World Cup 2010 is coming! World Cup 2010 is coming!
Taiwanese will soon be going crazy with soccer madness with the Cup on the way. The funny thing is, there is little to no general interest in soccer on the island (save for mostly expats who, I'm sure, love the sport to death).
So what are the most popular sports? Well, baseball is still the most popular spectator sport. I emphasize spectator sport as it is definitely not the sport that most people actually play. That distinction belongs to basketball. This is a statistical fact:
I've speculated in the past that, based on this trend of people actually playing a sport, basketball would eventually rise to the top of the sports heap in Taiwan. This is not to mention the other factors that make basketball attractive, as opposed to baseball and soccer, such as the lower level of organization needed, the smaller playing area required and, very important in Taiwan's hot weather, the ability to play indoors.
And what about soccer you say? Well, there are pockets of support across Taiwan but it doesn't show any signs of interest and expansion like basketball definitely does. It exists, for the moment, due primarily to expat enthusiasm (as does ice hockey for that matter).
So enjoy the momentary soccer euphoria coming to Taiwan come the World Cup. It will be quite short-lived
For more background information about Taiwan sport: