Reasons for excluding or including full "A" internationals (1901-1910) by FIFA / IFFHS
Bohemia: a territory whose clubs belonged to three different football associations affiliated to FIFA.
The Czech Football Association (Český svaz footballový, ČSF), founded on October 19, 1901, was an independent organisation which was not in any way subordinated to the Austrian Football Union (Österreichische Fussball-Union, the forerunner of the Österreichischer Fussball-Bund, ÖFB). At the time, the Czech territory was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire monarchy. The Czech FA, which became a FIFA member in 1906, admitted only Czech clubs from Bohemia. German and Austrian clubs in Czech territory were affiliated to the German FA (Deutscher Fussball-Bund, DFB) or the Austrian Football Union (ÖFU) respectively. One of these was the strong DFC Prag [DFC, Deutscher Fussball-Club]. The players of the Prague clubs of these two non-Czech FA's also held city matches between Prague and Budapest.
One of these city matches was held in Budapest on April 5, 1903, the Prague side fielding not only DFB and ÖFU players, but also a few who were affiliated to the Czech FA. Since only a few of the players were affiliated to the Czech FA, this encounter cannot be considered a full "A" international for Bohemia. Austrians and Germans cannot play in official Czech full "A" internationals. For the same reason, this match also not be considered a full "A" international for Hungary.
Five days prior to the match against England on June 13, 1908, FIFA – acting at the instigation of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy – ruled that Čechy (Bohemia) was no longer an independent FIFA member. However, the match had already been officially announced on both sides and FIFA did not object, especially since the opponent was England. When FIFA went through the formalities and sent the papers to the Czech FA in Prague, the match had long been played, and so retained its official character.
In December 1908, a counter-FA was founded in Prague, but this organisation had no official status and could not hold full "A" internationals. The ČSF remained the only official Czech FA until the Austrian authorities banned it and it was dissolved it in 1916. Thus, Bohemia's football record comprised just six full "A" internationals.
In 1907, university sides in England founded the Amateur Football Association (AFA) to protect amateurism from the quickly spreading professionalism. The "Union des Sociétés Françaises des Sports Athlétiques" (USFSA) sympathised with the AFA, and moved that FIFA accept it as a member. However, FIFA only recognises one national association per country, and so stood by the "Football Association" (FA), whereupon the USFSA left FIFA. Thus, France's representative with FIFA was the "Comité Français Interfédéral pour la Propagande des Sports" (CFI, founded on March 23, 1907): provisionally from December 1908, and officially as of May 1910. Therefore, the USFSA-AFA matches in Paris on March 18, 1909 (0:8) and in Ipswich on March 12, 1910 (0:20) cannot be considered full "A" internationals. Likewise, the 11 goals which the 31 year-old Samuel Hulme Day of Cambridge University scored during the latter match do not count as a full "A" international record.
On May 16, 1901, playing on their home ground at Paso Molino on the outskirts of Montevideo, Albion FC held an international match – which the club itself had organised – against an Argentine team selected by J. O. Anderson. Albion FC had bolstered its side with two players from the Club Nacional de Football, their local rivals. However, prior to the match, the Uruguayan media only mentioned that their Albion side were to meet an Argentine select XI. Furthermore, the Uruguayan team (which lost 2:3) wore its own colours, there were none of the formalities which usually go with full "A" international, and Argentina never regarded this as a full "A" international. Clubs are not authorised to organise and play full "A" international. Hence, this match does not count as an official full "A" international for Uruguay.
The football associations of Chile and Argentina agreed to play a full international in Viña del Mar, Chile, on September 11, 1910. Playing before a crowd of 7,200 spectators, Argentina's national team beat Chile's 3:0. This match meets all the criteria for an official full "A" international, and is to be regarded as such for Chile. For inexplicable reasons, the Chilean papers did not report this match, and it was soon forgotten. The Chile-Argentina match (0:2) in Valparaíso on September 21, 1913, on the other hand, was not an official full "A" international, but only one of several matches played by an Argentine side which included many players who were not in the national team. This side toured Chile from September 14 to October 8, 1913, in effect helping them improve their game.
Many full "A" internationals were abandoned before the end of the first half, at half-time, or before the end of full time. The reasons were usually the weather, overcrowded stadia, unrest in the stands, decisions by the referee, or accidents. Up to the moment they were abandoned, these were in every way normal full "A" internationals as far as the national football associations, the players, the trainers, the referee, the spectators, the media and everybody else are concerned. Any bookings or expulsions by the referee remain in force and the players have earned their caps, even if they only played for a minute.
No national football association should have the right to annul an abandoned full "A" international and strike it from their country's record, nor should the players be penalised for something where they (or at least one of the teams) were not at fault. A national fotball association does not reimburse the spectators for the tickets and travel expenses if a full international is abandoned either. None of the preparations by the national teams or anything else to do with an abandoned full "A" international may be declared void. All of did in fact occur, and it required time, locality, effort and expense of all who were actively or passively involved.
