As an old time supporter of Football (or Soccer, if you feel so inclined – which many Australians do), imbalanced and factually incorrect media reports of riots, violence and hooliganism in my code is nothing new.

Pity the fool who bag out the A-League
The rise of the A-League may have been nothing short of spectacular, but unfortunately the same old boys (usually AFL reporters) that pooh-poohed Soccer in the now defunct NSL era continue to periodically rear their snarling heads and tell us that this foreign sport is full of thugs that are more likely to slit your throat than not.

The formula is just about the same every time, and Tim Hilferty’s Monday article on The Punch ‘The myth that soccer is a family-friendly sport’ was no different.

Apparently the following amounts to dangerous behaviour when done by soccer fans:

o     Soccer fans were swearing. Riots!

o     Police were forced to evict Soccer fans from games for drunken and anti-social behaviour. Violence!

o     Soccer fans chant vulgar things at each other. Hooligans!

o     Soccer fans must be bored because there are never any goals in Soccer. Chuckle Chuckle!

Throw in a photo of actual hooligans from anywhere around mainland Europe or South America killing things and you have your story.

I’m sorry, but it’s a load of crap and it’s about time everyone got over the code wars and realised that save for a few weeks in September, Football as a summer sport is not in direct competition with any other football code in Australia.

The majority of Football fans I know are also as passionate in their support of a footy team. I include myself in that group of dual code supporters as a Western Bulldogs follower.

Co-existence IS possible, and should be embraced and supported by the administrations of all codes.

Unfortunately, rather than supporting cross-code promotion and playing down reports of violence the FFA, made up of a rag-tag team of former AFL administrators, Socceroo greats and a billionaire, play into the hands of the media and admit guilt where they really shouldn’t be.


Besides missing the point completely, a lot of Tim’s story doesn’t add up – despite his admittance that he positioned himself in the stand that would give him the best vantage point of any disturbances that occurred.

He starts strong with suggestions of violence, but then peters out into further admissions that he never felt intimidated and that altercations between Adelaide and Melbourne supporters were little more than hot air and empty beer cups.


I was at the Adelaide vs. Melbourne game as a travelling Victory supporter, and there was never any suggestion of supporter violence.

I can’t speak for Adelaide supporters, but the majority of Melburnians were evicted for throwing crepe paper streamers in celebration of a freak Nicky Ward cross-cum-goal and/or being so drunk that they could barely stand up. Situations that are no more or less violent and explosive than the numerous evictions at the average summer Cricket international or footy final.


The European culture of actively supporting a team with colour and noise is not based on hate; it’s based on being the 12th man for your team and doing everything you can to support them in overcoming a rival.

It’s something that the Barmy Army have been effective with during the Cricket season, and if done correctly would be a wonderful addition to the deathly boring “(suburb name) Clap Clap Clap” that we get at the footy.

As for the swearing, I challenge any supporter of any sport to raise their hand and say that they have never dropped an f-bomb in frustration or cried bloody murder at an umpire for an incorrect call.

Football supporters have thick skins, we have after all been dealing with being put down and excluded from the Australian sporting mainstream for decades.

Whether you love Football or find that it bores you to tears, all we ask is for is for reporters to be open-minded and leave the agenda at home.

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49 comments

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    • Adam Dennis says:

      08:22am | 25/09/09

      Glad someone wrote this article. Tim’s Monday article came across like he was a timid maths nerd (with apologies to maths nerds). I’m not a sports fan, but it’s apparent to me that sport fills an atavistic need we all have. Better to go along each week and bellow in support of your team while gesturing defiantly at the other supporters ... than to punch some guy in the street outside a nightclub.

      On another topic - this has to be the strangest Punch headline I’ve seen. I’m guessing it’s not Matt Morris’ work. “Whorey”? I’ve no clue what you mean. Unless perhaps you mean “hoary”, i.e. looking old, with white hair.

    • Gav says:

      08:39am | 25/09/09

      the snotty refusal by some round ball fans to accept that soccer is called soccer in Australia never ceases to amaze me.
      For many generations football in Victoria, SA and WA has allways meant AFL and in NSW and QLD means rugby league. Allways has, allways will.
      Your game has a name in Australia, and it is soccer, not football. Get over it!!
      Just like a quarter pounder in Paris is called a royale with cheese.

