In an act that most English speaking countries find bemusing, Soccer (Association Rules) is seeking to be referred to as "Football." Although many countries in Europe do indeed refer to Soccer as Futbal, Fussball, or something similar, almost all English speaking countries refer to it as Soccer. Therefore, if non-English speakers want to communicate in the international language, they too must refer to Soccer with its internationally accepted English title.
Fortunately, American, Australian, Canadian, South African, Irish and New Zealand English teachers are doing a good job in Asia by ensuring that Asians refer to Soccer by its correct title. Sadly, European trade barriers are resulting in teachers from Britain dominating in Europe and poor vocab is being taught as a result. Most Europeans now misunderstand one of the most important words in the English language.
Perhaps Australian Soccer's desire to change its name is an acknowledgement of deficiency of its image, and the desire to steal an image more dear to an Australian's heart. The word football carries an image of gladiatorial combat. It is an image that has been built on the back of courage displayed in Aussie Rules (aka the beautiful game), Rugby League , Rugby Union and Gridiron. On the other hand, Soccer is a game whose players role around in agony if a fly touches their knee. Soccer does not belong in the same gladiatorial sentence with the football codes. It belongs in the same sentence as badminton, bowls and ping pong.
Soccer fans argue that codes such as Gridiron, Rugby Union and Rugby League should not be called football because the ball is handled more than it is kicked. Such an argument, however, shows a complete lack of understanding for the historical origins of the word 'football.' The name 'football', was originally coined in reference to games played on foot. In medieval England, the aristocrats played games on horses, while the poor peasants ran, hence the peasants played ball on foot, or football. (*If the name had been created to provide an accurate description of Soccer, it would have been called feetball, kickball, dribble ball, grassball, or kickalongthegroundball.)
There are some Soccer fans who whinge that it is absurd that the on foot label was only applied to Rugby, Cricket, Soccer and Football, but not to sports
like Cricket, or Hockey that were also played on foot. While it may be absurd, getting angry about it is as futile as getting angry about other peculiarities of the English language such as: driving on parkways, and parking on driveways, a house burning up as it burns down, it being hot as hell one day, and cold as hell the other, the teacher that taught, but the preacher that didn't praught. It is pointless. The English language is full of words that seem absurd once that they have been removed from the time and place that created them, yet the words are still used. If Soccer fans truly feel more accurate label is now needed, then they could call their sport Feetball. Technically speaking, Football could only be an accurate description for Soccer when its played by amputees living near African minefields.
Back to the illiterate peasants. Because they never wrote any rules for their games, it is difficult to know what level of handling prevailed in them. There is, however, circumstantial evidence that their focus was towards handling. As balls of the era were made from animal bladders, they were usually egg or banana shaped. Soccer style dribbling would have been difficult. In 1841, an Aboriginal protector actually used the level of handling as the chief difference between English Football, and the Aboriginal game of Marngrook:
"The players of this game do not throw the ball as a white man might do, but drop it and at the same time kicks it with his foot. "
There are many who believe that Marngrook evolved into Australian Rules Football(aka the beautiful game). In which case, Australian Rules has the longest continuity of being a kicking-focussed game. If Australian Rules is indeed an evolution of Marngrook, then the beautiful game has a cultural legacy of being a kicking game dating back up 50,000 years.
In 1858, Australian Rules became the world's first officially codified game of football when 10 rules were formerly written down. At this time, there was no written rules for any code in England.
In 1862, Rugby was the first English football code codified, and naturally, it continued to be referred to as Football. Soccer came into existence in 1863 when the Football Association was founded in London with the intention of creating a unified set of rules. Supporters of the Rugby style of play left the meeting and continued playing their rules. The Association then coined the word "Soccer" as an abbreviation for association rules. The new name helped distinguish the new code from Football (Rugby).
Rugby was taken to America, where it evolved into Gridiron. As Rugby was typically referred to as Football, Gridiron likewise became known as Football. Rugby League broke away from Rugby Union in 1895, and like Gridiron, also became known as a code of Football.
Morally, Soccer's move come as little surprise. Soccer is a sport that breeds people of dubious integrity - phoneys who want rewards to come through referee intervention rather than hard work. Phoneys who pretend to be felled to get a free shot on goal. And now phoneys who want to pretend their sport is worthy of the title of football.
The best evidence of the superior valour of football fans is their open-mindedness. They don't seek a monopoly on the title of football, and are prepared to share it with other codes. They see the argument a bit like pork, beef, lamb, chicken or fish lovers fighting over the word "meat". Soccer fans making a scene about a name only stands to make their code look ridiculous.
Football (as in Aussie Rules, Gridiron, and Rugby) contains much more strategy, athletisism, and skill than Football (as in soccer)