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Why Soccer Didn’t Catch On In The World’s Most Populous Nations

Ever wondered why soccer failed to catch on in the United States and the other most populated countries in the world? This video from the brain4breakfast YouTube channel does a brilliant job of explaining why.

The 2018 World Cup did not feature any of the top four most populous nations in the world: China, India, the United States and Indonesia. Only Brazil, Nigeria, Russia and Mexico reached the tournament out of the top 10 most populous nations and Russia only qualified because it was hosting the World Cup.

So why isn’t soccer a bigger deal in some of these countries? This video explains with impressive thoughtfulness. 

In addition to the U.S., China and India, the video also looks at Ireland, Russia (kind of), Canada and Australia. 

For the United States, the video references how other sports in the U.S. fill the niches soccer typically fills in other soccer-crazy countries. For example, basketball was the sport most-often played in the cities, American football was the most-played among schools and baseball was the most popular spectator sport.

While soccer was successful in the first decades of the 20th century (the U.S. finished third at the first World Cup in 1930), the sport never recovered after the Great Depression. Basketball had cities dwellers still playing it, American football had the backing of schools and universities and baseball was America’s pastime, but soccer never could fully latch on. Only recently has soccer begun rising up the popularity ranks, threatening hockey and baseball to be the country’s third-most popular sport. 

The video goes into further detail on why soccer failed in the U.S., so check out the American section starting at 3:16. 

Or just watch the full video, which is definitely worth watching. The Canada explanation of why soccer failed may be the best. 

The “Why Football Failed” video was a sequel to the “How to Win the World Cup” video brain4breakfast put out before the World Cup. It’s worth a watch as well.

Kudos, brain4breakfast.

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