Football as a Social Phenomenon

What makes football so popular? In his short essay, Kalle Nurk, an Estonian sociologist, tries to analyze the reasons that make football the most widely practised (and watched) sport in the world. The main goal of this work is to inspire readers to score with their own ideas to think further on the subject.

A large number of people sitting in their seats, whistling, tooting and yelling while watching 22 men chase a ball in a field covered in grass. Is this some kind of a strange ritual? At least, it would seem so to a foreigner’s eye. Football, as we know it today, has become a global phenomenon.But how, where and when did it emerge? The origin of modern football The direct predecessor of this popular sports game is considered to be the Shrovetide football or “mob football” which was played throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. This form of football, being particularly popular in England, was played between neighbouring towns and villages, involving an unlimited number of players on opposing teams who tried to move an item such as an inflated pigs bladder to certain geographical points (such as the opponents church). In some English towns (Alnwick, Ashbourne etc. ), the tradition of Shrovetide games is still preserved today.

The modern game of football was codified in England in 1863. The Laws of the Game devised by the Football Association created the foundations for the way the sport is played now. Success factors So, what are the factors that have turned football into worldwide entertainment, the king of sports? 1. Simple rules. When observing the game for the first time, one need not make much effort to get the hang of it. 2. The feeling of social cohesion.

Whether you are watching the game on a stadium or at home in front of the TV set, it is always great fun to comment the match together with your friends. 3. Big stars and large amounts of money.Footie ace David Beckham continues to earn mega bucks. According to Newstrack India, Becks raked in a whopping 24,4 million pounds last year thanks to his salary at American club LA Galaxy, and his very lucrative advertising deals. Brazilian star Ronaldinho comes second with 16,3 million pounds. 4.

Betting. Some people are willing to bet on their favourite team, hoping to win money. The most prestigious betting centre in the world is perhaps the William Hill which was founded already in 1934. 5. Football accessories and fan culture. Football has ingrained itself into the national culture in many countries.People read football magazines, buy and wear football clothing (for example T-shirts with a team logo), sing football chants and show other kinds of support for their home team.

6. Do-it-yourself approach. After watching an interesting game, you may gather your friends for a heated match that could take place even in your home garden. Symbolic meaning We must also keep in mind that people tend to ascribe symbolic meaning to the results of football matches. For example, a goalless draw can mean very different things depending on the opponent. The 0:0 score against Spain would be a big victory for the Estonian team.The same result against Bulgaria could be considered neutral, while hitting no goals to Andorra would count as a disaster.

Of course, the importance of a match varies greatly depending on the playing level. World Cup games always bring a bigger crowd to the arena compared with friendlies. And naturally, there are some extra heated matches that take place between neighbours (for example Estonia against Latvia or Russia) where the game inevitably holds a political meaning. Fair or unfair game? In November 2006, Roman Abramovich, the owner of English football club Chelsea was accused of distorting competition in European football.With reason. The wealth of the Russian billionaire often allows the club to purchase players virtually at will (frequently at inflated prices), without regard for the effects on the club’s financial outturn. Smaller clubs like Bayern Munich for instance, cannot afford financial losses from transfers.

So, is it fair that some clubs have such kind of advantage over others? Certainly not. Fortunately, money cannot buy titles, and the players are always those who have to prove their abilities. As long as there is eleven versus eleven players in the field, everything is possible. ConclusionFootball has spread itself all over the world – the number of national teams exceeds the number of independent countries. Cities, towns and even small villages have their own teams. Whether it is the spirit of the game, the emotions of players, the brilliant technique, or the breathtakingly beautiful goals – everyone finds something to enjoy about football. Considering all these factors that contribute to the immense popularity of the game, we can be certain that the king of sports is going to stay here for a very long time.

Used sources Association football http://en. wikipedia. rg/wiki/Association_football 25. 10. 08 Becks beats Ronaldinho to become footballs top earning star http://www. newstrackindia. com/newsdetails/5199 25.

10. 08 Football http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Football#British_Shrove_Tuesday_games 25. 10. 08 Football culture http://en. wikipedia.

org/wiki/Football_culture 25. 10. 08 Roman Abramovich http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Roman_Abramovich 25. 10. 08 Rummenigge hits out over Chelsea’s massive spending http://www.

guardian. co. uk/football/2006/nov/28/newsstory. bayernmunich 25. 10. 08 William Hill Online Sports Betting http://www. willhill.

com 25. 10. 08

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