    • Tim says:

      08:53am | 25/09/09

      Soccer.
      That is all.

    • Matt Morris says:

      08:58am | 25/09/09

      Gav, that’s your opinion mate. Mine differs from yours - get over it.

      When the Crawford Report was handed down, it was time to rebrand and relaunch. Old Soccer became New Football, and I’m pretty sure that the attitudes towards it will continue to slowly change. Fox Sports & ABC are already on board, Fairfax are coming around, and who knows - maybe even News Ltd. will change their sport naming hierarchy (although I’m not holding my breath.

      It’s kind of funny though that despite living in a time that Australians are screaming out over the influence of America on Australia through TV, film, music and slang that you (and many others) would hold so dearly to an American word used to describe the World Game.

      At the end of the day, you can call the sport whatever you like - just don’t disrespect it for no particular reason.

      Adam, you’re right - the headline was not mine.

    • Kj says:

      08:58am | 25/09/09

      We live on the central Coast and take our children to the Mariners games on a weekly basis. There has never been a riot, nothing but other families enjoying a day or night out.. The Mariners go out of their way to make themselves accessible to the community, with family days and lot’s of opportunities to meet the team. The players are nothing but polite and well spoken, always willing to give the kids an autograph. I can’t think of too many league teams where the same happens. Oh and it is Football, they kick a ball with their feet!!!! Why do we have to insult the biggest game in the world, and the most played game in the world by calling it by another name??

    • Macca says:

      09:22am | 25/09/09

      @Matt Morris, News Ltd. owns FoxSports…

      Thanks for playing

      @KJ, the Stadium at Gosford is a top place to watch any football code (except AFL, due to the shape, obviously) and I love heading up the F3 to watch the Derby. It really is a very wholesome, family venue that you would struggle to find in any other code.

      @Gav & Tim, your reluctance to call football by its real name shows how insular and backwards some Australians really are, more resistant to change than an ACTU official

    • Warren says:

      09:36am | 25/09/09

      Interestingly, Australian Rules Football is the only sports in the world where you can obtain maximum points only by using your feet. If you use anything other than your feet, you don’t get the highest available score. It is quite unique in this respect.

      Sure, most of the time soccer players use their feet, but at the critical moment, the defining moment of the game - when goals are scored, players can use pretty much any part of their body to do the deed.

      So, in that vain, I suggest that soccer be called “AnythingExceptYourArmsBelowTheShoulder-ball”

      Rugby Union/League can be called “AnyPartOfYourBody-ball”

      and Australian Rules can be called “Foot-ball”

    • Pete says:

      09:45am | 25/09/09

      Thank you, common sense!  I do not understand the animosity towards football (soccer, call it what you will) in Australia.  I have always been a Canterbury - Bulldogs fan, that will never change.  They can gladly coincide with my love for Brisbane Roar (admittedly I hold my soccer team a little higher).  Despite our lack of history 2005 v 1935 I follow the Roar with (if not more) equal passion. 

      On another note how awesome is this sporting weekend.  Canterbury v Parramatta, Geelong v St Kilda, Brisbane v Melbourne and not to mention awesome A-League match ups Victory vs Gold Coast and particularly Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC!

    • McDil says:

      09:52am | 25/09/09

      Great balancer to Tim’s article the other day - yet the truth, as always, lies somewhere in between. Unfortunately there are significant numbers of fans who go to the games trying to replicate the European (particularly English) atmosphere of hate, where opposition teams and supporters are threatened and chants are stolen and reworked for a local audience, including copious amounts of f*** and c***, always signs of a wonderful intellect.

      Why does it have to be like this? Don’t these ‘fans’ understand we absolutely do NOT want the same environment of an Anfield or a San Siro? Sure, for the home team, the passion and the atmosphere is of such an incredible level electricity crackles around the grandstand. But with it comes great danger and great, manufactured, hatred. Replays can’t even be shown on the big screens at these venues for fear of fomenting riots at the display of an incorrectly-made decision. Away fans sit in glorified cages to protect them from the rest of the crowd. Police are deployed in ridiculous numbers to escort traveling fans. Do we really want that here?

