UK & World News

  • 16 January 2013, 6:35

Football Association Celebrates 150th Anniversary

The Football Association is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a lavish ceremony at the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London, where football's first rulebook was written.

Scores of football dignitaries will be in attendance, with every living former England manager among those invited.

Uefa President Michel Platini said the anniversary was a "milestone that is worthy of celebration by the entire worldwide football family".

"We were honoured to play our part in celebrating the anniversary of the oldest football association in the world," he said.

"To my mind, it is logical that this season's Uefa Champions League final will be played at the new Wembley - the new home of the Football Association."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter also paid tribute to the pioneering spirit of the oldest football association in the world.

He said: "It is a great honour and pleasure to congratulate the FA in this special year 2013 when they are in the festive mood for their 150th anniversary of its foundation.

"If you look back on the 26 October 1863 in the Freemasons Tavern in Great Queen Street, they were the pioneers.

"They called it the Football Association of England, but now it is called the FA, because it is the number one in Fifa."

The FA will use the event at the Connaught Rooms to highlight the work it does, both at professional level and in the grassroots game, given that it is responsible for all seven million officially registered players in England.

A year of festivities will also see high-profile friendlies against Brazil, Republic of Ireland and Scotland, while football legend Pele has been confirmed as guest of honour at the inaugural player of the year awards' night at St George's Park on February 3.

FA chairman David Bernstein said: "The coming year will be a terrific opportunity for us to showcase our work to the whole country and the wider world.

"It is a wonderful achievement for any organisation and I certainly hope it will capture the imagination in the way it has mine.

"From humble beginnings to today's global spectacle, we can be proud of this country's contribution to football."