London | An American edition of the Times of London—for distribution in New York and Washington—will try to capitalize on “unsatisfied demand” for soccer coverage, especially during the World Cup finals. The staid London daily, owned by the Rupert Murdoch–controlled News Corporation, is responding to trends in Internet traffic that show close to 40 percent of [...]
Overland Park, Kansas | For horses lacking in confidence, skittish or out of shape, a Kansas City–area horse trainer over the past two years has been devising rules and marketing products related to horse soccer. Reneé Miller says she devised the game by accident, rolling her children’s 50-inch rubber play ball in front of a [...]
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 [...]
Melbourne, Australia | “I didn’t expect to see a second Greece here,” said Angelos Charisteas on arrival for the 25 May friendly against the Socceroos. There should have been no surprises in store for the scorer of the winning goal in the 2004 European Championships. The Melbourne area, with one of the world’s largest Greek [...]
Ntsoelengoe The Soweto-based giants of South African football, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, meet Saturday in the Absa Cup final. The sides face each other in a cup championship for the first time in 18 years. Despite the controversial location in the Kings Park rugby stadium here, 43,000 tickets were gone within minutes of going on sale. [...]
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.
Washington | National Geographic in June features soccer as its main story package with a website supplement, “The Beautiful Game: Why Soccer Rules the World.” On the Web, and likely in the print version as well, NG includes lengthy excerpts from the soon-to-be-released (in the USA) Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup (see Apr 7). [...]
Saint-Denis, France | On 18 June, Catalonia will decide through a referendum whether to enhance its autonomy from Spain by granting greater authority to the Generalitat, the regional government. Yet among the most significant elements in the Catalan identity, FC Barcelona, on Wednesday has the opportunity to make an early declaration of pride in the Champions League final with [...]
Mudhafar Journalism of stunning quality takes justified front-page position in the Sunday Los Angeles Times. Bruce Wallace narrates the shocking death of Manar Mudhafar, a player for capital side Al Zawra recently selected for the national team. At an afternoon practice on 30 March, Mudhafar, 19, rose to head the ball and came down bloodied [...]
Jerusalem | In a reversal of the American paradigm, in which baseball and gridiron-football stadia are grudgingly loaned for soccer, U.S.-based opportunists seek soccer stadia in Israel for launching a professional baseball league. New York Times columnist Murray Chass writes that speculators seek small stadia, with between 3,000 and 5,000 seats, rather than larger venues in [...]
London | Having nipped rivals Tottenham Hotspur for a final Champions League spot on 7 May—on the same day they were honoring their Highbury ground of 93 years—Arsenal Football Club had reason to feel elation and melancholy. We try to capture both in our interactive Flash tribute.
Atlanta | Architect of a-b glöbí¢l’s Integethicsâ„¢ and Creovationâ„¢ management modules, Martin Lukes counsels England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson on team-building in the wake of Wayne Rooney‘s foot injury. In today’s Financial Times, Lukes, presently transitioning to head a-b glöbí¢l’s U.K. operations, says that the striker’s broken foot need not derail England’s chances in the World [...]
São Paulo | Life for Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been anything but halcyon since the Blues clinched their second straight Premiership title. Mourinho traveled last week to see Chelsea transfer target Carlos Tevez, who plays for Corinthians of Brazil, face River Plate in the Copa Libertadores round of 16. The match was halted early, however, [...]
Washington | U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently embarked on a mission of soccer diplomacy. Now President George Bush has shared his own views in an interview with German tabloid Bild am Sonntag, timed to the Washington visit of Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor.
Rio de Janeiro | “We expect the World Cup will surpass [Big Brother],” says Antonio Carlos Silveira of Globo.com, website of the media conglomerate, referring to the popular reality show’s Brazilian version. The site, having gained Brazilian broadcasting rights, will show all World Cup matches live. The cost to subscribers? Five dollars. The critical technology, [...]
Mexico City | Traditional Mexican Catholic commemorations of Candlemas, marking the presentation of Christ in the Temple, have taken on contemporary hues with celebrants dressing the baby Jesus in football jerseys or other non-standard gear, U.S. Catholic reports in its May issue (“Baby Jesus’ Dress-Up Day,” p. 11). “People no longer respect religion very much,” [...]
Buenos Aires | Diego Maradona, promoting the Brazilian soft drink Guaraná Antarctica, has drawn the ire of Argentina supporters for wearing a Brazil jersey, even though the moment occurred during a television ad dream sequence. One blogger speculates that the reaction resembles what would have happened had Michael Jordan decided to wear a “CCCP” warm-up jersey during the [...]
London | In considering Luiz Felipe Scolari‘s rejection of the job as England manager, Observer columnist Mary Riddell writes that the influences from abroad have “transformed the English league and society itself.” The game is irrepressibly global, irrepressibly political, as illustrated by the row over whether Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will attend the coming World Cup. [...]
Les Ulis, France | Arsenal’s Thierry Henry will return to hometown Paris on May 17 for the Champions League final against Barcelona. More precisely, Henry grew up in Les Ulis, a satellite town in the southwest in the Essonne département, where children, according to John Goodbody in The Times (London), “still use the trolleys from the [...]