Talk:Association football

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: I've never heard of this sport being called "Association football".
A: The term "association football" is the original name for the sport. However, its usage has diminished in recent years, with different cultures developing their own word(s) for the sport. Even the word "soccer" derives from the -soc- in "association".
Q: Why not just "Football"?
A: This is because there are several sports that are known as football in different countries. For example, in the United States, American football is primarily referred to as "football", while the same is true of Gaelic football in Ireland, Canadian football in Canada, Rugby union in New Zealand, and Rugby league or Australian rules football in Australia. The title "association football" avoids any ambiguity over which code of football is being referred to, and also removes the potential for accusations of bias towards any particular code. Meanwhile, the Football page is a "broad-concept article", providing a general overview of all of the sports named "football".
Q: Why not "Soccer" then?
A: In the United Kingdom, the usage of the term "soccer", a term which originated in South East England, is sometimes viewed as being derogatory, or an example of American culture being forced onto the rest of the world. Therefore, although the word "soccer" would be an unambiguous title for this article, there would be discontent from a large number of people who object to their word for the sport being ignored. Others point to "soccer" being the most widely used name for the sport in English-speaking nations—however the statistics for this are not readily available or are confusing (e.g. India is the largest country with English as an official language and refers to the game as "football", but English is not the primary language for most Indians) and others where countries change their official name for the sport (as Australia have done by now referring to the sport as "football", renaming Soccer Australia to Football Federation Australia and changing the local associations' names to reflect this, whilst the general populace refer to the game as "soccer").
Q: What about "Football (soccer)"?
A: On Wikipedia, the placing of a word in parentheses in the title of an article is used as a method of disambiguation, with the parenthesised word usually being a set of which the article's subject is a part. Therefore, the title "Football (soccer)" implies that football is a form of soccer, which is not the case.
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Use of Association Football in Australia[edit]

Could the editors here take a look at Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(Football_in_Australia). There is an attempt by supporters of Australian Rules football to prevent football being called Association football as per the consensus here. Considering that the FAQ at this talk page specifically mentions Australia & Australian Rules, shouldn't we be working to prevent such inconsistency with Association football being used in Australian football articles? Thanks. Macktheknifeau (talk) 00:21, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Yet again you are incorrectly labelling and classifying those with whom you disagree. You also failed to mention that the whole process was mediated by User:John, who is clearly NOT a supporter of Australian Rules football. HiLo48 (talk) 00:59, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
  • The FAQ only mentions Aussie Rules in the context of explaining why "football" is not used for this article, i.e. because of the significant number of countries and populations where "football" has some other meaning. There is no consensus to use any one term everywhere. So you have "soccer" used in relation to the United States and Canada, and you have "football" used in relation to most (all?) European and Latin American countries. It's up to users (most likely Australian users) to figure out what the best position would be in relation to Australia. My concern is that at present there is an absurd mixture of multiple naming variations being used, and inconsistency between articles and categories. Jmorrison230582 (talk) 07:57, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I wish people would stop making the argument that what a sport is called in German or French or Spanish should somehow influence what a word should be in English. "most (all?) European and Latin American countries" do not speak English. I call pain perdu French toast, and I, like most speakers of English, call the sport soccer. Yes, some native speakers of English call soccer football, so there is room for debate, but the debate does not include "most of europe" or any of latin america. (same, btw for "America", it's what English speakers use that counts. New England is not England, and Latin America is not America) (talk) 21:19, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
As soon as people stop coming to English-speaking countries from countries where the name of the game is a direct translation of "football" then we can safely assume that they will not directly translate the name of the sport back to English. My father lived in Canada from 1958 until he died in 1994. During that time he rarely called the sport "soccer". He called it "football", "Fußball" and "Fútbol" (he was born in Paraguay, raised in Germany, married in Paraguay and lived in Argentina). Most of our friends and relatives who were born outside of Canada also called it "football" or occasionally "football (soccer)". So while there are correct terms in English, the influence of foreign languages on English is a bit more complicated than you state. Maybe it's different in Manhattan though. Walter Görlitz (talk) 21:33, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
you are asking me to include immigrants... not sure that's a good idea, but for the sake of argument OK, still not a majority. "My dad says" is also not a great reason. Also, you calle "football" in a foreign language a direct translation... false, it's not a translated word, it's a borrowed word, but when translated into English it would need to change in translation, to "soccer". It's annoying that I'm making a valid argument and you are ignoring it. I don't go to Germany and say "careful, football means something different so you should change your word" because football is a German word. I'm simply saying that declaring that France, Germany, and Spain use the same word for something is not a compelling argument in English. (talk) 22:13, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
If you went to Germany, and you were to speak in German, which oddly enough is the official language there, there is only one word for the game: Fußball and you can't say that there is a different meaning for the word. Oddly enough, in Germany "football" means the gridiron game and Fußball means this sport. If you choose to speak in English to the Germans, and why not, it's the current lingua franca, regardless what you say "football" means, the Germans will graciously smile at you, take your tourist dollars and laugh at your ignorance behind your back. That's pretty much what the rest of English speaking world does to Americans on this subject anyhow.
While I agree that we should exclude "foreigners", let's take a look at your local teams that play this sport. We have New York Cosmos and New York Red Bulls. But next year, you'll have another team: New York City FC What's that "F" mean to you? And while your at it, Chicago has a team in MLS, and it's the only one that uses "soccer" in its title. When NYC FC joins MLS next year, five of the twenty teams will be "football clubs". And in the NASL, currently three of the ten teams are "football clubs" and the three expansion teams are going to be "football clubs" too. More and more teams are using "football club" at lower levels as well so it looks like the argument is being settled in the way it usually is in the English language: by usage.
So you don't seem to have a compelling argument for "room for debate" when your countrymen are abandoning you. Walter Görlitz (talk) 22:46, 29 June 2014 (UTC)
I endorse that concern, and extend it to the fact that User:Macktheknifeau has ignored a ruling in favour of the position that we "standardise on soccer on all articles pertaining to the sport in an Australian context", by unilaterally changing around a dozen articles away from that position and in the direction he personally prefers. That, and this dishonest thread here, are examples of very bad faith editing. HiLo48 (talk) 08:16, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
...for which he ended up being blocked for 48 hours. HiLo48 (talk) 07:16, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Etymology of "Football" and "Soccer"[edit]

