football or soccer in Ireland

Discussion in 'English Only' started by majlo, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. Hello,

    A friend of mine told me that people in Ireland call football soccer, just like Americans. Could you please confirm or deny it? Thank you in advance.
  2. belén

    belén Ex-Moderator

    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca
    I guess that's actually a question for English only...
    Moving it there :)

  3. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    In my part of The Island, football is called football most of the time. Soccer is understood, of course, but would probably be considered an English term, mostly.
  4. I see. Do you think that in some parts of The Island people call football (of course I mean here the most popular sport in the world, not American football) soccer? Can it be true? BTW, what is your part of The Island? :) Do you live near Cork?
  5. MrPedantic Senior Member

    UK, English
    I don't often hear the word "soccer" in England. I think it was more common in the days when people also referred to rugby as "(rugby) football", and wanted to distinguish between it and "(Association) football". ("Soccer" derives from "Association".)

  6. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Sorry, majlo, I'm up at the top end, Northern Ireland.
    In Ireland we also have Gaelic Football, known as "gaelic" - and of course rugby football, known as "rugby"
    Up here we have rugby, football and gaelic.
    Very occasionally I would hear of soccer.

    You need a volunteer from the bottom half of The Island, but Tony seems not to be around just now:D
  7. maxiogee Banned

    I'll leave my phone number so you can ring me when I'm not around! ;)

    Tony has explained (frequently, it seems) that yes, "Association Football" is known as soccer in Ireland - this is because, as Panjandrum has mentioned, we have several codes of football sports which are all highly popular. Our homegrown brand - Gaelic Football - got the word 'football' first.
  8. Johnny Blaze

    Johnny Blaze Junior Member

    Yeah that's right, we call it soccer. You can call it football as well though, everyone will know what you mean.
  9. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    I know the query is about the use of "soccer" or "football" in Ireland, not in England, but there have been references to usage in England. My feeling is that, in England, a vast majority of people would talk about "football" (not referring to the American variety of course) and "rugby".

    In my experience, "soccer" is mostly used by Americans, who want to differentiate it from "American football", which they tend to call "football", and sometimes - even! - regard as the only 'real' form of "football", even though English-style football predates American-style football, but we can leave out the history for now...:D

    It'd be interesting to hear whether Australians use "soccer" or not, and how - since they have "Aussie rules" too, which is perhaps a bit closer to Gaelic football or rugby than it is to 'regular' football.
  10. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    Australians usually say soccer.

    In New South Wales and Queensland where Rugby League is popular, football/footy usually means rugby.
    In the rest of the country where Australian Rules Football is popular, football/footy means Aussie Rules.

    The major competition is the Australian Football League, abbreviated to AFL, so Australian Rules Football is often referred to as AFL.

    The soccer aficionados pretend that football means Association Football, and recently changed the name of the Australian Soccer Federation to the Australian Football Federation. They also like to call it 'the world game'.
    The other codes of football think that they are up themselves.

    Soccer is widely played by kids, but at the professional level it runs 3rd behind AFL and Rugby League in popularity with the paying public.

    The Australian national team is still called the Socceroos.

    In New Zealand, football means Rugby, and the FIFA game is soccer.
  11. giannid

    giannid Senior Member

    USA English
    When I was in Ireland it was always called soccer.
  12. maxiogee Banned

    It appears that, in any culture, the word "football" is used to refer to the predominant foot ball sport - be it American Football, Australian Rules, Rugby Football, Gaelic Football or Association Football —> does anyone notice the connection here?
    The locals drop the first part of the "official" name, and other codes must be refered to by another word.
  13. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK

    Fair enough - it is obviously what is happening here, i.e. people say "football" when referring to what they are most familiar with and, as a result, what they tend to regard as the "legitimate" form of the game.


    I know this is not about Australia, but why "Rugby League" and not "Rugby Union"? Unless I am wrong (and I don't claim to be a sports expert, far from it!), in England, Rugby Union is the more common form of rugby and the one practised in the World Cup, and Rugby League is the less commonly played form of the game. But maybe Australia has only one "league" for rugby football, and it is of the "union" variety, as per the English terminology, and that's indeed what we are talking about here?
  14. maxiogee Banned

    Again, James, I think it is because Rugby Union began first and colonised the name "rugby", so that when the League was formed so that players could be paid, they had to be Rugby League.
    I don't think it has anything to do with playing in a 'league' - league competitions have been played in Rugby Union for a long time.
  15. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    You are most probably right - I am not competent to comment on this one. But League Vs Union also entails a different number of players, not just whether they are paid or not. And it does not explain the use of the term 'league' for what seems to be 'union' in Australian rugby, but only an Australian can answer this one - and we are (guiltily) straying away from the issue of soccer in Ireland! :)
  16. Canisius New Member

    English - [Ireland]
    As an "inmate" at a Christian Brothers school in the north of Ireland in the late 1970's I can attest that the game known around the world as football could only be referred to as "soccer". "Football" referred only to Gaelic Football.
    Furhermore, when in possesion of a football, any attempt to play a game of soccer was strictly forbidden on the school grounds. Any such transgression merited a dose of "the strap" - if not excommunication.

    I imagine that attitudes softened somewhat after the success of the Republic of Ireland football [soccer] team in the late 1980's and early '90's.
  17. giannid

    giannid Senior Member

    USA English
    Well they still won't let them play soccer in Croke Park, and probably never will.
  18. maxiogee Banned

    They will - that's all been changed.
    The IRFU ground at Lansdowne Road is to be redeveloped and a new stadium will be built - planning permission has just recently been granted. Whilst the work is going on the IRFU and the FAI will be renting Croke Park for international matches.

    Money talks in this day and age, and it talks louder than ancient idiotic animosities!
  19. giannid

    giannid Senior Member

    USA English
    That's news to me. Thanks for the update. I remember they couldn't build a decent national stadium a few years back because the gaelic games people didn't want to share it with the FAI. That and it was going to cost a couple billion to build.
  20. maxiogee Banned

    You have it all wrong.
    The GAA don't need a "decent national stadium" - they rebuilt Croke Park themselves, from their own funds and were given an, unrequested, government grant towards the end of the work.
    The "decent national stadium" was a government attempt to railroad the GAA into joining into a four-way enterprise with the IRFU, the FAI and the government to build a monster stadium which would never really be used. It became known as "The Bertie Bowl" (named after the Prime Minister who dreamed it up). At first it was to be all-singing, all-dancing, with a velodrome and an athletics track. There was no agreement on who would have precendence in using it and the GAA has a huge number of fixtures which they would have wished to have there, and failing it being available they would have nowhere else to stage them. They would still have needed Croke Park.
    Not without reason, they declined to join in. This was after the project was costed and was found to be whoppingly expensive. The velodrome was dropped first as it lengthened the "field area" (and therefore the overall length and width of the building) considerably. This didn't really lower the cost significantly. The GAA felt that they were being manouevred into a position which they felt was invidious and they justifiably withdrew. They have never sought outside funding - being fully self-sufficient. The old anti-British "ban" has disappeared but the caution regarding "foreign games" remains, as they feel that the allure of Soccer is a cause for the lack of talent in many areas. Many, many city children dream of picked scouted for English soccer clubs and there are numerous teams and leagues at junior level. This impacts GAA clubs greatly in these areas.

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