Friday, October 30, 2009

This Is the Second 'Soccer' World Cup

I've been referring to football, on this blog, mostly as "soccer." It's the American way. In the United States, another sport known as "football" beat soccer to the name.

But soccer also is a South Africanism.

Making this the second "soccer" World Cup. Following the 1994 World Cup -- in the soccer-not-football US of A.

The proof?

It's all over the South African media.

The Johannesburg Sunday Times? It tracks the sportr known as soccer. Never football. Soccer.

The Independent on Saturday in Durban? Soccer. Soccer. Soccer.

Even in Afrikaans, it's not football. Die Burger, in Cape Town, refers to "sokker" ... as does Die Beeld in Johannesburg. Making it a "sokker" country, in Afrikaans. (Though it could be some version of "football" among the black population.)

So, you futbol-football-fussball world ... you're playing for a soccer trophy next year.

I spent some time poking around, looking for the rest of the planet's "soccer countries," and it's actually a short lists. It has to be an English-speaking country, and it probably has to have some other sport that has appropriated the name of "football."

Actually, the list of soccer countries is only 4.5 countries long. The States and South Africa ... and Canada (which has Canadian football) and Ireland (which has Gaelic football and maybe doesn't call soccer "football" because the English do). There are the four.

And the half? New Zealand. The New Zealand Herald refers to soccer ... but the Dominion Post of Wellington calls it football. Apparently, the Kiwis haven't quite figured out what they want to call it.

You might expect Australia would be a "soccer" country, what with Australian Rules Football ... but the Sydney Morning Herald calls soccer "football" ... and Aussie Rules "Footy." Solved that problem.

If there are any other "soccer" countries out there, I'd like to hear about it.
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