Football is one of the most popular sports in the entire world. Many different countries compete both internationally and locally and at different levels. The sport has become more than just a game. It is also a way of life for many people. The citizens of Ireland are no exception to this trend.
The Republic of Ireland national football team has played in the final of the World Cup 3 times. This was in 1990, 1994, and finally 2002. This tournament is considered one of the biggest in the sports calendar and by far the most important for football as a sport.
During these finals Ireland played against Italy, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia. In the case of the Saudi Arabia match they managed to win with a score of 3 – nil. However, they then entered a knockout phase with Spain. During this match they drew.
The country has its own league with teams from all over the country, the League of Ireland Premier Division. It was founded in 1985 and consists of 10 teams. These teams are:
- Sligo Rovers
- Cork City
- St Patrick’s Athletic
- Derry City
- Shamrock Rovers
- Bray Wanderers
Much like England, the country has developed a strong national culture around the sport. When visiting a pub, it is highly likely to see a TV set on which will be playing a football match. Citizens have strong rivalries against other towns and cities. This has unfortunately led to the development of a hooliganism culture. After the release of the violent film Green Street there has been a reduction in the number of incidents relating to football influenced crime. This is likely because movie shows the consequences of violence and therefore helps to stop any potential young offenders going down this anti social path.