• Jonathan Brannan

Is Soccer Really the World's Favorite Sport?

Is soccer really the world's favorite sport?


Yes, soccer is by far the most popular sport in the world


However, there are a few nations in which the sport has failed to dominate.


Ireland


Gaelic Football is the most popular of the Gaelic games and is played on a rectangular grass pitch with H-shaped goals at each end. Our game is high octane, full of speed, precision, accuracy and intensity.

It is played with a round ball and both hands and feet are used to control and pass the ball. There are 15 players on each team, with only 1 referee. The primary objective is to score by driving the ball through or over the goals. If the ball is sent over the bar of the goals, this equates to One Point. If it goes under bar, into the goalmouth, this equates to Three Points. The team with the highest score at the end of the match wins.

Australia


Sport has been an integral part of Australian culture since the founding of the nation, with sports like cricket, Australian rules football and rugby union being some of the most watched and played.

Australia’s sporting history is marked by great successes, stories and moments. Events like the Ashes, the Melbourne Cup and the America’s Cup have all helped form the Australian national identity in addition to their successes at the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Commonwealth Games.


Canada


Canada's most popular sport is ice hockey. Ice hockey originated in Montreal and is the official national winter sport of Canada. The Canadian Hockey League (CHL) was formed in 1975 and represents the three Canada-based major junior hockey leagues. The three member leagues are the Western Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. There are 60 teams total; 52 of which represent nine Canadian provinces and eight teams that represent four American states. The Memorial Cup is the CHL’s top award for the championship team. Canadian hockey teams also participate in the National Hockey League (NHL), the U.S.’s hockey league, to compete for the Stanley Cup. These teams are the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, and Vancouver Canucks.


China

China has long been closely associated with the martial arts, though its size and diversity means China is a great supporter of a huge number of other sports, as its successes in the Olympics testifies to. Basketball, football, table tennis and volleyball are all frequently watched and practiced.


India


Cricket is the most played sport in India, while football, hockey, badminton and tennis range in popularity depending on the area. Kabaddi is a sport that originated in India. A contact team sport, one player on each team runs into the opposition half and attempts to touch opposing team members then return to their home half. If the raider is tackled, however, the opposing team earns a point.


Japan


Popular sports in Japan include both traditional Asian competitions and more recent Western innovations. Sumo, judo, karate and kendo are inherently Japanese, massively popular and of great importance to the culture of the country, while baseball and football have also recently become commonly played.

Of course, becoming practiced at sumo or karate may take some time (and significant effort) for someone not from Japan, so it may perhaps be a little easier to break into Japanese culture via baseball or football.


Thailand


Similar to Japan, Thailand’s sports of choice are a blend of the more local, traditional events and popular Western games that have recently taken hold. These two histories are most evident in Muay Thai, a combat sport similar to boxing and, of course, football.

Special mention should also go to golf, as Thailand has been described as the golf capital of Asia, with more than 200 world-class golf courses nationwide, attracting golfers from all over the world to PGA and LPGA tournaments.


United States


Some say sport in the United States is going through something of a revolution at the moment. A slow revolution, but one all the same. The country’s most popular sports, American Football, basketball and baseball, while remaining very popular, are currently being caught up to by hockey and football, both of which are gaining popularity among young people.

Similar to China and the UK, the US enjoys great success in a variety of sports and really, whatever you most have an interest in, you will be able to find a community that shares your interest.

Conclusion

The truth of it is that it is typical for a country to generally gravitate towards a particular sport or two, but most, if not all of these countries will have all sorts of options depending on your experience, your preference or your ambition.

Any sport is a great opportunity to meet new people and form friendships. And every person has the right sport for them. If you haven’t found yours yet, keep looking no matter which country you are in and you are bound to find something which suits you.

If you’re still undecided, go with football. That’s generally a pretty safe bet.