Here's a good article if anyone feels like beefing up the "Etymology" section. -- (talk) 23:52, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Thank you heaps for that. I have been seeking precisely such an article. As an Australian, I have been involved in some very heated discussions over the name to be used in Wikipedia for the game in Australia. I am of mature years and grew up with a population of British immigrants in the couple of decades following WWII. I simply knew those people called the game "soccer", but was continually asked by younger fans for evidence, who insisted that the name "soccer" is derogatory and insulting. So, I now have evidence, for both points. Those younger fans weren't very good at explaining why the name is derogatory and insulting, but the American connection at least explains that perspective for people currently in, recently from, or currently obsessed with soccer in the UK. Fortunately, there is currently (a somewhat enforced) peace on that front in the Australian Wikipedia world. But at least I know that my memories are not yet too affected by senility. HiLo48 (talk) 00:36, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
No problem. Personally, I'd simply assumed that countries where "Soccer" is in common use are those where another (arguably) more popular variant of the game is known locally as "football", for example NFL rules in the U.S., CFL rules in Canada, and AFL rules in Australia. Rugby's an outlier in that regard, since I don't know anyone who refers to it as "(Rugby) Football". -- (talk) 01:38, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
It's complicated in Australia. On one side of the Barassi Line, Australian football dominates. There, "football" almost exclusively means that sport. On the other side rugby league is the most popular code, followed some distance away by rugby union, soccer and Australian football. Fans of rugby league frequently call their game "football". Union fans less so, but still sometimes. Soccer administrators and fans now want their game to be called "football" too. You can find American football clubs and Gaelic football clubs here too. Not aware of any Canadian football clubs. And the the AFL has occasional games of International rules football against Irish teams. HiLo48 (talk) 02:56, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Back in the nineteenth century when the games' rules were first codified and governing bodies first formed there were several types of game in-which the ball was kicked using the foot. These all had the term 'football' in the full name of the game, e..g, Rugby Union Football, Rugby League Football, Association Football, etc., and to people playing these games each one was usually informally referred to as just 'football' however, perhaps due to the very simple equipment requirements for Association Football, i.e., no special boots, pads, etc., just basically a football and a couple of jumpers or shirts on the ground for goal posts, the game was more popular with children than Rugby or the other types. So more people ended up playing Association Football, or in many children's case, a simplified version of it. As a result, and due to the widespread influence of the British Empire, for the majority of people in the world, when referring to just 'football' they mean Association Football. Even the poorest of children can play soccer, as only a ball needs to be obtained. It is thus very popular all over the world in many areas that the other types of football have never even been heard of. Other types of football such as Rugby tended to be confined to countries that had English-type Public Schools.
The term 'soccer' is merely an abbreviation of 'association', although perhaps a slang term. And AFAIK there has never been any negative view if it as a term within the UK, except perhaps from language purists and some club managers. But all the proper 'soccer' clubs will have the full term 'Association Football' in their title. It's 'association' because the various clubs came together originally and formed an association of their members to agree on a set of rules. That was The Football Association - the FA. Hence the 'FA Cup'. Association Football was also the first, and is probably still, the only truly international football game.
BTW, you can play Association Football, with minor rule variations, with almost any number of players. Some impromptu kickabouts at British Army camps in North Africa during WW II had as many as several hundred players on each side. You only need a football, see. - Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:48, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Article here: Street football. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:01, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 15 June 2014[edit]

