Football is a popular sport in the United Kingdom, and it is known as football there. It is the same sport that is known as “football” in the United States. The first teams open to British players were established in 1983, and the competition began the following year in the form of a series of unique games. The results of the matches were compiled into a “Merit Table”, with teams that played more than three matches eligible for the championship.
The sport has grown in popularity since then, and many new fans often avoid the word football as a gross Americanism and adopt the name football for their new favorite sport. American football is also one of the sports organized under the umbrella of the British Universities and Colleges Sport, which organizes a league competition such as the British Universities American Football League. American football was introduced to the United Kingdom at the beginning of the 20th century by US military personnel stationed in the country. In 1982, terrestrial channel channel 4 began showing weekly highlights of the NFL, and interest in the sport increased.
As a result, football players increasingly adopted football to refer to their sport. In Northern Ireland, teams compete in an island-wide regional amateur competition hosted by the Irish Football League (IAFL). The United Kingdom national football team of Great Britain represents the United Kingdom in international competition. In addition, several matches have been played in the National Football League (NFL), which is the sport's leading professional league in the United States.
Football is also popular in other countries where there is another major sport called football (for example, Canada has its own version of field football; Ireland is home to Gaelic football; and Australia is crazy about Australian football). Meanwhile, in the United States, a sport emerged at the end of the 19th century that borrowed elements from both rugby and association football. In the 20th century, rugby football was more commonly called rugby, while association football had earned the right to be known as simple football.