      Again, this is not to slander the majority of local fans who go to A-League fixtures to watch their favourite team play what is a beautiful game (although this last statement might be contested in terms of the Australian style of play, but that’s for another time). However there must be an acknowledgement of the significant fringe who are passionate in all the wrong areas and who will, if left unchecked, destroy the game here too.

    • Jugger says:

      10:15am | 25/09/09

      A good response Matt.

      I’d like to add that if we are to have any chance at all of securing a World Cup in either 2018 or 2022, the whole country will have to be behind the bid.  There are plenty of countries bidding against us where the whole population will be behind their bid, not least of which is England.

      AFL and League fans need to put aside their petty jealousy (and yes, it is jealousy, pure and simple).  As plenty of other readers have pointed out, it is possible to be passionate about more than one sport.

      We have the chance to host the world’s biggest and best sporting event, an event that will bring millions of dollars worth of tourist revenue into the country, as well as the passion of the world’s most popular sport.  It would be a shame to miss out on such a fantastic event because of people narrow minded people like Tim Hilferty.

    • Amber says:

      10:16am | 25/09/09

      Hey Matt, don’t disseminate untruths. “Soccer” is an English word, not American. Long ago there was a time when English newspapers reported the sports results for Rugby Football (aka “rugger”) and Association Football (aka “soccer”).
      No football code in Australia has the right to formally name itself Football. Rugby League fans call their code football or footy but Rugby League calls itself Rugby League Football. Similarly with AFL.
      If soccer wants to call itself Association Football that is fine by me but to call itself Football without the accompanying adjective is arrogant and ultimately counterproductive.

    • watty says:

      10:29am | 25/09/09

      Foot kicks ball = football

      Ball in hands = all other pretenders.

    • Jugger says:

      10:31am | 25/09/09

      I have to disagree with you McDil.  I think you’re confusing passion for hatred.  As Matt already pointed out, the idea is to act as a kind of 12th man for your team.  Sure, there are a minority of fans that cause trouble in Europe, but they are a minority.  In a crowd of 50,000, you’re always going to get trouble makers.  It’s no different in AFL or League, it’s just that football trouble makers are more organised.

      I’d love to be able to go to a game in Australia and see the passion that’s on display at Anfield or the San Siro.  You seem to be over exaggerating the truoble that goes on at European matches.  For instance, there are NO fences at any English grounds (they were all taken away after the Hillsborough disaster in the late 80’s).  Away fans are usually segregated from home fans by a couple of rows of empty seats.

      I was a season ticket holder at a Premier League Club in the 2003/04 season, and in all my visits to the football that season (every home match and a few away) I never saw any violence.

      Once again, trouble makers are a small minority, they do not represent the majority of the fans.  Do not confuse passion with hatred.

    • Wallaby says:

      10:41am | 25/09/09

      Call it Soccer, Penaly, Draw or “Ouch! Ref. My Leg” but it is not football.

    • Matt Morris says:

      10:51am | 25/09/09

      @ KJ

      I’ve been up to Gosford for a few Victory matches with my wife, and I completely agree with you. A memory that will stick with me forever is the sight of two 70-80something ladies in full Mariners gear and flags singing songs as they walked to the game.

      The community backing around The Mariners is something that all A-League clubs (and even international clubs) have every right to envy.

      Plus, the stadium has Bluey Lager on tap! Can’t get much better than that.

      @Amber

      I wouldn’t call it an untruth. The word may have originated in England, but it’s well and truly been owned by America for a long time. That’s such an aside to the point of my article though that it’s not worth debating further. I really don’t care what you choose to call Association Football.

      @McDil

      As Jugger said - 7-8000 people singing in full voice unison (as per The Kop in Anfield) would literally make me wet my pants in awe. I can’t wait until Australian Football reaches that level of mainstream acceptance and passion. Like I said, it would be great to see it flow into AFL and Cricket too.

    • watty says:

      10:54am | 25/09/09

      I was going to point out that a Wallaby usually CARRIED the ball in their hands until I remebered the game against the All Blacks last weekend.

      Foot + ball = football Even a front rower should be able to comprehend that?

    • James says:

      11:10am | 25/09/09

      When Foot + ball is the only way to score, then you can call it football.

      I don’t understand why fans of the world game are so precious about calling it football instead of soccer.  In Australia for a long time we have called it soccer, why did it change?

