Soccer is the world’s game. In fact, according to some statistics, it is popular throughout the continents of Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, and counts as much as 3.5 billion of estimated fans. In Australia, however, soccer has a lot of competition, from AFL to cricket. On the other hand, Aussie soccer fans think their favourite sport needs to be Australia’s top sport, and here are some reasons behind their claim.
It has been discriminated
Having arrived to the Land Down Under in the 19th century, soccer definitely had an opportunity to become Australia’s number 1 sport. This has obviously failed– it never really took off as a spectator sport. After the massive post-WW2 immigration intake from mainland Europe, soccer experienced somewhat of a revival. As a result, the migrants, reminiscent of their old countries, established the National Soccer League. Unfortunately, it succumbed to racism, which lead to its failure. Therefore, it’s not the nation’s lack of interest in the sport that prevents it from becoming Australia’s top sport, but rather other, sports-unrelated differences that lead to this unfair discrimination.
People don’t see the potential
Aussie soccer game isn’t exactly bad – the standard of Aussie stadiums is good and the media coverage is quite thorough. Despite this, when Sydney FC defeated Melbourne Victory in the 2010 grand finale, the players probably expected thousands of fans back in their hometown. Unfortunately, they were left wondering, “Where the hell is everyone?” as they were welcomed by a handful of a couple of hundred die-hard fans.
The problem lies not in the fact that people are uninterested in soccer (it is the world’s most popular sport, after all), but rather in the fact that loyal soccer fans are more impressed by the English Premier League, talking about Sunderland and Everton, than Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC. For some reason, going to soccer games isn’t a common pastime in Australia (a couple of years back, Sydney had its lowest-ever crowd of 7500!) and this needs to change!
It’s more than a game!
There is nothing you can say against the soccer fandom; it truly is the greatest in the history of sport! As proof, however, we have to choose a rather gloomy subject of soccer hooliganism. Having started in Britain and stretched throughout Europe, this plague has hindered and is still hindering the world of soccer! What’s the reason for such a level of loyalty, and why are these instances nowhere near similar in other sports? Both of these questions are, well, unanswerable, but do serve as an evidence – soccer is, for some, a religion!
The flags symbolising the unity of the followers, the collective cheers and groans and the adorning of the symbols of the team that they support all serve as facts that soccer is simply something else.
For one, even if you don’t prefer wearing your team’s shirt or jersey to the stadium, as a die-hard fan, you’re bound to have one at home, and an authentic one at that. This is important for a multitude of reasons – it displays your identity, shows pride and enables you to support your club financially by buying it in a professional soccer shop!
The same goes for other “fan” equipment – everything from caps and trinkets to mid-July scarves.
Soccer is more than a game and it’s about time that Australia got behind this!
No real soccer hooligan threat
Although some European countries still suffer from hooliganism, the smart policing approach, along with severe jail sentences, has rendered this plague a thing of the past in Great Britain. As the sport becomes increasingly popular, Australia too won’t have any trouble following in suit and rooting out soccer violence even before it sets in!
Aussie soccer has been discriminated and ignored for long enough; it’s about time that people saw its true potential and realised that soccer is more than a game – it’s a way of life!Please enter your text here