Football is the most-watched, played and supported game in the world, with the European marketing being worth around £21.9billion. But, being a fan is not just about watching the games and shouting at the TV, many football followers have conflicting reasons for their dedication to the sport.

Football is not just a sport, it has its own community. The comradery the sport creates among fans has led to endless spin-offs that have become extremely popular, even by those who may not follow the sport itself.

Sports bars are located near stadiums to allow fans to celebrate a win or help forget a loss, and even create an atmosphere as though in the stadium, without the ticket cost, but just as rowdy. As well as bars, football has led to virtual versions of the game and led to game companies generating billions in profits from these games, in a single year.

Clothing, fantasy football, and online forums are also examples of outlets that fans use to express their love for the game and their participation in the community.

Placing a bet fills many people with exhilaration and football is another excuse to feel that rush. With over 45% of adults having participated in betting, football is the most popular betting activity and can often be the sole reason some people watch the sport. The football betting industry is an industry worth billions of pounds and everyone wants a piece of the pie. There are hundreds of outlets for sports betting, such as using Infogol, and plenty of people wanting to place bets for a quick buck. 

If you asked around, the majority of men will likely say they wanted to grow up to be footballers, and more often than not, that dream will not be the reality. Watching the sport and being part of the community can fill the void of not following that childhood fantasy. Football games have a boisterous atmosphere and make the thousands watching from the stands, and those at home, feel included in the game. Being a fan can be just as inclusive as actually playing in the game.

Supporting football can be whittled down to the fact that it is human nature. Wanting to be included and have a cause to support provides comfort and a sense of belonging. Competition and entertainment have been blending through many different cultures and from generation to generation, as well as the excitement of the unpredictability of each game. Football has multiple big events that attract countless viewers, and each of those competitions involves players and fans from all different backgrounds, genders, and races.