It was a compromise between the different sets of rules which existed at the time. Until the mid-1800s football rules still varied across the regions. These rules were set by the English public schools and universities where the game initially developed. Team sizes ranged from 9 to 21. The 11-player team was standardised in 1870. It was probably influenced by the fact that a cricket team also has 11 players – cricket was the most popular team game in England at the time.
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