    • Gav says:

      11:19am | 25/09/09

      Matt,

      It is known as soccer in this country and has been for years and years, and it is only recently that soccer fans have had a problem with it. Different names for different things make countries unique, thongs are jandals in NZ, a Tarago is only a Tarago in Australia and a Previa everywhere else and I could go on and on and on…
      Now it seems that trying to steel the name football in Australia is not enough, we must start to call it the “the world game”.
      This proves a point to me. That if you scratch the surface in most soccer fans minds, world domination is the end game for them.
      Well i have news for you, watching 22 pea-hearted prima donna’s trying to out-dive each other might pass for entertainment in Europe, but holds little appeal here or in the US where we prefer our winter sports with a little more meat on the bones.
      Before you bang on about junior participation of soccer in western sydney, I acknowledge that junior rugby league is not for everyone.
      And if your son is not athletic enough to play league or you have doubts about his ability to cop a bump he can allways find a spot in soccer which, like ballet classes, is non-contact.
      League is extremely athletic and demanding, and most children are not up for such a challenge. But as far as viewing as a spectacle, Rugby league and AFL will allways dominate in this country, no matter what spin soccer tragics try to put into it.

    • Pete says:

      11:21am | 25/09/09

      Why is there any debate over the name.  If you want to call if football do so but don’t go around sprouting rot to those who refer to it as soocer.  Those who call it soccer do so but don’t go on your pointless rants to those who choose to call it football.  Honestly its petty and embarrasing to both sides the way Australian carry on about a name.

      Personally I use football as I am often surrounded by other like minded football fans.  I do however use soccer when talking to people not so familiar with football due very much to the Australian sporting landscape.  Its such trivial thing that holds such a pointless grudge between supporters and non supporters of the game.

    • Tim says:

      11:34am | 25/09/09

      Watty,
      head hits ball = head ball?
      knee kicks ball = knee ball?
      Don’t the goalie’s use their hands anymore?
      Even a soccer player who’s headed the ball a few too many times should be able to understand that.

    • wattty says:

      11:36am | 25/09/09

      James 99% of FOOTBALL is playing the ball with the feet. that’s why it was called football before more than 10 people attended a Union or League match.

      The word Soccer was only introduced so AFL, League and Union supporters wouldn’t get confused.

      Obviously this hasn’t worked.

      English Football Association (F.A.Cup Final) founded 1867 and still called FOOTBALL Association

      Scottish FOOTBALL Association founded 1873 and still called by that name.

      Not an English or Scottish SOCCER Association to be found.

    • Jugger says:

      11:42am | 25/09/09

      @Gav “Rugby league and AFL will allways dominate in this country, no matter what spin soccer tragics try to put into it.”

      Well I must have dreamt the massive media and public response to the Socceroos appearance in the last world cup.  Thousands of fans turning up at public venues like circular quay (including amongst others Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman) and federation square, all in support of one team, and it wasn’t a League or AFL team.

      The same will happen next year for the World Cup.

      “League is extremely athletic and demanding”

      Lol! That is seriously the funniest thing I have heard in a long time mate.  A brainless beefcake does not an athlete make.  Your league boys are so ‘athletic’ that they have to beat up their girlfriends and sexually abuse women - fantastic skills on display there!

    • watty says:

      11:47am | 25/09/09

      Knee “KICKS” ball ? Where I come from usually the foot is the designated part of the body used for kicking.Perhaps this explains a certain lack of accuracy in the other codes?

      1 football player out of 11 is allowed to use his hands,
      I believe that in AFL ,League and Union all players are allowed to use their hands.

    • Razor says:

      12:18pm | 25/09/09

      I have attended one game of A League Soccer.  It was a Perth Glory match.  The amount of anti-social behaviour that I saw at that one match exceeded the sum total of all the anti-social behaviour I have seen in 20 years of attending West Coast Eagles matches for 20 years (which are crowds of 30 to 40 thousand).

    • Rob M says:

      12:24pm | 25/09/09

      “Soccer, like Ballet clasess, is non-contact”

      I keep hearing this from eggchasers, many of whom are too un-cordinated to play sock-ah at any competitive level, so I thought i’d put the record straight.

