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The FIFA World Cup and Canada

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From all the information we can gather, there appears to be a rather interesting “futbul” tournament going on right now that involves teams from 32 countries around the world.

This big event, which takes place once every four years, is the ultimate experience for fans of the round-ball kicking game.

We in Canada call this sport “soccer”, because we like to sometimes follow British traditions.

What? Heresy! Brits call “soccer” by what they, and most others around the world, think is its true name -- football.

Couldn’t be further from the truth.

Soccer is NOT a term for the sport invented by North Americans. It is a British invention, pure and simple.

It all started way back on October 26th 1863 , in London, England. It was on that day that several soccer clubs all around England gathered to form The Football Association, the first soccer organization up to that date.

See, over the years, the sport of kicking a ball around a field had evolved into two different events -- one in which only kicking the ball (in the main, which sometimes really hurts…) and another in which kicking, throwing and running with the ball was allowed.

One game later came to be known as Rugby football, and the other as Association football, or “soccer”.

Don’t agree? You can look it up. Then go blimey yourself on a nosh of bangers and mash for brekkers.

And, yes, the Canadian men’s soccer team has taken part in World Cup play. Once. In 1986. In Mexico. We lost to France 1 to nil. Lost to Hungary 2 to nil. And dropped another one to the Soviet Union by the same 2 to nil score. We gave up five goals, didn’t score one, and haven’t been back to the big event since.

Canada’s womens soccer team has done much better on the international scene, but we all know that whatever men can do women can do better.

Oh, and watch for the big game tomorrow (Thursday, June 26th) between Germany and the United States. Apparently, all that is needed for both teams to advance to the next round of the tourney is a 0 - 0 tie. Or draw, as the Brits say. Could be boring as watching dust blow, or could be tighter than a banker's purse strings. (See video of giant soccer ball.)

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