Thursday, July 03, 2014

The World Game

Football is supposedly the world game, but it's questionable just how global it really is. For all the internationalism of the World Cup it's pretty obvious that based on the quality of the teams Asia and Africa are significantly overrepresented compared to Europe and South America. The game has always had two centres of gravity from which 75% of the best players and 100% of the best coaches come from-  the Western Europe and the cone of South America.

So far eight different teams have won the tournament- all from those core zones- and an additional  four teams have reached finals but never won- all European although in the case of Czechoslovakia and Hungary a little bit outside the core.

Of the top ten most populous nations on the planet, only 5 are at the World Cup, only 6 have been at a World Cup in the last 50 years. Most don't have sustainable professional leagues either, whatever passion they have for the game doesn't seem to extend to playing it.

Football is not yet a genuine world game even if it is closer to being so than any other sport.


Mark said...

'Cone' of SA is a bit of a misnomer, given the size of Brazil.

They won yesterday largely by kicking a 'non cone' SA country, Columbia, off the pitch (the nasty injury suffered by Neymar notwithstanding). And tonight, Costa Rica may surprise the Dutch !

Ross said...

Brazil is big but the large majority of their footballers are from the South and South East, going through their squad only four appear to be from north of Belo Horizonte.

James Higham said...

The rise of Germany A [America] is helping though.