Fútbol brings the UK and Hispanic America closer
By Deisy Verdinez, Communications Officer, British Consulate General Houston
I will start off by saying that I am obsessed with the World Cup. OBSESSED. Every four years, nothing matters more than making sure I am able to watch important World Cup matches. I grew up watching the tournament back when most Americans had no clue that it existed. My family emigrated from Mexico to the US many years ago and brought with them a passion for football (or fútbol, as we call it) and the World Cup.
I was fortunate enough to take some time off from my job at the British Consulate in Houston and head down to Brazil for the start of the 2014 World Cup. Needless to say, it was an experience of a lifetime. I met people from around the world who shared in my passion for the game. And thanks to a Brazilian World Cup commercial where Brazilian fans thanked English fans for inventing the sport, I was reminded of the origins of football.
British expats introduced football to numerous Latin American countries, including Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, where the sport has become a religion. Here in the US, the popularity of “soccer” is far from reaching the levels of these countries, but the sport is gaining more momentum with every World Cup. Take the USA vs. Germany match—many Americans actually stopped working to watch the game. This increase in popularity can be attributed to numerous factors, but without a doubt, as the Hispanic population in the US continues to grow, so does the popularity of football.
A sneak peek behind the scenes as Premier Skills, the British Council’s global soccer partnership with the Premier League, launches in Chicago.
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At the British Embassy, the British Ambassador to the United States, Sir Peter Westmacott, hosted 20 of America’s wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans who will shortly participate in the Invictus Games, to be hosted in the UK later this year. The reception, attended by athletes and those who are an integral part of supporting the athletes on their road to these international games, was an expression of the camaraderie both nations share on and off the battle field.