If you’re American, then you probably got used to seeing cheerleaders everywhere around you. Cheerleaders are around you from when you start school till when you watch your last sports match ever.
In Europe, it’s a different story. Specifically in European soccer, cheerleaders haven’t been able to take major rules during European soccer games for different reasons.
There are many reasons behind the absence of cheerleading in soccer in general and here are some of the main ones.
1- The number of goals scored per a soccer match is low
Most of the sports around the world are designed in a way that allows teams to score points very frequently. Take basketball as an example, the ball goes inside the basket every few seconds and a team scores some points.
This high frequency of points scored per a time duration is a great advantage for cheerleaders. Cheerleaders will get the chance to do their thing very frequently and they’ll be an essential part of the teams that they’re cheering for.
Soccer is the complete opposite. It’s rare that soccer fans witness a high number of goals per match. It is much harder to score a goal in soccer than to score points in basketball for example.
For example, a soccer match could have no goals at all, and these matches are very common. This leaves no room for the cheerleaders to shine.
A professional soccer match is 90 minutes long. Imagine that no goals were scored during a soccer match (which is a common thing to happen), what will the cheerleaders do during the whole duration of the match, stand and watch?
In summary, soccer isn’t a great environment for cheerleaders by design. Cheerleaders won’t get the chance to do their acts very often because the number of goals scored per a soccer match is relatively low when compared to other sports.
2- Soccer players have their own iconic celebrations.
Over the years, soccer players have developed the habit of doing their own celebrations after they score a goal.
Most of the professional soccer players have their own way of celebrating the goals they score, and some of these celebrations have become iconic in the soccer world.
For example, Cristiano Ronaldo’s celebrations are one of these iconic celebrations that soccer fans wait to see every time the player scores a goal.
But how is this related to cheerleading? Well… as we said earlier, cheerleaders already don’t have a lot of chances to celebrate goals since there aren’t many goals during a soccer match, and even if a goal is scored during a match, the audience will usually want to watch the iconic celebrations of the goal scorers rather than the cheerleaders’ celebrations.
In other words, the cheerleaders won’t be the primary focus of the audience when a goal is scored in a soccer match. The audience will be busy watching the goal scorer celebrate in their own way.
This leaves little to no room for cheerleaders to shine and get the attention they deserve during the match.
3- Soccer doesn’t have many breaks.
If cheerleaders don’t have a lot of chances to celebrate during a soccer game, then how about doing their act during the breaks?
Nah, they have no luck here either. There’s only one break during most soccer matches, and that’s the break between the 2 halves of the game. The break is 15 minutes long, and that’s the only chance that cheerleaders get to entertain the audience.
Other popular sports include more than 1 break which gives cheerleaders a chance to grab the attention of the audience multiple times, but that’s not the case in soccer.
Cheerleaders can’t even take over the large soccer field before the match begins because soccer players will be using the field to do some necessary warmups before the match, and they might not get the chance to take over the field during the break too because the field’s grass is usually watered during the break
A side note. There are some soccer matches that include large celebrations before the beginning of the match, but these matches are rare.
For example, you can watch these celebrations take place during the first and the last matches of the world cup, during the last match of the champions league, and so on.
But these celebrations will rely more on singers than on the cheerleaders. The singers will get the shining spot and the cheerleaders will just be there to support the singers.
4- Soccer originated in Europe.
The origins of a sport will have a huge influence on it for the years to come. Modern soccer originated in England, and cheerleading in England wasn’t (and still isn’t) as common as it is in the USA.
For that reason, cheerleading wasn’t integrated into soccer the way it was integrated into many American sports.
These days however, cheerleading is becoming more and more popular outside the united states. There have also been many attempts to integrate cheerleading into soccer.
While the past attempts weren’t always successful, one can never know what the future attempts will hold.
With that said, I’ll end this article by stating that the main reasons why soccer doesn’t have cheerleaders is because soccer isn’t a great environment of cheerleaders in general and because modern soccer is originally an European sport.