Football or Soccer: the Great Debate

Football or Soccer: the Great Debate

Ask any Englishman this question and he’ll stare at you, give you a silly look and say “don’t be daft it’s football!”.  You’ll get the inverse reaction from an American. But why are these nouns so hotly contested between the two nations across the pond? At a first glance, it would seem that history would side with the British – the sport originated in England and has the most-watched and competitive league in the whole world. Consequently, the definitive, correct term to use for the sport is football. Maybe not.

Soccer is generally viewed by most as an American colloquialism meaning it was derived from football and adapted to soccer by English-speaking Americans. However, this is not the case. In actual fact, the word’s etymology traces back to Britain, not America. Given this fact, it is hard to decide which word is the correct one to use and perhaps the best answer may be that they are both equally correct in usage. But a further investigation may reveal which term for the Beautiful Game should be the standard one.

The general gameplay of football has existed in many forms through the centuries in that people would play a team game involving only using their feet to touch the ball. The actual rules of Football were written in 1863 with the onset of the Football Association and thus the game as we know it was born. Crucially, because football under the FA’s rules was known as association football, the name was shortened to something that was less of a mouthful to say – assocer. This was finally shortened down even more to soccer, and thus the root of the word is found. After having a change of mind, Britain eventually settled on the name ‘football’ and America adopted the name of ‘Soccer’ when the sport eventually spread across the sea.

After reviewing the history then, it is clear that the reason why the two names for the sport are so contested is that Britain couldn’t decide what it wanted it to be called. Despite this, the fact that football is the oldest name the world has to refer to the sport means that it can only be the definitive name for it. This is in the face of many other countries in the world denoting it as soccer. In fact, a good rule of thumb for any sports system is to use ‘soccer’ when the word ‘football’ can also signify a number of different sports.

One thing that Americans and Britons can agree on though is a shared love for sports betting. Whatever the game is called, the thrill of having a well-researched bet come through is something that both populations enjoy. Only the best odds can guarantee the best rewards and a list of top betting sites can be found at

CATEGORIES : International Sports


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