Likewise, injuries sustained by players or spectators during a full "A" international that was abandoned cannot be undone by a simple declaration, and as medical care and insurance go must be treated the same way as are injuries sustained during a normal completed full "A" international. FIFA and IFFHS have therefore decided that abandoned full "A" internationals may not be annulled and should be included in the record listings. This ruling is logical and will to have effect worldwide. The Scotland-England match (1:1) which was played at Ibrox Park (Glasgow) on April 5, 1902, before a crowd of 80,500 spectators and which Irish referee James Torrans stopped at 51 minutes is to be regarded as a full "A" international by both sides. During this full international, a section of the newly-erected westside stands collapsed, killing 26 and injuring 587. None of this can ever be undone by either one of the two Football Associations involved.
South Africa's matches against Corinthians (London) in 1907 cannot be officially regarded as full "A" internationals, nor can the three matches which South Africa played in 1910 against an English league selection and which the English won: in Durban on June 29 (3:0), in Johannesburg on July 23 (6:2), and in Cape Town on July 30 (6:3). Neither Corinthians FC, with their non-English players, nor the English league party touring South Africa were authorised by the Football Association (FA) to play full "A" internationals for England. Likewise, when South Africa played in Buenos Aires before 8,000 spectators on July 15, 1906, it did not face Argentina's national team, but a league select XI (4:1), and the match was completely informal and unofficial. It can not therefore be considered a full "A" international for South Africa, nor did Argentina ever consider it as such. Either way, South Africa did very well on their South America tour in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil.
Amateurs and professionals
When the history of the full "A" international began on November 30, 1872, all British footballers were amateurs. Subsequently the English and the Scottish national teams of the day consisted entirely of amateurs, as did the Welsh and Irish teams starting in 1876 and 1882 respectively. When England legalised professional football in 1885, the English national team comprised both amateurs and professionals; uually two to eight amateurs, but as the turn of the century neared, England fielded an increasing number of professionals. There were only four full "A" international in the 19th century in which the English national team consisted entirely of professionals. During this early period of professional football (1885-1900), there also were two full "A" international – played on 12.3.1894 and 18.3.1895 – where England fielded an all-amateur team.
Furthermore after 1885 England's opponents were all amateurs from Scotland, Wales and Ireland – excepting a few professionals who played for English clubs. Only Scotland started fielding many more professionals in the national team after the Scottish FA legalised professionalism in 1893. Thus, the British Home Internationals saw amateurs, professionals and mixed teams (consisting of professionals and amateurs) all playing against each other.
Naturally, professional football gained in strength over time (decades) and drove out the amateurs from national teams. Yet, there were outstanding players, often highly educated, who for professional or moral reasons chose not to become professional footballers, but who despite less training and playing fewer matches (they only played in amateur leagues) kept up with the professionals or even surpassed them. Since amateurs were held in higher regard than professionals, the captain of the English national team was almost always an amateur during the 19th century, and often during the first decade of the 20th as well.
After the turn of the century, there were four international matches between 1902 and 1904 where England fielded an all-professional team, while their British opponents usually fielded teams consisting of both amateurs and professionals. During the first decade of the 20th century, the England national team usually included three amateurs, not least the exceptional forward Vivian John Woodward. In 1908 and 1909, a mainly professional English national team toured Europe and played against Austria, Hungary and Bohemia, whose national teams consisted entirely of amateurs.
During this decade, England also fielded an amateur national team, which starting on November 1, 1906, played full "A" internationals against the national teams of France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark and also played in – and won – the Olympic football tournaments in 1908 (London) and 1912 (Stockholm), although it participated under the name Great Britain. The best players of this amateur side had also been or were simultaneously members of England's professional national team.
FIFA and the IFFHS have decided that all matches played at Olympic football tournaments during the first half of the 20th century (beginning 1908) are to be officially counted as full "A" internationals. Furthermore, all matches played by the English amateur national team against the national teams from mainland Europe are likewise to be officially considered by both sides as full "A" internationals. In these matches during the first two decades of the 20th century played again two amateur teams under the regular conditions a full "A" international, analogous as the British Home Internationals were played from 1872 to 1885 and also later.
Therefore, until 1924, all full international played by the English (as well as Welsh) amateur national teams against non-British national teams until 1924 are to be considered as full "A" internationals by both sides, and take into consideration at the determination of all records. The contemplation of the Englishmen and the Football Association (FA) is total not logical. In their view, those full "A" internationals played by England from 1872 where the English team consisted entirely or mostly of amateurs, as well as those where England's professional national team played against an amateur side, would have to be annulled.
Dr. Alejandro Rodón (Brazil/USA)