The Laws of the Game are generally very simple and are based on the principle of fair play.

Another consideration is safety.

In Law 12, for example, a player using excessive force is defined as far exceeding the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.

Using excessive force is, of course, a sending off offence and in this case the Laws consider the actions of one player against another.

There are other aspects of safety in the Laws, however.

Recent developments in the design of footwear with the introduction of blades instead of studs had many questioning whether this made boots dangerous and it is only in the last ten years that the blade type of sole has been generally accepted.

Other examples are that the corner flagpost must be not less than 1.5 metres with a non-pointed top and that players must not wear anything which is dangerous to an opponent, including jewellery.

One of the most important safety clauses in the Laws however is in Law 1, The Field of Play.

Recently a young goalkeeper from Powys in Wales died when the goalposts at a public park fell on top of him.

There have been similar tragedies in the past.

As far back as 1993, the International FA Board considered this matter after the death of a young American boy in the same situation.

This explains why the final section of Law 1, Safety, states that “Goals must be anchored securely to the ground.”

There are reasons for every one of the 17 Laws and the safety of players is probably the most important one.

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