scored directly from a corner.
The site then claims to have a “look back at the history of the corner-kick goal and some of the players who have enhanced their reputations by mastering it.”
Here’s how the article goes on. Can you spot the mistake?
Testing the boundaries
Way back in June 1924, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) modified article 11 of the Laws of the Game to allow goals to be scored directly from a corner kick for the first time. Upon reading about said change, a sports journalist from Liverpool called Ernest Edwards found a loophole in the new edict, which he shared with the powers-that-be at Everton: “There’s nothing in the book as it stands to prevent you dribbling the ball right into the middle instead of kicking it from the corner. Why not try it out and see what happens?”
Edwards had an ideal accomplice for his experiment in the shape of Everton’s then forward and usual corner-taker Sam Chedgzoy. Following Edwards’ suggestion in a game against Woolwich Arsenal, Chedgzoy placed the ball for a corner kick before calmly dribbling it goalwards, while everyone present looked on in amazement. When the referee began to reprimand him, the winger simply asked him, “What’s in the rules to stop me doing it?”
This incident, if true, would have taken place in 1924/5 season, but of course, there was no Woolwich Arsenal FC in that season. By then Woolwich FC who had taken over the Manor Ground was long since gone, and Woolwich Arsenal had transformed itself first into The Arsenal FC and then Arsenal FC – all done and dusted before football stopped for the first world war.
Arsenal did play Everton twice in 1924/5: at Everton on November 15, 1924, and at Highbury on May 21 1925. We won the first game 3-2 and the second 3-1.
But now the story gets odd, because elsewhere in the article it says that following the event there was “an emergency meeting of the IFAB, who amended the rules in early August 1924. The first goal struck after the rule change was scored by Billy Alston later that month in Scottish second-division action, although the first to be dubbed a gol olímpico would not come until October.”
So if I read this right, the rule was modified in June 1924, and supposedly Everton played Woolwich Arsenal and then the rule was changed again in August 1924.
That now rules out our two league matches in the 1924/5 season.
Bit of a puzzle, but then, that is Fifa for you.