The invention of penalty kick in the world of football was initiated by former goalkeeper and businessman, William Mccrum in 1890 in Misford Ireland.

The Irish presented the idea to the international football governing body that year but it was only accepted on June,02,1891 during the association’s meeting.

The penalty kick law came to replace the indirect free kick policy that had been existing in the game since 1872.the law was applicable on handball and other offences witnessed during the game.

The coming of penalty kick decision laid emphasis on handball and serious offences involving physical contact. The penalty was executed by players at the time, 2m from goal line.

The penalty area was introduced in 1902(a rectangle of 18 yards ) by dimension. It during this time that the penalty spot came to existence (12 yards from goal post).

In the beginning, a penalty was awarded only after an appeal and there was no restriction on dribbling. The ball could be kicked in any direction but the goalie was allowed to advance 6 yards from goal line.

The first world’s penalty kick was awarded to Airdrieonians in 1891 at Bromfield park while the pioneer penalty kick in the football league was given to Wolverhampton wanderers in a match pitting Acrrigton at molineux stadium on September,14,1891.

Billy heath scored to make it five for his team wolves.

A penalty is very decisive in low scoring encounters and it is used used in most football tournaments to determine a victorious team after a draw.

A good number of laws have existed in football history to regulate the penalty exercise.

In 1905 goalkeepers were required to remain on the goal line during the exercise. In 1923, all other players were required to be at least 10yards from penalty spot and being outside penalty area.

In 1937,an arc commonly known as the “D” was added to pitch marking to assist in the enforcement of 10 yard restriction and the goalie was expected to stand between the goal box. While in 1995 players were to stand behind penalty spot.

Feinting during a penalty kick exercise has remained a major problematic in the world of soccer but FIFA is gradually bringing up restrictions on the phenomenon.

Nkenyi Romeo

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