By Tom Price
Every four years there is a tournament that brings together people across the world like no other: from whole villages in Africa gathered around one TV, to Pacific islanders rising in the middle of the night to tune in, no sport unites the world as one human family quite like soccer, football, futbol.
World Cup 2010 will be broadcast in 210 countries and territories. The cumulative audience for all of the games is expected to be some 26 billion people. Why is this celebration of soccer so popular and what does it mean for an international, humanitarian agency like Catholic Relief Services?
Soccer is the people’s game, the game of the poor, played with anything round that children and adults can find, on grass, dirt, or concrete, and for the first time the World Cup is being held in the developing world, in South Africa.
Soccer is not only a way that we come together as one human family, it plays a role in CRS’ work around the world. It has been used to build peace in East Timor, as fitness for those living with HIV/Aids in India, and as sheer fun for orphans in Haiti. Of all games or pastimes, no other can bring people together or stir such emotion. As Pope John Paul II said “Amongst all unimportant subjects, football is by far the most important.”
We’ll be sharing stories over the course of the tournament. Be sure to check back in the coming weeks for stories about soccer from a global perspective.
One Response to “World Cup: The Global Tournament”
Leave a Comment
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.