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Why is Soccer Not a Big Deal in Canada?
Written by Geraldine
Published / 16 Jul 2018
Yesterday was a wrap on the FIFA World Cup 2018. Out of the original 32 participating teams, only one was left standing. There's only one thing we can say: Vive Le France! Yes indeed, France walked away with the coveted World Cup trophy in a 4-2 victoryagainst Croatia.
It's calculated that around 22.3 million people from around the world tuned in to watch the final of the World Cup on Sunday, 15th July. That's a lot of people, but the number is expected given the wide-spread mass popularity of soccer.
But why has it never picked up in Canada, land of hockey and football? Let's find out!
The love of soccer (or plain ‘football' as it is known in Europe) is mostly prevalent among immigrants who settle down in Canada. It's passed down to potentially a couple more generations, but at some point the dominant Canadian culture of hockey and football will take over.
Canadians largely see soccer as being a ‘hobby', a source of exercise and casual entertainment, as opposed to a serious competitive sport. This seriously inhibits the further development of soccer on an internationally competitive scale and really throws Canada behind.
No Professional Canadian Soccer League
Probably the biggest issue in furthering soccer's future in CA is that there is no professional Canadian League for the sport. This means that there is no alliance with FIFA (the guys behind world soccer), and also no real effort to recruit and filter through new talents.
In many Canadian provinces and towns, you'll definitely find soccer academies which train kids and young teens alike in the sport. But, again, this is a completely privatized business by soccer coaches and has no real relationship to a nation-wide incentive. Quebec is probably the province most known for its football, especially the Montreal team. But even here the team cannot really compete on an international basis.
With this situation, aspiring Canadian soccer players are often discouraged to pursue the sport as a career. Many make the switch to hockey or football at a young age, since this is where the money is in North American professional sports. If soccer really is the dream, most Canadian players end up playing for other countries' teams, probably European.
The Men's Soccer Team Sucks
This is a little bit like a snow-balling effect. Since not enough money and resources is invested into making great soccer players, there are no distinguished soccer players to speak of currently playing for Canada.
Men's soccer really does suck quite a bit, but the good news is that the women's soccer team is one of the top in the whole world. Heck, Canada even hosted the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup series. Now that's a big ocean of difference running between the men's sport and the women's sport.
What do you think about the soccer situation in Canada? Should Canada try and start competing on a professional level with the rest of the world? If it ever does – we'll have front row seats to the show!
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