Football goals have barely changed in shape or size in over 150 years. Crossbars, marked eight foot above ground, didn’t become mandatory until 1882.
The first net was used at The Kennington Oval in 1891 as Blackburn Rovers beat Notts County [3-1] to win the FA Cup. And football has since seen goal frames evolve from wood to aluminium, but the dimensions between the sticks have never altered or even been significantly scrutinised.
This is surprising considering there was little or no science behind the goal’s size. In 1996, now disgraced ex-FIFA president Sepp Blatter, called for their diameter to be widened by 50cm – or as he put it, “two footballs” – and for their height to be increased by 25cm. But uproar ensued and the plan was shelved prior to any serious debate.
But were bigger goals really such a bad idea?