Steppe-ing out | Before Cup, 2 lads spread sphere of influence

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The ball in China. Link to post.London | Christian Wach and Phil Wake have scheduled a Battersea Park kickabout for Sunday, 28 May, to launch the second consecutive pilgrimage of “Spirit of Football” to the World Cup finals. The two Brits, now 39, conceived the Olympic torch relay equivalent four years ago and embarked on a two-month cross-cultural football exchange across the steppes of Asia (download the summary podcast). During their 2002 sojourn they scrimmaged with Tibetan monks at a mystery location and collected a 500-ruble fine for mounting their tripod in Moscow’s Red Square. Almost everything has been dutifully preserved on video and is available online. (Their podcasts convince us that everyone in the world juggles a football better than we do.) The path to the World Cup is shorter this time and presumably will take place in more tripod-friendly surroundings.

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. Thanks for bigging us up, John! Could I just add that anyone is welcome to come along to Battersea Park and join in if they want to.

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