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Player numbers

This content was published on March 18, 2008 - 09:56

We are so used to it that we don't even notice it anymore: footballers – and various other sportsmen and women – are numbered like ping-pong balls in a lottery. But it hasn't always been the case. The wearing of numbered jerseys started in 1912 for a match between two teams in Sydney, Australia. It took another 15 years for this idea to reach Europe, taking hold first in England. The world footballing governing body Fifa eventually adopted the idea and numbering made its debut in the World Cup in Switzerland in 1954.

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