Football (Soccer): Popularity

Figure 1.--Soccer is the single most important sport and is played all over the world. It is most popular in Euope and South America, but has grown enormously in Africa during recent years. One factor in the growing popularity of soccer is that no equipment is needed for younger children besides the ball. And in some cases a substitute can even be found for the ball.

Soccer today better known as football has an enornous following around the world. Not other sport is so widely followed. Hundreds of millions if not billions follow their favorite loval and national teams around the world. Only in the Muslim world has the enthusiasm for soccer, but this is primarily because the interest in sport in general been muted by an overwealming concern with religion. It is not entirely clear why soccer has emerged as the single most important sport around the world. Of course being a British sport it got a leg up, rather like Scouting, by being spread throughout the British Empire. This does not, however, have explain why it prevailed over cricket anhd rugby. This is especially the case because scoring which is the most exiting aspect of any sport is relatively rare in a soccer match which is usually decided by only 1-3 goals. One important factor is that virtually no equipment is need to play soccer. There is equipment needed to play the game at a high level, but all boys need is the ball. And children can begin to plsy, or at least play at, soccer at a very young age. The only real requirement is the ball. This is a tremendius advantage in much of the world where children can not afford expensive equipment. This has been a major factor in Africa amd Latin America. Soccer began to grow in popularity in America during the 1970s, especially with younger children. Both boys and girls played. this is not the case in much of the rest of the world where it is mostly played by boys. This was especially true in California, but steadily extended throughout the United States. Soccer has not, however, become a major professional sport in America.


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Created: 12:27 AM 12/11/2010
Last updated: 12:28 AM 12/11/2010