Okay, so you already know that the entire world, except for the US and Canada, calls soccer “football.” You probably also know that soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with over 1 billion fans watching the World Cup on television live score and placing bets judi online each year. You may even know that a soccer player runs an average of six miles during each game. But here are some things you probably didn’t know. A game by any other name Why does the world call it “football”? It’s because it’s played with the feet, right? That’s what you’d think. However, it was originally named that to set it apart from similar games played by aristocrats on horseback. Peasants played most of their sports without expensive horses. So it’s called football because it’s played on foot, not with foot. So, where did the name “soccer” come from? It’s actually a corruption of the word “association.” In the early days of the game in Britain, it was called “Association Football” to distinguish it from other forms of football being played at that time. In less than a year it became “Assoccer” from the abbreviating of the original name and adding “er”—a common practice in those days. Shortly after that, it got abbreviated down to “Soccer.” That name stuck. Who’da thunk? Interestingly, although ice hockey and lacrosse are Canada’s official national sports, soccer is the most popular sport in terms of participation rate in that country. According to FIFA, over two and a half million people played soccer in Canada in 2006. Just as interesting is the fact that the United States has more official soccer players than any other nation in the world—nearly 18 million. Over three quarters of these are under the age of 18. Soccer was recognized as the fastest-growing high school and college sport in the US in the 1990s. Soccer can be hazardous to your health There are any number of ways to get injured playing soccer, but you wouldn’t think that celebrating would be one of them. Actually, celebrating accounts for one in every 20 injuries that happens on the field. One of the least common (but most devastating) injuries is by lightning. In 1998, the entire 11-man Congolese soccer team was killed by a bolt of lightning which ended the game at a 1-1 tie. The game took place in the Democratic republic of China. The home team was unhurt. Public opinion was divided over whether the catastrophe was the result of a curse or not.