Belgium v France 07.05.05

These days, of course, International football is the centre of  a multi million euro industry that involves sponsorship, media rights, endorsements...
It might be refreshing to look back at the earlier days, when the amateur ethic prevailed and there was an altogether more relaxed attitude to the arrangement and completion of fixtures. 
Let's look at one of the oldest continental football rivalries, Belgium against France.

The second meeting between the 2 countries took place on 7th May 1905  at Vivier d'Oie, Brussels  An attendance figure of 300 is recorded.

The first incident of note occurred when France objected to the inclusion of Eric Thornton in the Belgian side.  
Eric Thornton

Goalkeeper Thornton was British. He studied in Belgium and had represented Brussels University in the 1900 Olympic Games. Thornton played his club football with Leopold Club de Bruxelles. He had played an international for Belgium against Netherlands.  The French, however, were not happy at Belgium  having an Englishman in their line up and their protest delayed the kick off by an hour. 
Robert Hustin of Racing Club de Bruxelles was sent for to replace Thornton and so the match could begin...

Except that Belgium only had ten players...
Gustave Vanderstappen (Union St.-Gilloise) arrived at the ground late despite the hour delay.

But Belgium could begin with ten men, so the game could kick off...
Except that there was no referee...
Mr John Lewis, the highly respected English referee was travelling to Brussels to officiate in the match. Mr Lewis was an ardent traveler who clocked up thousands of miles in order to referee matches, always refusing to claim his expenses.  Mr Lewis had arrived in Brussels routinely. However, the coach taking him to the ground had got lost. Very lost...
Fortunately Rodolphe Seeldrayers was on hand. Herr Seeldrayers was a German, but his role in the development of Belgian sport is inestimable. He was a founder member of the Royal Belgian Union of the Football Association Societies. Later he served  as president of FIFA. The French had no qualms about him stepping into the breech.
Fifteen minutes of football, no goals , but the arrival , firstly of Vanderstappen to make his country's number up to XI, and then of Mr Lewis (suitably agitated I'm sure).
The 15 minutes played were allowed to stand. Mr Lewis relieved Herr Seeldrayers of the refereeing duties. 

Fernand Canelle 

Belgium were winning 4-0 when in the 65th minute the French reaped something of a reward for their earlier protest. Their own goalkeeper, Georges Crozier (Union Sportive Parisienne), was on military service. He had to leave in order to catch a train to get back to his barracks on time. Team Captain Fernand Canelle went in goal for the remainder of the match.
Belgium won the eventful encounter 7-0.