Why is Soccer is the most popular sport in the world?
I’m no social scientist, but I’d suspect that there are socioeconomic reasons for it—it required nothing other than a ball and a field to play, making it possible to play literally anywhere that one can find a few square feet and a suitable amount of gravity. It can be played on the blacktop of the cities of Europe, in the savannahs of Africa, in the foothills of the Himalayans, and even in the Bluegrass of Kentucky. Even the poorest of the poor can play soccer, and some of the poorest nations in the world are among the elite in what the rest of the world calls Football.
Yet, somehow, it has become the Golf of team sports in America, played mainly by the suburban and the well-to-do. Perhaps it’s due to the English and European roots of the game—not many kids from the inner cities have had the privilege of watching a English Premier League match on television, much less in person. Maybe it’s cultural-while the best basketball and football players in the world tend to be black Americans, soccer is dominated by white Europeans and South Americans. There isn’t a lot of green space in American cities, either, and few urban schools field a varsity soccer team.