      I have sustained fractures of the tibia and kneecap while playing this “non contact sport” at NSW State League. I have also required a knee reconstruction - a very common operation in our game. All these fairly serious injuries came about as the result of contact with an opponent.

      If i’d taken up ballet,  i’d have probably saved myself a fortune !

    • Rob says:

      12:36pm | 25/09/09

      soccer fans are such precious little girly men. 

      Did you forget to wear your shin guards Rob M?

    • Anthony says:

      12:48pm | 25/09/09

      @ Razor: Very interesting mate. So you are saying more people were causing violence and being evicted in 90 minutes with possibly 10,000 fans in the A-league then in a minimum of about 200 hours and about 6 million fans walking through the turnstiles at West Coast Eagles matches???

      Excuse me if I don’t believe you for a second because those statistics are ridiculous in my opinion. Having been a season ticket holder to all five years of the A-league for Sydney FC I have never experienced trouble with my family attending games. Yes there are people who are drunk and rowdy (which occur in vastly bigger numbers in all the Cronulla Sharks games we attend) but they never cause any trouble to families and often apologise about their language to us and the kids.

      I’m afraid that in my opinion the culture of watching rugby league in Sydney is much more based around the consumption of alcohol inside the ground and I have witnessed first hand more fights than I can remember at Shark Park in Cronulla with groups of people involved whilst not having seen a physical altercation at a Sydney FC match other than a single fan restraining while being evicted for drunken behaviour.

      The first season pass I would hand back would be Cronulla Sharks given the history and that there are more families that attend Sydney FC games together.

    • Michael says:

      12:54pm | 25/09/09

      Good article and well put. 

      Football fans are used to the incessant griping of the AFL/NRL zealot set from the News Limited publications.  Mostly the barely concealed insecurity of the authors and editors amuses us. 

      In fairness to News Limited, the publication of this article does them and the Punch a lot of credit. Cheers and go the Saints.

    • Warren says:

      01:01pm | 25/09/09

      Just to get the record straight. AFL was the first codified game on the planet. The first rules were published for AFL in 1859, before the english soccer codes decided on a common set of rules and set up competitions.

      So, simply on the fact that we were the first *in the world* to trademark the name and use it to signify a common set of rules, means that we get to call it football.

      As per my previous argument, we are still the only code in which you can ONLY score maximum points by applying your foot to the ball!

    • Tim Hilferty says:

      01:20pm | 25/09/09

      Matt, I’ll just pen a word or two in my defence if I may.
      First of all, I’d like to point out it is possible to love a sport and still criticise aspects of it. Most posters here and on my blog have assumed that I’m part of some NRL/AFL conspiracy to bring down the A-League. Nothing could be further from the truth.
      I love the game. I get to Reds games as often as I can, and I’ve followed the heartbreaks and triumphs of the Socceroos for as long as I can remember.
      So it annoys me no end when I criticise a small number of supporters, I get taken to task for all the injustices you’ve suffered at the hands of the real haters.
      Can you point out where I insinuated that “Soccer fans must be bored because there are never any goals in Soccer.”
      And what has the behavior of cricket fans, or those at the NRL or AFL got to do with anything?
      I wrote a piece on my experience at an A-League game. I did it because I think the league is burying its head to a problem that is hurting them.
      Cricket has become more about drinking than anything on the field. There are gangs of thugs at NRL games. AFL fans can get passionate (and pissed) and exchange blows.
      They need to deal with these problems.
      And the A-League needs to deal with a tiny minority of wannabe hooligans who ruin the experience for anyone sitting around them.

    • Tim says:

      01:30pm | 25/09/09

      Warren,
      i would really like to see that trademark.
      I bet you could get billions in trademark infringement if it existed.
      And sorry, AFL was codified?
      Are you referring to those first Melbourne rules in which games were playes on grounds of half a kilometer long, with 20 players and could last for days?
      Face it, Football is a generic word that could be used to describe both Australian Rules and Soccer, just like “Pansy” or “Soft” could be used to describe their players.

    • Freddo says:

      01:37pm | 25/09/09

      Jugger,
      LOL. Hilarious Stuff. Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman?
      You may have missed it, but the reason Australians turned up for those Soccer World Cup games was because for the first time in 30 years we actually made it. Very few actually cared about the games, it was simply supporting an Australian team. Just like every four years around the Olympics, when Australians suddenly become experts in swimming tecnique or the cycling road race. No one cares about what sport it is, they are just supporting the country and hoping we do well.
      Wait til Australia miss another world cup and see how much support there is.

