The game of soccer is the most popular sport throughout the world. In Ireland, although it is not native to Irish soil, things
are no different. It is referred to as "soccer" so as not to be confused with Gaelic football, one of Ireland's
Soccer, much as it is with many of the sports played in Ireland, was brought over from England. However, for many years it
was confined to Dublin and a few provincial towns. At this stage in its development, the game was commonly referred to as
the "garrison game," largely because most teams were comprised of soldiers from the British army (Soccer in Ireland).
Although it continued to develop, the game was officially banned by the Gaelic Athletic Association because it was a 'foreign'
game. However, once that ban was lifted in 1971, soccer gained in its importance as its popularity skyrocketed around the
globe (GAA). Despite low match attendance at league games, the sport continued to gain in popularity over the next few years
before finally exploding when English coach Jack Charlton convinced a number of British players, who had Irish roots, which
they would get more exposure and World Cup play if they went and played for the Irish team. Even though most of these players
had never set foot on Irish soil, the team swept into the World Cup finals and, although they lost, set the cornerstone for
soccer's continued place in the culture of Ireland (Move to Ireland).
Since then, Ireland has qualified for three World Cups but, still to this day, has never won a major tournament on the international
scale. In Ireland, soccer is played at all levels and is governed by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), a largely
In Ireland, soccer has gained its cultural significance largely because of its importance on an international scale.
Unlike sports like hurling or Gaelic football, soccer is not mainly confined to Ireland. Soccer, in many aspects, is the
universal sport on this planet. It is a sport that can be found in every part of the world where there is human life, and
playing the game is more about national pride then anything else. Soccer, on its grandest scale, gives Ireland an identity
that no other sport can. It is because of this uniqueness that separates soccer from any other sport played throughout the
FAI. The Football Association of Ireland. 25 Jan. 2007. http://www.fai.ie/
Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). GAA. 2006. 10 Nov. 2006 http://www.gaa.ie/
Move to Ireland. 1996. Sports in Ireland. 7 Nov. 2006. http://www.movetoireland.com/movepag/misespan.htm.
Soccer in Ireland. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 2006. Wikipedia. 25 Jan. 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soccer_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland