Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Canadian Soccer Fan and North American Identity

I just returned to Lesotho after a week and a half of travelling around South Africa to attend some World Cup matches. Overall, it was an amazing experience, but one thing that stood out for me was the fact that I was a Canadian at a World Cup without an affiliation to any of the competing nations. This situation is highlighted every time you speak with someone because the inevitable question is ‘who do you support?’

I think that many Canadians would identify themselves as English, French, Italian, Greek, etc and therefore support those nations in the World Cup. For the last couple of World Cups I have begun supporting the United States. Generally, I tend not to support the U.S. in any event and instead actively cheer against them. However, I feel they represent North American soccer (I am excluding Mexico from this statement – not intending to offend) and as a North American soccer player and fan I am cheering for them. While I travelled around South Africa I would encounter people from African countries who were actively supporting other African nations. Now that Ghana is the only African team remaining I believe that the entire continent will be supporting them, as they are representing Africa - This is a huge generalization, but go with me here.

I have a feeling that it is not the same in North America. Do we lack North American identity, North American pride?

June 24, 2010

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