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Soccer: A Game of Cultural Fluidity

Football supporter fans friends cheering after soccer cup match
The Color Purple 2023

With the FIFA Women’s World Cup deep underway, no matter what you call it — soccer in some places and fútbol in others — it’s perhaps the most culturally fluid sport in the world.

Soccer is watched and played all around the world on the biggest stages. It’s one of the few sports that is relevant on every continent outside of Antarctica.

Group of friends watching a soccer game of Argentina
Photo viaEnvato Elements

SOCCER’S TRUE CULTURAL FLUIDITY

Being played and popular across the globe isn’t enough to make the sport culturally fluid. It’s culturally fluid because many people play for countries due to their parents’ affiliation with those countries.

Perhaps the greatest demonstration of soccer being culturally fluid comes from the sport’s impact on U.S. culture. On the men’s side, many players were born and raised outside the U.S. but due to the citizenship of at least one parent, elected to play for the U.S. instead of the nation of their birth.

On the women’s side, many players on non-U.S. teams were born and raised in the U.S. and were involved in girls’ youth soccer programs.

Happy women's soccer team celebrating victory after playing a match at the stadium.
Photo via Envato Elements

Obviously, the biggest impact is from the Spanish-speaking population, but many European cultures have influenced the game’s culture overseas.

HOW IS THE FLUIDITY IMPACT FELT?

Dylan Lyons believes soccer is bringing a mutual cultural interest and awareness wherever it is being held. Everything from food and drinks, to language and activities has created a culturally fluid environment through a sport.

Soccer fans emotionally watching game in the living room
Photo viaEnvato Elements

Soccer has fluidity in unexpected places

In Canada, winter-based sports dominate the cultural realm, however, Fútbol has slowly integrated for many players and fans.

There are many different regions of Canada with different cultures being French, British and Indigenous cultures. Yet, all regions come together.

Portrait Of Womens Football Team Training For Soccer Match On Outdoor Astro Turf Pitch
Photo via Envato Elements
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