Is It Football Or Soccer In Australia? (Find Out Now)

Soccer or football? Depending on where in the world you live, the sport is referred to by a different term. Obviously, Americans use the term soccer, while the British say football, but what about Australia? Does Australia say soccer or football?

In Australia, it is referred to as soccer. If Australians say soccer, they are talking about competitions like the Premier League or the World Cup. If Australians talk about football, they are most likely talking about Australian Rules Football, or maybe even Rugby.

So now you know that it is referred to as soccer in Australia, but why is this? Find out the answer to this question and more in this article!

Does Australia Say Soccer or Football?

In Australia, they say soccer instead of football.

Suppose an Australian talk about the Champions League, the World Cup, or the English Premier League. In that case, they will refer to it as soccer.

However, it is worth noting that soccer fans who passionately follow the sport in Australia may actually refer to it as football instead.

This is quite rare, though, and the accepted term when talking about the sport is usually soccer for most of the country.

A soccer fan in Australia is unlikely to correct you if you say soccer, unlike in places like England, where a soccer fan will most likely only use the term football.

Why do Australians Say Soccer Instead of Football?

Australians say soccer instead of football because many other sports already use the term football in Australia.

The term football is extremely ambiguous in Australia.

There are many sports which, depending on the part of Australia you are in, use the term football.

With this in mind, you can see why calling it soccer helps differentiate it from the other sports in Australia.

The main soccer league in Australia, the A-League, also uses the term soccer rather than football. So it's only natural that fans follow suit.

Even though the A-League calls it soccer, many teams, such as Melbourne Victory FC, Newcastle Jets FC, and Sydney FC, all have 'Football Club' (FC) in their name.

This is quite common across most countries that also use the term soccer.

Where Does The Term Soccer Come From?

The term "soccer" originally came from an old term called "Association Football." This is what soccer was originally called in the United Kingdom in the 1800s.

The British used the term "Associated Football" to differentiate the sport from rugby, which was originally called "Rugby Football."

In Britain today, soccer is simply called football, while Rugby Football is now just called rugby.

Countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia then adopted the term "soccer" to differentiate British football (or Associated Football) from their own local versions of football.

What is Referred to as Soccer in Australia?

Australians call soccer in Australia what British and European people call football. So when any European football leagues are discussed in Australia, they will usually refer to it as soccer.

The English Premier League, Spain's La Liga, Germany's Bundesliga, and even the UEFA Champions League.

All these competitions would be labeled as soccer in Australia, despite them all being called football in their homelands.

The same is true for the World Cup. Even though the majority of the world would call the World Cup a football tournament, Australia would still call it a soccer tournament.

What is Referred to as Football in Australia?

There are a few sports in Australia that refer to themselves as football. These include Australian Rules Football (AFL), Rugby Union, and Rugby League. 

American Football and even Gaelic Football are also played at an amateur level in Australia.

With all these different variations of football across the country, it's really no surprise that soccer remains as simply just soccer.

Given that Australia proudly created its own version of football which is almost exclusively played in Australia, it would almost be disrespectful to refer to soccer as football.

Australian Rules Football, sometimes just called Aussie Rules, is more popular than soccer in Australia.

It is worth noting that some Australians will still call soccer football, or maybe 'footy.'

This may have to do with following soccer from a country that uses the term soccer (the English Premier League, for example) or with the popularity of soccer in a particular region of the country.

Make no mistake, though, the most commonly used term is still soccer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it football or soccer in England?

In England, it is most definitely called football. Most English football fans will not even entertain the idea of calling it soccer.

Originally the English called it Associated Football to avoid confusion with Rugby Football. These days though, it's simply just football and rugby.

Unlike Australia, there isn't another type of football for England to worry about, like the Australian Football League (AFL).

This is also the case for most European and South American countries.

(Click here to learn more about whether they say soccer or football in England)

Is it football or soccer in New Zealand?

New Zealand is actually a bit mixed, but football is becoming more common to say than soccer these days.

In 2007, the New Zealand Football Organization replaced the word soccer with football in their official title. This was to try to line up with the rest of the world.

For years, New Zealand would follow Australia in calling it soccer to avoid confusion with Australian Rules Football.

However, the Premier League became so popular in New Zealand that the term football began to be used more and more when discussing soccer, especially among younger people.

(Click here to learn more about whether they say soccer or football in New Zealand)

Is it football or soccer in Ireland?

Both football and soccer are used in Ireland, but football is the more commonly used term.

The term football can get very confusing in Ireland. Not only is it used for soccer, but also for Gaelic Football and, sometimes, Rugby.

Although fans of Gaelic Football will often use the term soccer to differentiate the two, soccer fans in Ireland continue to call it football most of the time.

(Click here to learn more about whether they say soccer or football in Ireland)

Is it football or soccer in Canada?

Most Canadians call competitions like the Premier League and Champions League - soccer.

If Canadians are talking about football, they are probably referring to the NFL in the U.S., or their own Canadian Football, the CFL.

This is most likely due to Canada and the U.S. sharing the same soccer league (MLS) and wanting to differentiate soccer from the NFL and the CFL.

(Click here to learn more about whether they say soccer or football in Canada)


In Australia, competitions like the Premier League and the Champions League are mostly referred to as soccer.

If an Australian is talking about football, they most likely refer to Australian Rules Football (Aussie Rules), Rugby League, or Rugby Union.

The main reason they say soccer is due to the popularity of Australian Rules Football and to avoid any confusion with the many other sports that use the term football.

November 5, 2022
Published: November 5, 2022