Seven billion people occupy the world we live in. We are all separated by hundreds of unique differences. Yet despite different cultures, languages, beliefs, etc. there are many different things that we all share. Soccer represents a giant bridge to that gap between cultures.
The Global Game can be found on every continent and in almost every country in the world. No matter where you are the language of soccer stays the same. A yellow card is a yellow card, a goal is a goal, and a foul is a foul. The sport creates a common ground for complete strangers to come together and just play.
Every four years the World Cup draws millions of fans and viewers to countries around the world. The previous men’s World Cup ESPN averaged 3.2 million viewers from the U.S. alone. This figure does not include the 114,000 persons per minute average for their site ESPN3. Not only does this event bring people together but it provides a tremendous economic boost to the host location. FIFA reported a $3+ billion revenue gain from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Even after the events are over, FIFA remains in the host country to establish programs to help out the communities and grow the game of soccer.
Not only does the game impact the financial aspects of the world, but it influences, and is influenced by, the cultures around it. In the video, Franklin Foer, mentions the how the clubs around the world represent the communities they are located in, even down to the name of the club. Club soccer, especially in Europe, also provides an escape for many African players to better their lives. In the 2010, European clubs owned the player rights to 80% (112/138) of African players participating in the World Cup. This included the Nigerian team belonging to a club in either Europe or Asia. This can provide a sense of hope to African children.
Events like the World Cup and the Euro Cup shed light on the beauty of different cultures around the world. Fans travel the globe and experience different cultures first hand. Even by watching on television we can experience the difference in cultures. Wether it is the dancing of Brazilian fans, the club chants of European teams, or the drums and horns of the African teams. Soccer brings out the beauty of the world.