During WWI, as the story goes, on Christmas Eve 1915 there was a temporary truce between English troops and German troops. Out of nowhere a football (soccer ball is the term used in the USA and will be used in this blog) appeared and these two countries put their political views aside and played soccer! What an example of European’s love for the game!

                Today, soccer is played and watched all over the world. Some people claim it is the most popular sport in the world. This thought can be reasoned by the fact that the 2018 Men’s World Cup was watched by 4 billion people around the world (this is about half the population of the world). Soccer has a following of loyal fans who feel pride for their country and passion for the sport. True soccer fans spend hours collecting and trading World Cup stickers and cards. They will spend hours leisurely looking at them and searching the internet for ones they want to add to their collection.

                Soccer is an easy sports game to understand. The game has two 45-minute halves making each game 90 minutes of playing time. The objective is to get the soccer ball into the opponent’s goal as often as possible in that period of time. With each goal made the team earns one point. Players are not allowed to use their hands; they must kick or head the ball into the opponent’s goal without moving the ball consecutively themselves. There are 11 players per team and, as in all sports, various positions (goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders, and forwards). Learning the basic terms like offsides, corners, penalties, and yellow and red cards will make watching the game more enjoyable.

The (FIFA) Federation International de Football Association sponsors grants and programs to provide its affiliates financial and logistical support. The FIFA has the responsibility for organizing the major international soccer tournaments which include the Women’s World Cup and the Men’s World Cup. Because of the large number of qualification matches, they are held every four years.

Eyes around the world are currently watching the 2019 Women’s World Cup. They are anxious to see which country will be the best in the world. The next FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held in 2023. The host country has not been selected yet. Some countries that have submitted bids are: Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and South Korea.

                The first FIFA Men’s World Cup to be held in three countries will be in 2026. The continental United States, Canada, and Mexico have been selected to host the event. Sixty games will be held in the United States. The cities selected are: Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Kansas City, Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nashville, Boston, Cincinnati, Miami, Orlando and Seattle. The 10 games Canada will host will be held in Edmonton, Montreal and Toronto. Mexico will host 10 games in three cities: Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City.

                In the United States, the year 2026 might see parties for the Men’s World Cup Soccer games as popular as Super Bowl parties are now.



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