Football in Australia
One of the favorite pastimes of Australia is football. In this nation, football is the most popular of all games, maybe even more popular than cricket. Australia has a large portion of its population in the sporting field. In fact, Australian hospitals see more sports injuries than any other form of injury or illness.
The most popular form of football played in Australia is what is popularly referred to as ‘footie’ or Australian Rules Football. This is type of football has a nationwide league and is a very popular sport. As a matter of fact, Australia’s largest annual sporting event is the football finals held in September of every year.
There are several teams that play in the national league. These teams are spread through out the various Australian states, with Victoria, the home of the game, having the largest number of teams in the national league. There games are played on a home and away basis through out the league. Teams that qualify for the playoffs travel to the playoff city where they compete to play in the grand finale. The grand finale of the Australian Rules Football is the largest club finals anywhere in the world in terms of spectator attendance.
The other football game that is popular in Australia is soccer. This sport is governed and managed by Football Federation Australia. The sport has a national; league as well and a national team. The national team, known as “Socceroos” has represented the country in Soccer World Cup finals in recent years. In Germany in 2006, the team lost in the second round to Italy, while in South Africa in 2010, they won against Ghana in their final match, but did not make it to the second round stage.
There are many Australian international players who play in major leagues across Europe. They include Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka
Most of them play either in Australia, Asian leagues or the popular European leagues such as the English FA league, Italian Serie A and the Spanish La Liga.
The other popular Australian football league is the rugby football union. The rugby football union is not the most popular, though it is quite popular. However, the national rugby football team, popularly known as the wallabies, is quite popular, and is one of the top rugby teams in the world.
The current Australian national junior team is competing at the world junior championships. The young Socceroos have just lost their match to Costa Rica, a more experienced South American football nation.
The recent World Women Soccer championships held in Germany saw the Australian women’s team get to the quarter finals where they lost to Sweden. They were among the elites that made it to the finals in Germany 2011.