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Soccer – Really The World Game


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Soccer: What terrific memories, thoughts and excitement that word generates. At this moment the world is in the throes of the World Championship of Football – yes, I call it football, because I believe it to be the only true “foot” ball game. Just imagine if you will the number of people who are tuning in to watch their country – if they have qualified, compete on the stage of the biggest sporting tournament the world has to offer. The great thing is that all nations hold some interest in this spectacle. It is something tangible from South America to Australia. From Asia through Europe to the United States.

Imagine if you will the passion of supporters of these nations, when they score a goal to either give them the advantage in a particular match, or even more thrilling the winning goal in the World Cup final itself!

OK, now we’re in the mood of things, take into consideration that there are people on this planet who have little or no interest in this event or the build up to it. The folk to whom I refer, are those that pursue the pleasure of the other “football” codes on offer in this diverse world of ours.

Let me explain: We have a few other codes of football played worldwide. The United States have their own particular brand and in other countries Rugby League and Rugby Union are followed with a degree of passion, the latter reaching euphoric status in countries like New Zealand. There is another form of football played in Australia called Australian Rules football affectionately known as “footy”, although I tend to dismiss this game as somewhat of a novelty sport, because it has never really been played worldwide and can’t be compared favourably to the other codes as a spectacle, mainly because of lack of foresight from administrators. That doesn’t mean to say that it doesn’t have a strong following.

Let me say this first of all. Whichever of the ball games is your cup of tea, fine. I can live with that. It’s just the title of your sport that I find somewhat odd. I have heard criticism of football – the real football I mean – making jibes about the ballet-type heading prowess of some of the players and the acting talents of some of its professional participants and, to a degree I cede to that.

But, facts are facts, irrefutable and concrete. This sport is the only football code that encourages the use and skill with the feet for its players. The word, my friends, is “football”.

In all the other codes mentioned above, ninety per cent of the time the ball is held in the players’ hands. OK so they kick it occasionally – very occasionally in the US version. Incidentally, there could be an argument for not calling that particular code “football” at all when you take into consideration they only call someone on to the playing arena as a specialist to actually kick the ball to either start a game or add “bonus” scoring points to a team’s total.

Enough is enough. I could go on forever. Don’t think we could ever get to a court of law with this one, because everyone will have their own opinion about their own favourite, but I reckon I’ve given a good argument for Soccer being the true and only Football.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Soccer

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  • Posted On January 6, 2007
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