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International Breaks Are Annoying But Necessary

A recent video on Yahoo! Sports asked the question: should international soccer be scrapped? The problems they laid out included the fact that international soccer requires teams to take two breaks during the fall so they can compete in international play to qualify for events like the Olympics or the World Cup.

The video went on to say that most team members usually prefer to only play for the club that’s paying them the big bucks, and that they don’t care about their international team, and that fans often feel the same way. So, we should simply get rid of international soccer and replace it with “something that better reflects the taste of the modern fan.”

Why This Is A Bad Idea

This, I say, is wrong. Is what the article saying factually incorrect? No, many fans and players do prefer to focus solely on their domestic clubs. And, yes, the international breaks are quite annoying. However, that doesn’t mean that we simply throw in the towel when it comes to international events.

For one, the purpose of international events is to create a unity that is nation-wide. Local rivalries between domestic clubs are common,but when the large international events happen, populaces have something to unify behind..

This is especially pertinent in today’s society where we are often at arm’s length. Domestic club rivalries can also have that effect. We need these international events to bring us together.

In 2014, more than 3.2 million people attended the 64 matches at the Brazil World Cup. The average crowd was more than 53,000 peoplr. This was the highest attendance at a World Cup in nearly two decades. Did these people come out to see the stars? Absolutely. Did they also go to watch and cheer on their national team? You bet they did.

What I think Yahoo! is missing is the unification that we get from these events. Do I also believe that taking breaks at the start of the season is problem? Yes, but my conclusion is never going to be to scrap our national teams. Instead, maybe we can adjust the breaks.

Instead of when the season starts, perhaps we can make them happen prior to the season? Or maybe better spread out throughout the season? Whatever the answer is, we will find it. And I personally will continue to cheer for my national team for many years to come.

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