Tips for Living with a FIFA Fan

What is Soccer?

Soccer, which is called football outside of North America, is a game played on a field with a round ball. There are two teams who assemble on a rectangular field with a goal post at either end of the field. The goal post is a metal frame covered with a net. The object of the game is to kick the soccer ball into the opposing team’s goal. Points are given to each goal with the highest points wining the game.

The game is made harder by the fact that the players can not touch the ball with their hands. They can only use their feet, heads and bodies to drive the ball into the goal to win points. The goal keeper is the only one who is allowed to touch the ball with his hands or any other part of his body to keep the ball from scoring. If a player touches the soccer ball they can be assigned a penalty by the referee. It doesn’t matter if the touching was accidental or intentional. Other penalties include kicking, tripping, elbowing or holding other players.

The game is played with 11 players on each of the two teams. Children’s soccer games can be played with as little as six players on each side of the field. Players were uniforms that consist of shirts, shorts and stocks that match the team’s colors. Sometimes the players will wear shin guards. Goalkeepers wear slightly different clothes to distinguish them from the rest of the team including wearing special gloves to make grabbing the ball easier.

A referee and two linesmen watch over the game, patrolling the sidelines and watching to see which team is responsible for kicking the ball over the line. If the ball goes off the field, the opposite team is given the right to toss the ball back on the field in the direction of the other team’s goal post.

The game is started by a kickoff from the designated center spot. The ball is in constant play unless the referee blows his whistle. The game can be quite fast as the ball gets passed back and forth between the team during the course of the game.

10 Interesting Facts about FIFA

  1. Mexico City holds the title of World Cup Capital as it has hosted 74 matches. Seoul, Korea has held 54 matches and Singapore has had 48.
  2. Brazil has won four World Cups.
  3. Every letter of the alphabet has been used for player’s surnames who have competed in the finals.
  4. Erik Nilsson of Sweden and Alfred Bickel of Switzerland have both played before and after World War 2.
  5. The largest number of goals scored by a single player happened in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. Frenchman Just Fontaine scored 13 goals.
  6. Mário Jorge Lobo Zagallo is the only person who has won the World Cup medal four times. As a player he won twice (Sweden 1948 and Chile 1962), as a coach (Mexico 1970) and as an assistant coach (USA 1994).
  7. The red and yellow card system was not introduced until the 1970 World Cup. The first player to receive a red card was Chile's Carlos Caszely in 1974 in a match against West Germany.
  8. The youngest player to play in a World Cup match was Northern Ireland's Norman Whiteside against Yugoslavia in 1982. He was 17 years old.
  9. The youngest referred to ever officiate at the World Cup finals match (1958) was from Spain, Juan Gardeazabal who was only 24 years old.
  10. In 1958 Mexico ended their 28-year World Cup losing streak by winning against Wales.

What the Non-Fan Needs to Know

If you want to converse with your spouse/partner/friend who is a FIFA fan then between June 11 and July 11, 2010, you might want to read the sports section of the newspaper or go online so that you can keep up to date with the World Cup of Soccer. 

If you live with a FIFA fan then be aware that you will probably not have access to the TV in your own family room/den/living room.  A second TV might be a good idea at this time.

Disturbing the viewer during a game will be futile as total concentration on the game and the inability to notice anyone else will become the norm.

If you are dealing with a spouse/partner, you may notice that the phone goes unanswered, the baby won’t get changed nor will they be answering the door.  You are on your own!

Keeping the fridge totally stocked with the beverage of choice, food to nibble on that doesn’t require a lot of time to fix will be important. 

You may find that your family room/den/living room has been taken over by a group of men/women you have never seen before during game play who all seem to be enjoying the game with your spouse/partner/friend.

If your spouse/partner/friend’s team is losing, it will be a good idea to give some distance to your spouse/partner/friend.   Making statements such as “it’s only a game” or “don’t worry, they’ll have another chance in four years” will only make them angry and you probably don’t want to hear what they have to say.

If you require having a conversation with your spouse/partner/friend during this month, plan to have it between midnight and 6:00 am other wise you will have to wait until July 12th.

You may not understand this, but watching the replay of the goals is very important, especially if it is your spouse/partner/friend’s team that scored.

Planning on taking your spouse/partner/friend to any parties, wedding or other events will not happen.  Leaving the family room/den/living room during this month will not be an option during game time.  However, should your spouse/partner/friend be invited to a friend’s house to watch the game, they will undoubtedly be attending.

By the way, the World Cup highlights on ESPN will be shown every night and are just as important as the games themselves.

Soccer Magazines

A Little History of World Cup Soccer

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (International Federation of Association Football) or FIVA was founded in Paris on May 21, 1904. The world championship came about after Jules Rimet started looking to stage an international tournament outside of the Olympics. On May 28, 1928, the FIFA Congress was held in Amsterdam where it was decided to stage a world championship. Uruguay was named the host city for the inaugural World Cup tournament. The championship has been awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not contested because of World War II.

In the first world cup tournament, thirteen nations took part: Belgium, France, Romania, Yugoslavia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay and the United States.

The first two World Cup matches took place simultaneously on July 13, 1930, and were won by France and USA, who defeated Mexico (4–1) and Belgium (3–0) respectively. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent of France. In the final, Uruguay defeated Argentina (4–2) in front of a crowd of 93,000 people in Montevideo, Uruguay and in doing so became the first nation to win the World Cup.

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