23. In 1440, the Bishop of TrÃ©guier banned football, and threatened to excommunicate people caught playing it
Football used to be a far different, vastly more violent, game than modern soccer. Until the 19th century, âfootball’ involved hundreds of players in two teams physically fighting over a pig’s bladder. The game’s only rule said that you won a game by carrying the ball to a predetermined point. Mob violence, widespread destruction, and even death commonly accompanied a game. Kings across Europe banned football on many occasions, but none went so far as the Bishop of TrÃ©guier. In 1440, he banned the âdangerous and scandalous’ sport in his diocese. Anyone ignoring the bishop’s law faced excommunication!