Football Has a Large and Growing Audience Outside of the United States

September 24, 2022 by Staff

We typically think of football as being a purely US American sport. In fact, in many places it is called “American football” to distinguish it from the more aptly named football, a.k.a. soccer. However, football is not confined to these fifty states. Rather it is extremely popular in other countries, and growing in popularity in many more. Whether in Europe, Asia, or other continents, we cover here some important aspects of football’s global footprint.

Football in Asia

Football is growing across Asia, and people living there are finding new ways to enjoy the sport. In Japan, the sport was introduced in the 1930 and has since grown into one of the most popular sports. Professional teams are only allowed to have three players from the United States, who are also eligible to be football’s MVP. There are even two college football leagues. Other countries, such as Thailand, have a pent up and growing demand for American Football. You can see this in their nascent American Football League Thailand.

You can also see it in this guide to the best sports betting sites, known in Thailand as พนันกีฬาออนไลน์. This will show you that people in Thailand are betting on all kinds of sports, including American football. Here experts have reviewed these sites based on their betting markets. They also take into account the competitiveness of the odds, the welcome bonuses, and banking methods. They will even show you how to sign up!

We can expect more and more sites like these to be built and visited as football grows in popularity across Asia.

The Future of Football in Europe

The NFL Is the biggest football league in the world, so when they set their eyes on another continent, you know they mean business. This is exactly what is happening with the NFL’s International Series.
The National Football League will take three games through October to the United Kingdom. Here are those three games:

  • Minnesota Vikings vs New Orleans Saints - 2nd October, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
  • Green Bay Packers vs New York Giants - 9th October, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
  • Denver Broncos vs Jacksonville Jaguars - 30th October

The NFL has been coming to England since 2007, so it is no surprise that it, along with Spain and Germany, is one of three European countries where football is very popular. The International Series will go to Germany in 2022 and 2023.

World League of American Football

Football saw some first attempts at global expansion with the World League of American Football. This 1989 initiative was meant to expand global interest in the sport, as well as develop more local talent. There were six teams based in the United States, three in Europe, and one in Canada.

The three European teams were the London Monarchs, Barcelona Dragons, and Frankfurt Galaxy. Early spectator numbers in Europe surpassed expectations, but it proved financially unsustainable for the teams in the United States. The World League of American Football only lasted two years, but it served as a proving ground for the global popularity of the sport.

Europa League

In 1995, Europe founded its own American football league. The same three teams from the World League of American Football were joined by three more teams: The Amsterdam Admirals, the Rhein Fire, and the Scottish Claymores.

While attendance numbers were great at first, interest seemed to wane, outside of Germany at least. In 1998, the London Monarchs pulled out and were replaced by the league’s third German team: The Berlin Thunder.  In 2004, the Barcelona Dragons were replaced by yet another German squad: The Cologne Centurions.

And, if you can believe it, the Scottish Claymores were also replaced that same year by another German team, the Hamburg Sea Devils. This left Amsterdam and five German teams in the league.

Although the league was disbanded in 2007, attendance numbers in Germany remained high. An average of over 18,000 fans packed the stadiums for each game. The World Bowl, the league's final game, attracted nearly 50,000 people and was held just one week before the league was disbanded.

In other words, it is clear that there is support for some sort of American football league in a number of countries around the world. Just where the future of football will go, is, however, anyone’s guess.