Author Archive

Scotland v. USA | Recalling a 1952 walk in (Hampden) park

Glasgow, Scotland | Lawrie Reilly, the only surviving member of a Scotland side that in 1952 was the last to play the United States in Hampden Park, recalls the event as “a walk in the park really.” Scotland, behind a Reilly hat trick, won 6–0 over a team similar to the one that had beaten England […]

Remember the Falklands | English chants reference old hostilities

Geneva | A diplomatic thaw? While the atmosphere at Sunday’s Argentina–England friendly at Stade de Gení¨ve perhaps lacked the requisite hostility, “[t]he latest encounter featured punches on the terraces, songs about the Falkland Islands, jibes regarding players’ sexuality and general churlishness.” Some England supporters were heard chanting standard nationalistic ditties such as “You’ll never take the […]

White flight | Birchall makes Trini history with equalizer

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago | A cracking goal strike from some 25 yards elevated Trinidadian player Chris Birchall into cult status Saturday, enabling the Trinis to travel to Bahrain for the second leg of their World Cup qualifier level at 1–1. Birchall, who plays for Port Vale of Coca-Cola Football League One in England, is the first […]

Day for bi-codals | Aussies savor possibilities in return leg with Uruguay

Johnny Warren had a “love affair with all things Brazilian” and harnessed a “fierce enthusiasm to drag football out from the shadows into the light,” writes the Sydney Morning Herald. (Robert Pearce | The Age) Sydney | Australia has marked a year since the death on 6 November 2004 of football advocate and reformer Johnny Warren (see […]

French connection | Memorial to fallen Hearts players gives life

Contalmaison, France | Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day, should have dawned with football scarves draped over the cairn honoring those who fell during the Battle of the Somme, including players from Edinburgh side Heart of Midlothian. Village mayor and farmer Bernard Sénéchal says that the structure, erected last year, “has given our village new life.” On […]

Making appeals | Weah asks supporters for calm

Monrovia, Liberia | Two thousand supporters of the Congress for Democratic Change—the party of presidential candidate George Weah—rallied Friday afternoon to protest results that favored Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in the Nov 8 runoff. “The streets of Monrovia don’t belong to violent people,” Weah told the crowd. “Do not, in the name of peace, go in the streets and […]

Negligible impacts | Parisian riots puncture myth generated by ’98 triumph

Paris | Expanded comments from France and Juventus defender Lilian Thuram concerning the riots and arson attacks in suburban areas have appeared in the Times of London and elsewhere. He criticized remarks from France interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who had called rioters “scum” and taken a hard-line stance. “I grew up in a [housing] estate, too,” […]

News from Hounslow | Second helpings of aloo gobi as Chadha mulls sequel

London | Director Gurinder Chadha has told the Sun newspaper of plans for a follow-up to Bend It Like Beckham. Both Keira Knightley and Parminder Nagra would reprise their roles as ambitious young footballers en route to collegiate careers at Santa Clara (Calif.) University. “I see it more as a continuation of the characters than an […]

Piano’s forte | San Nicola commission put distance between fans

Atlanta | With Heysel, hooliganism and concerns for safety at the fore, Renzo Piano in the late 1980s received a commission for a World Cup stadium in Bari, Italy. Among other architectural models and renderings covering two floors at the newly opened High Museum expansion—also a Piano commission—plans for the Stadio San Nicola indicate an emphasis […]

No laugh riot | Caribbean footballers relate to Parisian tensions

Fort-de-France, Martinique | On the Rue du Moulin de la Galette, on Square Van Gogh, in the Plain de Neauphle sector, in Trappes, south of Paris, Nicolas Anelka was raised. Rioting reached Trappes on Nov 3, and players on the France national side—presently on the Caribbean island of Martinique for a friendly, versus Costa Rica, to benefit […]

Wembley widgets | Budget might be in the tank, but there’s a place in commode

London | The new Wembley Stadium, promoters claim, has more toilets (2,618) than any other building in the world. We are skeptical. If the Sears Tower in Chicago does not have more toilets, we would be sorely disappointed. Nevertheless, Simon Garfield writes at length about the cost overruns (the cost has rocketed to £757 million, up […]

Paper trails | FIFA loot vanishes in Third World mire

Copenhagen | Jens Sejer Andersen, director of Play the Game, pens an eloquent letter to FIFA after the governing body’s reply to queries about FIFA’s relationship with Burma. Andersen is pleased that Sepp Blatter had intervened in the case of arrested journalist Zaw Thet Htwe (see Nov 7), but argues for more transparency from FIFA and more […]

Coming-out party | Will gay athletes follow Swoopes’s lead?

Houston | Sheryl Swoopes of the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Houston Comets has come out with pride as a gay woman. Her decision has given greater attention to the image consciousness and complicated gender politics in women’s sports, including women’s soccer. “Do we market to [lesbians] or don’t we?” asks former Atlanta city council president Cathy […]

2 nations, 1 game | All-Irish museum plans to recognize ‘shared space’

Belfast, Northern Ireland | With a goal of building understanding and “a shared space for football fans on this island,” the governing associations of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland plan to discuss housing an all-Ireland soccer museum in Belfast. The idea originates with Sport against Racism Ireland (SARI), based in Dublin. Ken McCue of […]

Powerful points | ‘Play the Game’ mulls match-fixing over muffins

Copenhagen | The fourth “Play the Game” conference started Sunday, Nov 6, with a focus on sports corruption. Declan Hill of Oxford University reports that match-fixing in football is common, with the most egregious example perhaps Malaysia in the 1990s. “Up to 90 percent of games were fixed and often both teams and every official were bought,” […]

Neighbors to the north | There’s more than tundra up there

Toronto | Toronto councillors, as of late October, have approved public financing for a 20,000-seat soccer-specific stadium to host a Major League Soccer expansion franchise in 2007.

Zimbabwe | Seeking greener fields in UK

Harare, Zimbabwe, Sept 29| Adulation and scorn for footballers often are two sides of the same coin, as demonstrated in Zimbabwe over the past month.

He’s in the pink | Interview with Simon Kuper

Interview with Simon Kuper from Jan 05.

The Turnbull connection | An ancestry of passing acquaintance

Listening to Scottish-football broadcasts over the Internet—a new season in the Bank of Scotland Scottish Premier League starts on 30 July—puts us in mind of ancestry and separation.

Women’s football | Is Skellefteå, Sweden, the game’s once and future home?

Tiffeny Milbrett, along with other women players from the United States, seek opportunities abroad to express themselves on the pitch. Milbrett has landed in Skellefteå, Sweden, on a contract for Sunnanå SK in a country that has made room for women athletes in an extensive network of sport clubs.

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