Football – American or European

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Football, in American terms, is a sport in which the goal is to gain yardage and score touchdowns. Football in Europe, however, is a sport in which there is no use of hands permitted, and the goal is to score goals in the opponent’s net.

Which sport deserves the term football?

Seeing that in the American version, the only use of feet is during a kickoff, punt, or field goal one could wonder why this sport does not have another name. This is probably the reason why it is referred to, mostly, as American football by non-Americans. It is undoubtedly the most followed and played sport in the US. The footballing system in the US is of outstanding quality with college football producing the best players to grace the NFL in recent times. The question still remains, why call a sport football where the use of feet is so minimal?

Football, known by the same name in Europe and most of the world, however, does its name justice, as matches consist of 90 minutes of, at least, 95% use of the feet. Other than the goalkeeper and players who throw the ball in, after it has gone out of play, the ball is at the player’s feet at all times. The use of hands in football, or soccer, is prohibited, except for the above mentioned.

So what sport really deserves to be honored with the name “football”? The American version, where the use of feet is minimal? Or the European version where feet are used for 80-85 minutes per match? Not an important discussion, but very much a fun topic to debate.

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