Australian Soccer Is Shocked Alessandro Del Piero Uses ‘Soccer’ Not ‘Football’

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

Alessandro Del Piero’s move to Australia to play in the burgeoning A-League was a big deal. And while it hasn’t exactly gone as hoped on the field thanks to injury, Del Piero’s status brings football star power to a league in need of it. Funny then, that Del Piero himself hasn’t used the word “football” since he landed. Del Piero in “soccer not football” shocker!

“I’m here with a lot of passion about soccer,” Del Piero said in his first interview with A-League broadcaster Fox Sports.

Since then, it’s been “soccer” at every turn. What gives?

Del Piero’s choice of name for the sport is surprising to the Australians, who have done their damndest to co-opt “football” for the game the rest of the world calls by that name. Although Aussie Rules Football remains the biggest sporting draw in the country, the soccer community Down Under has decided to stick with “football” at every turn. The country’s governing body is the Football Federation Australia, who have consciously chosen “football” over “soccer.” Most news outlets in the country have made the transition as well.

Never mind the Socceroos, that’s a holdover from an earlier time.

Of course, Del Piero is Italian, so it’s not as though he’s used to calling the game “football.” An FFA spokesman went with the “translation” theory, said they won’t force the Italian star change, then took a shot at those Aussie sports that use “football” (or “footy”) when they use the hands more than the feet (as an American, this is eerily familiar).

“I think the word soccer is Del Piero’s English translation for football,” he said.

“We not going to force him to call it something different. As long as he’s talking about the game and people are talking about the game in whatever form, we’re happy.

“I just think it’s funny seeing all the other sports calling their game football when every time I watch, people are using their hands.”

As for the people of Australia, it turns out they’re not even sure what they want to call the game. “Soccer” or “football.” This calls for a poll!

A News.com.au reader poll which has attracted 4,012 votes at the latest count reveals that exactly 2006 people voted for football, and 2006 for soccer.

Exactly down the middle. How does that even happen? In light of the split, News.com.au has a suggestion: Call it “foccer.” Who doesn’t love a portmanteau? That one is terrible, though. Don’t really call it “foccer”, guys.

Souce: News.com.au, The Australian

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