Early Set of Handwritten Soccer Rules to be Auctioned
The earliest known set of club-soccer rules will be auctioned by Sotheby's of London on July 14th. The soccer club, Sheffield FC, will be auctioning a pamphlet entitled "Rules, Regulations, & Laws of the Sheffield Foot-Ball Club". These rules were formulated by the club during a meeting in 1859. Sheffield FC is recognized by FIFA as the oldest club in the world, having been established in Northern England in 1857.
Also in the lot is the only known draft of the original rules of soccer established at Cambridge University in 1858. The Sheffield FC lot is expected to reach as high as $2 million, the bulk of which coming from the two sets of rules. The money raised will go toward the improving facilities and to guarantee the club's continued existence.
The original rules bare a close resemblance to those used in the game today, containing current elements such as free kicks, throw-ins, goal kicks and the crossbar, as well as limiting "hacking or tripping" opponents. The one main difference is that the Sheffield rules allowed "pushing with the hands," which is no longer permitted.
In 2010, James Naismith's original rules of basketball sold for $4.4 million at Sotheby's of New York.