Soccer the new creed across US
Sunday 28 September 1997
The sport has suddenly become so huge that America's Christian churches are feeling under threat. A spat in Milwaukee over falling church attendances because of the dominance of soccer in the lives of the local children threatens to erupt and expand across the US.
"Both children and parents feel torn between loyalty to team members and loyalty to their church and God," said a letter 31 Milwaukee clergymen sent last week to local sports administrators. Unfortunately for the clergymen, God is not always coming out the winner.
Soccer is now the number one sport among American children. More play soccer on a regular, organised basis than baseball, basketball and American football. The Milwaukee Kickers' Soccer Club, to whom the letter was chiefly addressed, runs more than 800 teams of youngsters aged five to 19. Matches and practice sessions, which most parents loyally attend, used to be held on Saturdays but switched to Sundays after complaints from the Jewish community.
"Families are having a difficult time choosing between soccer games on Sunday mornings and coming to worship," said the Rev John Sumwalt of the United Methodist Church.
Following a report on Friday about the conflict between church and soccer in Milwaukee, Mr Sumwalt was inundated with phone calls from radio stations and the major TV networks. "Evidently we have struck a national chord," he said.
- 1 Astrological signs are almost all wrong, as movement of moon and sun throws out zodiac
- 2 Dad eats daughter's weed brownies, thinks he's had a stroke
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...