    • RedEyeRob says:

      01:55pm | 25/09/09

      Gav, Tim and anyone else, call it whatever you like.  Association Football, FIFA Football, World Football, Soccer… call it whatever you want.  The funny thing is, just like the American’s and their Gridiron, your Aussie Rules “Football” is played with the hands. Don’t ever forget that mate.

    • Matt Morris says:

      02:12pm | 25/09/09

      Tim,

      You probably bore the brunt of my years of frustration with the way football is reported on more often than not in this country. I thought my piece was a dig at the establishment in general, using your article as an example in a long line of imbalance - perhaps it didn’t read that way.

      I’m glad you consider yourself a supporter. The A-League needs more bums on seats and tickets through turnstiles to survive, but when I go to a game I go to watch what happens on field while having a drink and a sing with my mates in the endeavour of supporting my team. I don’t go to watch what happens in the stands in the hope of catching a few tryhards behaving badly.

      I don’t assume that you’re part of any conspiracy, your article just read in the same vein as the multitude of ‘old boys’ articles that I have read over the years.

      The caption on the photo connected with your article (which was very obviously not in Australia in the first place) was “The raw excitement of a nil-all draw spills over into the terraces”. I understand that it may have been some creative editing on The Punch’s part, but that caption is associated with your piece… much in the same way that “Pity the fool who bag out the A-League” is now associated with mine.

      Behaviour of Cricket, Footy and Rugby fans have nothing to do with A-League crowd behaviour, although you have to admit that when you open up a newspaper to read about Australia vs India at the MCG, you’re not reading first that 150 patrons were evicted for drunk behaviour. It’s all about balance, and balance of reporting is something that the A-League has been lacking for a very long time

    • Castro says:

      02:46pm | 25/09/09

      I would like to add my 10 cents worth here.  I am frustrated at the much repeated furphy that scoccer should be called football because it is played by kicking the ball.  This does not mesh with the historical facts of football or the entymology of the word.  Early proto-football, such as the ‘folk football’ of England (eg The Shrovetide Football match still played in Derbyshire http://www.bbc.co.uk/derby/content/articles/2007/02/28/ashbourne_shrovetide_oakley_video_feature.shtml) were games in which the ball (or ball substitute animal carcass, severed head etc) can be moved in any way, usually by being punched, carried, or thrown.  Indeed, the closest equivalent in modern codes is definitely rugby union (scrums, mauls, etc).  These games were called football despite the fact that the ball was very rarely kicked.  One theory goes that it was called football becuase it was played ‘on foot’ rather than on horseback. All subsequent varieties evolved from this beginning.  Soccer fans who say things like “foot = ball” are being ignorant and conceited.

      That was the scholarly stuff: now for some opinion!  Although soccer is a total bore, it is a far better sport than Aussie Rules.  Such a shame that half the country wastes their time on that.  Watch the best spectator sport in the world tonight.  Parra v Doggies.

    • Tim Hilferty says:

      02:49pm | 25/09/09

      Fair enough Matt, how about next time Victory are in town we have a beer?

    • Matt Morris says:

      03:00pm | 25/09/09

      Sounds good Tim. Although we’ll have to be careful about getting too chummy. We don’t want the naysayers to get the wrong idea wink

    • media watch says:

      03:55pm | 25/09/09

      Adam’s correct: It’s HOARY not WHOREY.

      Gav: Soccer was called football in Australia until after the first world war—ie for its first 40 years in this country. It was then called a mix of things like soccer football until the name soccer came to dominate in the thirties.

      Castro: I don’t know what kind of football is played by insects but you’re right about the etymology of football.

      In Shrove football the ball was kicked more often than rarely but still not frequently. But there were other forms of football in which kicking played a much more significant part. There were also some non-handling forms of football going well back to the 1700s.

    • Anthony says:

      04:55pm | 25/09/09

      Agree with you Matt- I’m born in Oz, have played both AFL & football & watch both sports. I’m a season ticket holder at Perth Glory & catch the odd Dockers game. I’ll be watching the GF tomorrow like every other year. I can’t see why people get upset about the two sports- we can follow both. Certainly can’t understand why most Aussies are jealous or resentful of football doing so well here?

