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10 Fun Facts About Soccer Before New York New Jersey Gets World Cup 2026

Here are 10 special facts we've assembled to help you know.

11:00 AM EST on February 6, 2024

Cricket World Cup 2015.

India v South Africa at the MCG (Flickr / Tourism Victoria)

New York New Jersey is getting the World Cup in 2026! You might be curious about our scheduled visitors. What is a FIFA? What, for that matter, is fūtbol?

Here are 10 special facts we've assembled to help you know.

1. FIFA stands for Fantastico Ibiza Futbol Agrodolce.

2. Soccer is a game that is always played and televised in the very early hours of the morning.

3. Did you know? Soccer balls used to be made out of slugs. For 78 years, it was called Slugfoot, until James T. Soccer (a New Yorker) invented his special ball.

4. When the ball goes into the net, the referee throws a flag. If the flag is red, the goal is worth two points. If the flag is yellow, no points are awarded but everyone shouts "Oi, Tottenham, innit!"

5. Soccer goalies are kept in an iron box for three weeks before each soccer match, so they are extra hungry for the ball.

6. Did you know? It's disrespectful not to riot after your team loses a game (also known as "a match").

7. If you see a visiting soccer player on the street or on the subway, don’t touch them! Soccer players are extremely delicate, and if even slightly jostled, are prone to falling on the floor and shattering.

8. British fashion designer, television personality, and former Spice Girls member Victoria Beckham is actually married to a soccer player. His name is David.

9. The reason you cannot use your hands in soccer is because it is impolite to reach for things—such as bribes—with your hands.

10. Winners of the World Cup get to drink out of it too—but watch out! It's made of snake teeth.

11. Fans love to talk about soccer history, so familiarize yourself with some of the greats: Pippi, Madonna, Messy Ronald, and Bart "Toe Bender" Devri.

12. Did you know? James Cameron's 1997 classic film "Titanic" was initially supposed to be about soccer, until Cameron decided to make a film about the Titanic.

13. Kiera Knightly popularized the knuckleball, revolutionizing the game in 2002.

14. While soccer has grown in popularity in the U.S. in recent years, the sport does not quite have enough brain injuries to appeal to most Americans.

15. One World Cup is equivalent to 10.5 Fleet Weeks.

16. The team that loses the World Cup has their eyeballs plucked out by the falcons of Mohammed bin Salman.

17. Did you know? New York City Mayor Eric Adams used to play soccer with a ball made out of old newspapers and bullet casings.

18. How do you say "what's up?" to a group of soccer fans? "Sepp, Blatter?"

[Photo Credit: Tourism Victoria / Flickr]

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