2019/2020 English Premier League season is in the corner with the FA Community Shield encounter between Manchester City and Liverpool scheduled for this weekend on 4th August.
In a match that will be played on 4th August (FA Community Shield) – one week before 2019/ 2020 Premier League begins – either team will be looking for a victory to build confidence going into their new league season.
The Community Shield is an annual football match usually played between the winners of the previous season’s Premier League and FA Cup.
Since Manchester City won both competitions last season, their opponents will be the 2018/ 2019 Barclays Premier league’s runners up, Liverpool.
Wembley Stadium in London, England’s national stadium is the venue for this match -The stadium has an official capacity of 90,000 for football, but its largest attendance was 89,874 in the 2008 FA Cup final (Cardiff City vs. Portsmouth).
Manchester City’s appearance in this year’s Community Sheild will be their second in two consecutive seasons.
A brace from Sergio Aguero saw them beat Chelsea 2-0 in last season’s Community Sheild.
Who will be the referee?
Martin Atkinson has been appointed as the referee for this year’s FA Community Shield supported by McDonald’s.
In a rare occurrence, this will be his second FA Community Shield having previously refereed the match between Liverpool and Chelsea in 2006, the last person to do so was George Courtney in 1979 and 1990.
The 48-year-old official will be joined at Wembley for the game by assistant referees Sian Massey-Ellis, who becomes the first female to officiate in the Shield and Dan Cook. Stuart Attwell will be the fourth official and Neil Davies is the reserve assistant referee.
Meanwhile, the VAR official will be Anthony Taylor with Steve Child acting as his assistant.
New laws for 2019-20 set to operate
What makes this year’s FA Community Shield a mouth-watering encounter is a fact that new laws are set to be in force for the first time.
Notably, the ball not having to leave the penalty area at a goal kick, a player being substituted leaving the field at the nearest boundary point and a non-contested dropped-ball procedure.
As well, attacking players also are not allowed within one metre of a defensive wall.
History – FA Community Shield
The FA Charity Shield, as it was formerly known, was first played for in 1908. It evolved from the “Sheriff of London Shield” fixture that had been played annually between a leading professional club and a leading amateur club.
In 1904, for example, famous amateurs Corinthians (as in “the Corinthian spirit”) took on FA Cup holders Bury…and beat them 10-3!
Manchester United, who had just become Football League champions for the first time, beat Southern League champions Queens Park Rangers to win the first-ever Shield fixture. United won 4-0 after a 1-1 draw, with both matches being played at Stamford Bridge, and no Shield match has ever been replayed since then.
In 1974 FA Secretary Ted Croker proposed that “The FA Charity Shield” (its name from 1908 until 2002) should be played at Wembley as a curtain-raiser to the new season.
The match would feature the reigning League champions and FA Cup holders.
Before 1974, with the Shield a less prestigious fixture, the match was played at various club grounds and often involved teams who had won nothing at all.
The Shield has become one of the domestic season’s most important occasions and a crowd of 63,317 saw Arsenal beat Manchester United at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on August 2004.
The match was broadcast right across the globe, with a potential worldwide TV audience of 270 million.
While Wembley acted as host, from 1974 to 2000, well over £5m was distributed to charities by The FA, most of them nominated by the competing clubs.
The Shield is presented in partnership with The FA’s Community partner McDonald’s following previous sponsors One2One, AXA, Littlewoods and General Motors.
In 2012, The Shield was moved away from Wembley for one year and played at Villa Park in Birmingham. This was due to the use of Wembley during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The highest-scoring Shield match took place in 1911 when Manchester United beat Swindon Town 8-4. In the following year, some of the Shield proceeds were donated to the Lord Mayor of London’s “Titanic” disaster fund.
Neither team involved in the Shield match in 1950 was a club side. A “World Cup Team” comprising players from the England squad for the World Cup in Brazil defeated a “Canadian Touring Team” comprising players from an FA party that had toured Canada in the same year – 4-2 at Stamford Bridge.
In 1967 Tottenham goalkeeper Pat Jennings scored a goal from his penalty area against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Alex Stepney was the embarrassed keeper at the other end and the match finished 3-3.
The Shield was taken to Wembley in 1974 and 67,000 saw Liverpool beat Leeds 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. On a hot afternoon when tempers became frayed, Billy Bremner and Kevin Keegan were sent off.
In the 1980s and early ‘90s, the Shield was shared by the competing clubs for six months each when the match was drawn after 90 minutes. The penalty shoot-out was re-introduced in 1993.
Leeds and Liverpool played a seven-goal thriller in 1992. A rampant Eric Cantona netted a hat-trick for Leeds but was destined to become a Manchester United player during the season that followed.
Manchester United appeared in no fewer than seven Shield matches in the 1990s – winning four, drawing one and losing two. In 2003 they featured in their 22nd Shield match overall.
By John Dalton Kigozi