How Popular is American Football in Korea?

South Korea is quite receptive of European and Western culture in general. The country is one of the few in Asia where sports like football and baseball enjoy massive support. It is, therefore, no surprise that a number of leagues in the USA have been actively promoting American football to Koreans. As opposed to association football (soccer), American football is not a very popular sport outside the United States.

In recent years, however, the sport has gained massive support from various places around the world. The massive support that American football enjoys at home seems to have spread in countries where there are either large populations of Americans or where there is a huge appetite for American culture. South Korea is one of those countries where American culture is highly appreciated.

So just how popular is American football in Korea?

Most Popular Sports in South Korea

In order to understand the level of support for American football in Korea, we need to look at the most popular sports in the country.

To start with, the culture of the country is heavily fashioned like American culture. You will, therefore, see sports like baseball, soccer, basketball, and archery among others being celebrated. Indeed, baseball is arguably the most popular sport in the country. It has enjoyed massive following over the years and the numbers keep growing. Not only do people watch baseball, but they also get involved in the game in one way or another.

Following closely is, European football, commonly known as association football or soccer. Football and South Korea have been described as synonymous owing to the large following of the sport. It is not difficult to understand why this sport has such a large following. South Korea is a frequent Asian participant in global tournaments like the World Cup. After football, the other most popular sports are basketball, archery, and swimming.

The Status of American Football in Korea

Given the above information, it is easy to see that American football is not among the top five most popular sports in Korea. This is simply because the sport is not heavily played in the country, nor does it have huge numbers in terms of fans. There is nevertheless a league in the country and it is made up of the North Division and South Division. The most popular teams in the league include:

Most Koreans are big fans of the US entertainment industry. Blockbuster movies often feature American football as part of the culture and by doing this, the popularity of the sport has been able to grow in Korea. While most Koreans do not actively follow the sport, they definitely know about it.

The General Attitude About the Sport

Considering that a large number of Koreans know about American football, the next logical question is – what do they think about it? In most Korean forums online, the general perception of this sport among the people is indifferent. On one hand, there are many Koreans who are of the opinion that the sport is somewhat entertaining considering its high intensity and quick nature. For others though, the physicality involved in the sport seems to be the only thing that stands out. Physical sports are generally not very popular in Korea.

Indeed, most Koreans who support soccer allude to the strategy that is involved in the game rather than the physical aspect of it. While there is an actively running Korean American Football Association, South Korea has not really managed to get any accolades in the sport outside the country. This means that the game is more or less at odds with the public support. It is thus because of this attitude that the sport is still in its formative stages.

In Summary

American football continues to attract many audiences all over the world. The sport is, however, one of the peripheral sports globally, especially when compared to massively popular sports like association football and swimming among others. South Korea is thus just a representation of the attitude that the general global populace has on American football. There is no doubt that in the age of internet and instant access to information, more and more people are discovering and getting involved with sports like American football. It will, however, take a huge amount of time before the sport completely captures the imagination of Koreans.

AFI
American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!
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