Torquay, the first meeting after World War II

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When football re-emerged from the ravages of the Second World War, it took two years before the International Football Association Board got around to holding its first meeting in eight years. And then it chose a day in June 1947 which the superstitious would normally prefer to avoid: Friday the 13th.

That day, the delegates and their wives set out from London by coach and drove sedately first to Salisbury for lunch at the County Hotel, took tea at Exeter and arrived at their destination, the refined seaside resort of Torquay at 6.30 p.m. - nine hours for a journey which today takes three.

The meeting at the Imperial Hotel on Saturday lasted from 10 a.m. to 12.30 and began with approval of the minutes of the previous meeting - in Nice eigth years earlier, before the War had intervened. Sir Stanley Rous acted as secretary to the meeting and FIFA was represented by, among others, Henri Delaunay of France. The meeting discussed changes in Law XII on fouls and misconduct to specify the nine punishable offences and decided that opposing players must be outside the penalty area during a goal-kick.

Then it was off for a steamer trip up the River Dart and the next day a motor coach ride to tea on Dartmoor and a nine-hour drive back to London on the Monday.