A recent Cooper-Sinclair poll showed that many Brits are beginning to refer to European football as soccer. The term soccer originated in the States in 1906, when Yale University radio announcer Donald Gregory, calling a game against UPenn said, "To thwart any further confusion I declare that from this day forward Americans will call this game soccer."
For years now when Brits use the term 'football' in TV or movies many Americans automatically think of touchdowns and field goals. And when Americans use the term 'football' Brits think of throw-ins, corner kicks and head butts. "It's been a huge problem for Hollywood," said American Films Abroad(AFA) director, Harold Dorsey. The AFA estimates that the confusion costs the movie industry over $4 million per year. But times are changing.
"I've always hated the term soccer. I mean what is that? But it definitely has a bit of a ring to it. I say it a lot but not around my mates unless they also use it," said Cheshire on the Thames United fan, Steven Thompson.
"Soccer was a forbidden word here in the past but now I consider myself a soccer player," said Wayne Rooney, Manchester United forward. Rooney recently appeared at a press conference donning a t-shirt that read,"Manchester Soccer" on the front and "Pass me that Soccer Ball" on the back.
Experts say it goes beyond the recent television ads featuring David Beckham, pleading for the citizens of Great Britain to use the term soccer. "Sure the ads have helped but I think it boils down to soccer being a very hip term right now," said London Weekly journalist, Habe Sutherland.
So strong is the 'soccer' movement that South Africa is considering renaming the 2010 World Cup to The World's Global Soccer Tournament 2010.