This is a common question that arises when referring to the sport that involves kicking a ball and scoring goals. But more than a question, it’s a banter between UK and USA and the rest of the world are just choosing sides.
Whether to call it “football” or “soccer” depends on your geographical location. In Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa, it is generally referred to as football, while in the USA, Canada, and Australia, it is commonly called soccer.
In this blog post, I’ll uncover why there are two names for a single game, “football” and “soccer” and their usage around the world.
Origins of the Terms
The terms “football” and “soccer” both have their origins in Britain. “Football” was the term used to describe any game played on foot in which a ball was kicked.
“Soccer,” on the other hand, was a nickname for “association football,” which was distinguished from other forms of football played in Britain at the time.
Over time, “football” became more widely used in most parts of the world, while “soccer” remained the dominant term in others.
Usage in Different Regions
As you may already know, the terms ‘football’ and ‘soccer’ are used differently around the world. What’s interesting is that even within certain countries and regions, there are individual preferences for which term to use.
Take, for example, countries like India and Pakistan, where some people are more influenced by American culture and language than British English, despite British English being one of the official languages in both nations and taught as a mandatory subject in schools.
Due to their inclination towards American language and culture, these individuals often opt for the term ‘soccer’ instead of ‘football.’
However, it’s important to note that ‘football’ remains the predominant term used in this region.
Historical and Cultural Context
The usage of “football” or “soccer” can also be influenced by historical and cultural factors.
For example, in the United States, “soccer” was adopted as a way to distinguish the sport from American football, which is a different sport altogether.
In some countries, the term “football” may be associated with a particular version of the sport, such as Gaelic football in Ireland or Australian rules football in Australia.
International Governing Bodies
The international governing body for the sport is known as FIFA, which stands for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association.
As the name suggests, the organization uses the term “football” to refer to the sport.
However, FIFA recognizes that different regions may use different terms and allows for the use of “soccer” in official communications and publications.
Some Important FAQs related to Football or Soccer topic:
1. Why do Americans call it soccer?
They call it soccer because that’s what is widely adopted in America and it distinguishes “Soccer” from another popular American sport “The American Football”, or just “Football” in American terms.
If there is any other term for “Soccer” in America, it’s “European Football”, and in Europe for “American Football” it’s “American Football”. 😀
2. Which Countries Call Football Soccer?
Following are the countries that call football soccer:
- United States
- New Zealand
- South Africa
England, Scotland, and Wales are the only English speaking countries that call it Football.
Before you leave…
If you want to know more about basics of football or soccer, check out our article on 17 laws of football.