The Scottish Football Association (SFA) is the main authority when it comes to making the rules in Scottish football. The association was formed way back in 1873. This means that it makes Scotland the second oldest country in the world to introduce a professional football association.
The SFA is also a board member of the International Football Association Board which drafts the laws and the rules of the games. Naturally, the SFA is part of the biggest football organizations FIFA since 1910 and UEFA (1953). It is even a founding member of UEFA.
The SFA is located in Glasgow at Hampden Park, and the nearby Scotland Football Museum only completes the perfect football area. Their main role is to run the operations of the national football team of Scotland; as well as the Scottish Cup which takes place every year.
History of the SFA
Football in Scotland was known as early as the 1860’s, but it mostly referred to amateur football lacking any professional approach. After England had formed their own leagues, the Scots got tired of exporting their players and decided to form their own association, and subsequently league. The SFA was originally established by 8 clubs, i.e. Queen’s Park, Dumbreck, Vale of Leven, Clydesdale, Third Lanark, Granville, Eastern, and Kilmarnock.
Besides being responsible for the National Team, the SFA also organizes U-21 and U-19 national teams, as well as the Scotland B national football team. Women football is also in their hands by taking care of U-19 and U-17 women football teams, as well as the women national football club of Scotland.
The SFA also monitors its clubs and teams by making annual evaluations in four categories, as the first team support, grounds, youth team, and governance, whereby they also issue award in the form of licenses. The licenses can be issued at four levels, gold, silver, bronze, and entry level. All fully operating clubs and teams have to have at least an entry level certificate.
There are currently 88 clubs that are regulated by the SFA which come from different leagues like the Scottish Professional Football League, Lowland Football League, Highland Football League, East of Scotland Football League (with two clubs), 3 junior and two amateur clubs and 5 clubs in the South of Scotland Football League.
The SFA and the Major Leagues Merger
In Scotland, first, there was the Scottish Football League which was officially formed and incorporated in 1890, which did not always work smoothly experiencing hardships like financial problems and management issues. Nevertheless, the SFL was active until 1998, when its first division decided to part ways forming a new league on its own, the Scottish Premier League (SPL). The SFA approved of the new league but it also imposed certain conditions. The SPL operated until 2013, but yet again, the league collapsed, and both leagues, the SPL and the SFL decided to merge together yet again. Now, they ARE known as the single Scottish Professional Football League which is operated by its 42 member clubs and supervised by the SFA.