Please change the "The object of the game is to score by using any part of the body besides the arms and hands to get the ball into the opposing goal." into " The object of the game is to score by using any part of the body except the arms and hands to get the ball into the opposing goal." The sentence is drawn from the first paragraph, thank you for your attention. YuanhengWei (talk) 08:43, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Does this not mean the same thing? - Master Of Ninja (talk) 09:50, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Pictogram voting question.svg Question: Would: "The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal. This may be done using any part of the body other than the arms or hands for any non-goalie player." not be even more appropriate and accurate? I agree that "besides" doesn't fit well in that sentence. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 14:39, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes except for the 'for any non-goalie player' bit as even a goalkeeper of the attacking team can't use his hands or arms to score. The defending goalkeeper can use his hands and arms to score an own goal though. Nanonic (talk) 16:33, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Considering that the very next sentence covers these limitations, why not just "The object of the game is to score by getting the ball into the opposing goal."? --Khajidha (talk) 16:08, 24 June 2014 (UTC)


The history section ranges back and forth over continents and centuries, with no focus. It also appears to have been written to suggest that soccer has an international basis. The reality is that it is a English game. I suggest that the history section be split into a first section on the history of ball games internationaly, and a second section on the development of soccer.Royalcourtier (talk) 20:59, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Agreed, although I think the problem is more specific than that: there's a large, weaseled-up paragraph about an unrelated Chinese ball sport, implying it as the progenitor or at least influential on association football. I think it should be mentioned, as FIFA have noted it as the earliest sport to bear any resemblance to football, but that's it. The caption under the picture spuriously calls it a "predessesor" to football. As above, this article is about a sport that grew out of riotous localised games in mediaeval Europe and was codified just a century or so ago, and just one of those several codes in particular. bridies (talk) 14:06, 20 June 2014 (UTC)
It was me who added the picture, as the history section had a series of random illustrations of Victorian matches while the text was about the Chinese game. I was just reflecting what the text said, and the FIFA sources appeared to state, so please don't call it "spurious". '''tAD''' (talk) 10:21, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
It was spurious, and, Blatter's PR stunt notwithstanding, the sources (including the other FIFA one) say so. bridies (talk) 13:22, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Move to 'soccer'[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page not moved. There is 1) no consensus for the move 2) the USMNT were just eliminated and so the reasoning is no longer valid and 3) this was an attept a trolling, nothing else. Walter Görlitz (talk) 22:41, 1 July 2014 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

Association footballSoccer – Which country is most known for calling soccer, soccer? That's right, the one still in the World Cup. (talk) 21:56, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Snow Close, seriously. -- [[ axg //  ]] 22:06, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Offside penalty[edit]

There is a separate Wikipedia article on the offside penalty. That should really be linked to from this article I would expect. I'm not sure how to do that though or if the change would even be accepted. Evonj (talk) 13:07, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

The mention of offside in the article is Wikilinked to the offside article. This means that when you click on the word 'offside' it takes you to the article on offside. This is the standard practise :-) Cls14 (talk) 11:24, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Role in African Nationalism[edit]

Though there is already a section on the history of football, there is little discussion on the effects of the sport on Africa. Nationalism in Africa can closely be followed by studying the history of football (see Wikipedia edit on nationalism found in the Bacongo people). Acknowledgement of the sport being originally European is not enough to document the spread of football to other countries. For example, football was initially introduced to the Republic of Congo for discipline and military training purposes; the French hoped that football would serve as a way to control the Bacongo and Poto-Poto people and eventually recruit them into the French military. The sport was quickly appropriated by Africans and led to the downfall of oppressive European initiatives, such as the Native Sports Federation, and ultimately contributed to the growing sense of nationalism for Africans. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jjlee859 (talkcontribs) 10:47, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Do you have any reliable sources that significantly discuss this issue? Vanjagenije (talk) 03:27, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

History of the usage of red and yellow cards[edit]

I'd like to add some information regarding how the use of red and yellow cards came by. If I am going to do so, would this article[1] be allowed as a proper citation? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Silevern (talkcontribs) 22:56, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Goalkeepers scoring goals?[edit]

I just want to ask the question, why do goalkeepers have 'Goals' next to appearances. We know most goalkeepers wont even score a goal in their career. Why can't it show 'Clean Sheets' because that is what Goalkeepers are known for!

May I please have this question justified with clear reason, because I believe there should be a change to how readers view Goalkeepers on Wikipedia. Thanks, Stefan Milosevic— Preceding unsigned comment added by Stefan Milosevic (talkcontribs) 20:23, 9 February 2015 (NZT)

This isn't the right place to ask that question. If you want it answered properly, go to WT:FOOTY. – PeeJay 11:22, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
As an aside I imagine it would be very hard to find stats for goalies clean sheets. Goals and scorers are recorded for nearly any games, I doubt most leagues would list number of clean sheets. Cls14 (talk) 15:02, 9 February 2015 (UTC)