Monday, January 23, 2012

Football vs Soccer

One thing I fail to understand and accept is the use of the term “Soccer” when referring to the beautiful game. Where did this word come from? Who uses it? And why on earth would anyone call a game where a ball is kicked with the foot, anything other than Football? The British have taken a lot of pride in the fact that they invented the game and what not. However, that fact can be disputed, as other forms of the game were played and created elsewhere in the world –  the British were the ones who created the official rules for it and then enhanced its popularity around the world. They are also one of the harshest critics of the term “Soccer”; just like many other nations around Europe. But the irony of the British’s criticism is that they seem to forget that they’re the ones who created that term – not too sure many people are aware of that.

The term “Soccer” was created by the British to differentiate between different types of “Football” with a different set of rules – for example, Rugby Football. But in October 1863, several Football Clubs gathered around and created “The Football Association” – which was the first Football organization in the world. It became popular and suddenly Football became what everyone called the game. So as the term was gradually let go by the British, it somehow stuck in other parts of the world. Around the world there are still lots of people who use it. If you ever wondered about the power of American media, the use of the term “Soccer” is one of its finest examples. They might not be the greatest players of the game, even though that has been changing in recent years; yet they still refuse to accept the term “Football” to describe the sport. As for those who refer to it as "Soccer", it's mainly because a majority of them were probably brought up surrounded by popular American media or were educated in American schools around the world (that doesn't mean it's not used elsewhere and for different reasons).  

Anyways, here's John Cleese explaining why the use of the term “Soccer” is silly (even though he’s English and most of my favorite Football TV shows include the word "Soccer") and why referring to “American Football” as “Football” doesn't make sense. Nobody in Europe calls the game "European Football" to differentiate it from that other thing they play in America. I’m part of the “Anti-Soccer” but “Pro-Football” brigade. You use your Foot and you kick a Ball. It’s Football, not Soccer. Please, don’t let American propaganda try and convince you otherwise. 



  1. Soccer- a word invented by the English and used by them (see the TV show “Soccer AM”). A word used in Canada, the US, Ireland, and Australia to refer to association football due to those nations having their own games called football. Just get over it. Do British people get upset when Americans don’t call trucks “lorries” or TV sets “tellys”?

  2. Being non-european makes me disapprove of the term even more. It's a term invented by the English, but abandoned by them as well.

    It's called "Football" - there's no other sport that makes better use of the word.

  3. I like watching soccer more, to me it's more exciting. Also there's a lot more action and physical skill involved. I get bored very fast watching American Football.

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  4. As the game gets bigger, better, & more popular in the US, more & more americans will call it football. Football describes the sport, soccer is a meaningless word. When people put soccer down, many lovers of the game adapt by calling it football, its true name. Haters, prepare for the NFL to become the NGL, that's right, the National Gridiron League, cos the MLS will become the MLF, Major League Football. Football, the worlds number 1 sport!

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