Since most of the world still doesn’t know the story, here’s why:
“Soccer’s etymology is not American but British,” explains Partha Mazumdar of the U.S. Embassy in London. “It comes from an abbreviation for Association Football, the official name of the sport (for those of you who have never heard the team “Association Football” before, it was named after the Football Association, which still governs English soccer, to differentiate itself from the other major type of football, Rugby Football, which was named after the Rugby School. FIFA, the world governing body of soccer, is French for the International Federation of Association Football… F-I-F-A).”
He continues, “For obvious reasons, in the 1880s and 1890s, English newspapers couldn’t use the first three letters of Association as an abbreviation in their pages, so they took the next syllable, S-O-C. With the British penchant for adding “-er” at the end of words: punter, footballer, copper, and, of course, nicknaming rugby, “rugger,” the word “soccer” was soon born, over a hundred years ago, here in England, the home of soccer. We adopted it and kept using it because we have our own indigenous sport that we call football.”
Still don’t like the word soccer? Blame the British, not us Yanks.