Sport space | Ice hockey fears the sleeping giant

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Link to Reuters article

Riga, Latvia | The head of the International Ice Hockey Federation as well as a major player in the International Olympic Committee, Rene Fasel fears for ice hockey’s status in North America. Speaking to Reuters at the IIHF world championships, Fasel says hockey is under threat from soccer.

I don’t think the [National Football League] will lose people, [the National Basketball Association] will not lose fans, but the market will be even more difficult for hockey. Wake up North America, soccer is coming. I tell you, they sleep while it’s coming. … They should be very careful in North America about soccer.

Critical to ice hockey’s development, according to Fasel, is retaining the participation of National Hockey League players at the Winter Olympics as well as developing an international club competition.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have recognized soccer’s potential. The ownership group, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, will operate the newest franchise in Major League Soccer beginning in 2007 and construct a 20,000-seat stadium (see 5 Nov 05).

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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  1. FarParker says:

    Street hockey is great for kids. It’s energetic, competitive and skilful. And best of all it keeps them off the street.

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