Hey, It’s Soccer, Not Football

In June 1990, a few days before the FIFA World Cup began, the renowned US magazine, ‘Time’, wrote: “but most of them (Americans) find soccer — which the rest of the world perversely calls football — a frustrating, often impenetrable game. What kind of sport is it, after all, where players can’t use their hands, pass the ball with their feet, butt it with their heads, only rarely score goals and touch off stadium riots when they do?

This is what a ‘responsible’ magazine like ‘Time’ wrote about football. Let’s lay Time’s words on a dissection table. Firstly, “soccer-which the rest of the world perversely calls football.” What else should we call a game in which the ball is played with the feet? Should we call it ‘handball’? In horse race, people ride horses. That is why it is called ‘horse race’. Same is applicable to car race.

Second, “What kind of sport is it, after all, where players can’t use their hands, pass the ball with their feet, butt it with their heads”. What did the magazine want to suggest – should the players be allowed to use their hands, should not be allowed to pass the ball with their feet and can’t butt the ball with heads?

How juvenile it would sound if someone opine: “In fencing, the combatants should be allowed to kick and punch their opponents.” “Boxers should be allowed to bite each other’s ears off.” Are you surprised? But, that is what ‘Time’ wanted to say to its readers.

In the following paragraph of the article they wrote: “But when the games kick off in Italy this week, Americans would do well to join the 1.2 billion soccer nuts from Beijing to Sao Paulo who will be glued to their TV sets”.  “Soccer nuts” – that is what the magazine would call football fans, buffs, or aficionados.

To be not ‘nutty’ one has to watch/play baseball, Super Bowl or at least the NBA. Or, only sane people watch those games. By the way, Americans call a ball game that is also played with hand “football”. They refuse to call it American Football, which is more understandable. Or they could call it ‘Rugby’.

I am now wondering why the Americans sent a team to play in an international sporting event where ‘hands’ are not allowed, and a “frustrating and impenetrable” game? Why did/do millions of Americans watch the event? To go nuts? Good that they did not make it to the next phase of the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

In most cases, which has global significance or that needs a consensus, the US prefers to remain a rogue nation. It is always like the US Vs the rest of the world.

The expansion of FIFA, the international organisaton that organises the World Cup, is Fédération Internationale de Football Association or International Federation of Association Football. They recognise the game as football.

 They refuse to accept you’re right and they’re wrong even in the presence strong evidences. If they call a tiger ‘dog’, the rest of the world should also follow the same suit. If they call a bird ‘cat’, they expect you to do the same. If you don’t, you are nuts and uncivilized. You’re a but a stupid.


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