It is called “The Beautiful Game” but that could not be further from the truth, as the world of soccer was hit with a match fixing scandal, giving Americans yet another reasons for Americans to insult the sport. There were a total of $10.9 million USD in profit as well as $2.7 million paid as bribes to officials and players. Match fixing is only a piece of the puzzle for what is wrong with the sport in the eyes of most Americans.
The culture of the game is vastly different in the eye of the average American eye in the case of written and unwritten rules. The most common thing that people notice is that the clock is continually running, thus creating issues for stalling. An instance of stalling was when a ball boy covered the ball in a match and was kicked by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard during Chelsea’s match against Swansea. Another incident of stalling is faking an injury. It is common for players to flop in basketball, but in soccer it is more apparent and arguably more annoying. In the most recent Women’s World Cup Final, Brazil faked an injury to stall the game against the U.S., but it failed as the U.S. pulled off the victory in PK’s. As far as the written rules go, once a player receives a red card, they are ejected and cannot be replaced for the rest of the match, whereas in basketball, another player takes his place. Another difference in soccer is the fact that they do not use instant replay for goals or other controversial issues.
Racism plays a huge role in soccer as well. Earlier this month, it was confirmed that fans of Inter Milan were yelling racist chants at Mario Balotelli and the club was subsequently fined (3*). There seems to be a goal to stop racism by FIFA, as they have captains read statements before World Cup games about how to be respectful, but it all seems to be for naught.
Americans will have a tough time respecting or enjoying soccer if they keep hearing about scandals, but at this point I think that the sport has hurt its reputation to the point of no return.