Turkey already has shown a European orientation through its football, writer Simon Kuper said Nov 29 at the “100th Year Sports and Science Congress,” organized by Fenerbahçe. (Dec 11)
Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Dec 10 | Özgür Dirim Özkan, in fieldwork among supporters’ groups in Sarajevo since Feb 07 and on the Bosnian Football Culture website, has examined football as but a small part of a society that, in the Western frame, implies little but ethnic-riven conflict and a constellation of indecipherable place names. With 28-minute podcast.
Manchester, England, Dec 7 | Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 6 Feb 1958 Munich airplane crash that killed 23, including eight Manchester United players, will incorporate the entire city and avoid commercial tie-ins, organizers have decided.
Jean-Marie Pfaff, in his heyday as a goalkeeper for Belgium and Bayern Munich, built a popular following.
Now 54, he is the centerpiece of a long-running Belgian reality TV show De Pfaffs. Pfaff’s affinity for performance will further be tested as part of the upcoming Antwerp Winter Circus.
“[O]fficial history ignores soccer,” Eduardo Galeano has written, but Jacques Barzun does not respond completely, judging by the sports snippets in his cultural tome, From Dawn to Decadence: Five Hundred Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present.
“The Beckham has landed” reports the New Zealand Herald in Nov 29 editions. Some 500, as if hearing of a child in a creche, came to adore him in Wellington, where David Beckham has arrived with L.A. Galaxy for a friendly against Australian A-League side Wellington Phoenix on Dec 1.
UC Albinoleffe of Bergamo, Italy, has gained notice of late—most recently at Guardian Unlimited—for leading Serie B despite a minuscule fan base from two small towns northeast of Milan. See the Ultras Leffe fan site for photographs of the support and Rai.tv for recent highlights.
Football-generated passions, says Coelho, will propel Brazil toward 2014
Paris, Nov 8 | Within 24 hours of writing about Brazil’s successful presentation to host the 2014 World Cup and the role of writer Paulo Coelho in the bid effort, we received a message from one of Coelho’s assistants, taking note of our comments. We speak with Coelho about his role in the bid and the place of football in Brazilian life.
To see all our links to stories on football culture around the world (those contained in the “Elsewhere” sidebar section), please visit the Global Game del.icio.us page, or subscribe to the RSS feed. We update the links daily by combing hundreds of English-language sources, reading and selecting the most culturally relevant reports. Links have been compiled and tagged since Sept 06.
Surrey-based production company Can Communicate has begun releasing short-form videos, commissioned by FIFA, for Internet distribution. Nine of 26 segments, going under the title “Football’s Hidden Story,” have been posted to YouTube thus far, including installments on a female referee in Senegal, futsal players in Thailand and the U-17 team in Haiti. There is also a blog and photography.
Beckham, on Vancouver swing, tries football by Canadian rules
Vancouver, British Columbia, Nov 7 | As usual, David Beckham‘s North American barnstorming circuit—with a stop tonight at BC Place Stadium—to us raises more interest in pre-existing soccer traditions than in the soccer actually being played.
Banal wordplay leads to inevitable end … Brazil in 2014
Rio de Janeiro, Nov 1 | Should a nation’s literary talent be enlisted as part of a state’s quest for sporting laurels? One might ask the question following novelist Paulo Coelho‘s appearance on behalf of the Brazilian football federation Oct 30 in Zurich, backing the country’s successful quest for the 2014 World Cup finals.
Unable by temperament and conviction to create a “conventional” sports report, Steven Wells has built a Web 2.0 following by trusting his punk-poet instincts and inducing an irony-challenged foamy slaver among his American and UK readership. With 40-minute podcast.
In Iran, Kreuzberg team learns about football under cover
Berlin, Sept 29 | Filmmaker Ayat Najafi had to content himself with experiencing the centerpiece of his new project, Football Under Cover, as an exile.
At Ararat Stadium in Tehran on 28 Apr 06, Najafi stood outside the arena along with husbands of the women inside—players for the Iranian women’s national team, their amateur opponents, BSV Al-Dersimspor of Kreuzberg, and about 1,000 female supporters.