It has never ceased to amaze me how football (soccer, in Australian parlance) has always been the poor cousin of Australian sport. Many other forms of “football” have greater attendances. These include rugby league, rugby union and Australian Rules football.
Football, commonly regarded as “the world game”, although played widely throughout the country at junior levels, fails to attract and support the game at national and international level. The Hyundai A-League has gone some way to putting Australian football on the national stage, but the competition supports only ten teams, and one of those is from New Zealand! I would have thought that ther national competition could have supported more teams. The English Premier League supports 20 teams, 4 other divisions or leagues and two Scottish divisions. Any talented player in Australia must seek an overseas club to play for if they are getting to make a decent living from the sport
Of course all that has changed now that Australia is a finalist in the Asian Cup. Australians are now experts on everything “soccer”, as they throw their “lot” in with the national side. Should they win against South Korea on Saturday next, Australians will see this an excuse for the consumption of large quantities of alcohol, increased absenteeism from work as they enjoy an additional albeit unauthorised public holiday, the sickie.
After a week or so, apathy toward the sport will return, especially as the rugby league season draws near, and national football will again suffer from reduced attendance, and return to its poor cousin status.