    • Jugger says:

      05:22pm | 25/09/09

      @warren - the AFL may well have been the first codified form of football.  Some people might say the fact that its been around for so long but is still only played in one country may be evidence that it is a paritularly cr@p game.  Even sports like synchronised swimming and European handball enjoy more world wide popularity than Aussie Rules.

      Some might also say that the fact that soccer started off only being played in one country, but has spread to become the most popular sport on the planet, and by far the most popular football code, could give it the right to be called football.

      Of course everyone can call whatever code they like best football.  What gets on my, and I’m guessing on most other soccer fans, nerves is other people telling us we have no right to call our game football.

      The football argument is just a diversion anyway, it’s a way for AFL and League fans to vent their anger, whilst trying to hide their envy at the popularity soccer enjoys.

    • Jugger says:

      05:30pm | 25/09/09

      @Freddo - “Very few actually cared about the games, it was simply supporting an Australian team”

      But at least they had an Australian team to support.  I doubt there will ever be an aussie rules international.

    • James says:

      06:36pm | 25/09/09

      Jugger, it’s not about whether or not ‘you’ can call ‘your’ game football, it’s about precious soccer/football fans having a crack at people for calling it soccer.  Like many other Australians I grew up calling AFL - football (or NRL depending on your location), and soccer - soccer.  I will always call it that and if someone wants to belittle me for calling soccer soccer, then they can get f\###d.

      I respect that to you soccer is football, but to me it isn’t.  Don’t have a tanty or try and tell me I’m wrong or insular for calling what you call football… soccer

      When in Rome.

    • watty says:

      07:15pm | 25/09/09

      As the only true international FOOTBALL code it is apprpopriate that the governing body is called FIFA (not FISA)

      Federation of International FOOTBALL Associations not SOCCER Associations.

      When really in Rome they call God’s game FOOTBALL

    • Sean says:

      07:31pm | 25/09/09

      This debate isn’t ending anytime soon so I’m just going to state my personal situation. I’m an Adelaide United fan. I lost interest in Aussie Rules around the same time as the formation of the A-League.

      My main issues with Aussie Rules are:

      It is rubbish to watch live. When the play is at the other end of the ground there is no way to see what is going on.

      The rules are in a constant state of change and many don’t make much sense to me having played other sports extensively. I won’t go into them here.

      The game involve 18 players on the field from each team at a time. It’s crazy and results in many people there just to make up the numbers or punch on, particularly in lower levels.

    • Alberto Rosso says:

      09:17am | 26/09/09

      @ media watch “Adam’s correct: It’s HOARY not WHOREY.”

      Blood oath it’s “whorey” alright. And we know whose whores the soccer-knockers are.

    • Mark says:

      05:53pm | 30/09/09

      Funny, “soccer violence” was always blamed on ethnic clubs, and they were cut up badly and were in alot of ways the scapegoat and the main reason Soccer in Australia was re-structured. Now the ethnic clubs are “gone” we still get the same things happening at the games (I have been and seen, it is the same thing). It’s a shame, clubs like Marconi, Sydney Olympic, Sydney United, Melbourne Knights, South Melbourne Hellas produced the best socceroos ever and have been cut off and people with AFL/NRL motives still call the fans hooligans? More people are arrested at a cricket match!

    • topgun-jimmy-aufc says:

      08:37am | 02/10/09

      fire upppppppp australia,
      we will allways be in the way…..but we all ROCK!!

    • Let the kids play says:

      01:15pm | 02/10/09

      When I went to school it was “Aussie Rules”; good luck to the code, being a truly Aussie game it deserves to survive. But it will never be able to leave our shores due to the limiting factors; pitch size and it’s better viewing by TV rather than being at the game.
      It will take me many years to stop calling the “world game” soccer, however, I’m reminded constantly by the new generation coming up through the ranks so the chance of change are on my side.

    • jimmy stynes says:

      12:10pm | 05/10/09

      Let’s not argue whether its ‘soccer’ or ‘football’, it’s a pointless argument, call it whatever you want. Just remember, the real game is round.

 

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