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Cradle Of Football Is Not England, But Dalmatia!
By Ratimir Mocnaj | Published  09/12/2008 | Sports , History | Unrated
Ancient Illyrians invent popular sport


Cradle Of Football Is Not England, But Dalmatia!

Long ago, in the Sinjska krajina area, young Illyrian Delmata tribe warriors bided time by kicking a ball.

Forget about Old Blighty, whose descendants the English point out they were the first ones to systematically kick the ball about, making it a decent game. Don`t you dare mentioning the Chinese who, supposedly, passed each other ball-like props with their feet, backs and shoulders. As if the Japanese and the Greeks, or their juggling and passing, are credited for the invention of the game played at the moment in Austria and Switzerland.

CROATS have invented the most important game in the world, called football. In case you find yourselves in the company of people (meaning creatures) who question this, provide them with the ultimate argument, raise your chin up high and say: Croats existed before amoebas!

On a serious note, in the Sinjska krajina area, Trilj, (today Dalmatia, a region in Croatia) long ago in the 1st ct BC, young Illyrian Delmata tribe warriors, ancient residents of those areas, bided their time by passing each other a ball made from leather or bull hair.

This is the way it was until, unfortunate for them, conquering Romans came into the Cetina River area. The natives have courageously been fighting them off for a long time. The Delmatas could still not fight back against the powerful military forces, but on the other hand, the military forces could not resist kicking a leather ball with their feet.

Sinj-based amateur archaeologist Josip Bepo Britvic dedicated his entire life to proving and providing evidence for this theory. Taking a walk in 1947, in hometown Sinj, he saw a rooted relief on a façade, showing a young man holding… a "football".

- Dear! – Bepo probably thought. With later research Josip Bepo Britvic realised this was a monument from the 1st ct BC which was found and dug up from the Gardun hill near Trilj in mid-19th ct.

 Gaius Liberius
Cautious by nature, he did not want to jump the gun with the theory, because he was afraid how others might react. But, Bepo was hard-working, persistently gathered evidence and when he was sure his theory was irrefutable in 1970, he introduced the world public to the story. The carved character on the relief was Gaius Liberius, who lived and, it seems, played football in the vicinity of Trilj.

- I`m just claiming that football was played in Dalmatia 2,000 years – Bepo explained. He did not claim the Croats invented football, because this is neither historically nor methodologically accurate as 2,000 years ago, there were no Croats, believe it or not.

Britvic offered material evidence, and others offer legends. His revelation was great and soon the world recognised it, seeing how many in the world concluded that a sensation was in question.

FIFA, the International Football Association dedicated a cover of its magazine in 1969 to the archaeological discovery and work of Bepo Britvic, even officially confirming the credibility of his discovery, offering him help in further research. Such an accolade is rarely seen by professional archaeologists. But over 30 years have passed since, therefore it would not hurt to remember this great man and honour him.

Dalmatia is the cradle of football, therefore it should be no wonder that the Croatian footballers are the best in the word. We won`t exaggerate, in the entire universe. Let`s add that Vedran Runje, the goalkeeper who knocked out several balls from Poland, Slaven Zambata and Jozo Gaspar, the legendary Dinamo players, just like Gayus Liberius, are also from Sinj.


Formatted for CROWN by
  Marko Puljić
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