Malian referee Koman Coulibaly is scapegoated in the U.S. draw with Slovenia Jun 18, launching a vicious Wikipedia war that sacrifices his humanity and ours.
In football, does Man the Player reject Man the Maker by having devised a game played with the feet? So asks sportsBabel’s Sean Smith before the World Cup.
Looking beyond imbroglios in the changing room, Palestinian media group Ma’an in The Team creates a football-based “soap opera for social change.”
Pelada debuts at the South by Southwest Film Festival as the ultimate expression of football’s capacity for communion.
A package of articles published Oct 5 on Brazilian Web portal Terra details the unique pressures facing Diego Graciano in promoting his biography of sensational 22-year-old Marta Vieira da Silva (see earlier articles, Sept 15 and 12 Sept 07). (Oct 13)
Long-form Sports Illustrated writer Gary Smith again has applied his odd epistemology to soccer (“Alive and Kicking,” Jun 23). In 8,000 words, he writes passionately in his familiar mode of author-vacated all-knowing about the Fugees of Clarkston, Georgia—ground already well plowed by Warren St. John of the New York Times (see 25 Jan 07). (Jun 19)
According to an extended allegorical match account mailed to the Zimbabwe Standard (“Matchless Match,” Apr 12), the Destroyers—meaning the state apparatus of entrenched president Robert Mugabe—hold a 10–2 edge over political opponents, the Rebuilders. (Apr 15)
James Montague has dissected the “footballing Venn diagram of … political and social hatreds” that constituted the recent East Asian Championships in Chongqing, China (“Football? What Football? The Asian Game Is about Politics,” Guardian Unlimited, Mar 3). Within Asia, Montague concludes, football still comes with political intrigue, readily available in every permutation of a four-team round-robin featuring the hosts plus Japan, South Korea and North Korea. (Mar 5)
At the conclusion of the 2008 African Cup of Nations, we offer a new translation of Ejigayehu Shibabaw‘s, or Gigi‘s, song “Kwass Meda” (Soccer Field). The song features on the 2000 release One Ethiopia, with the translation from Amharic by Solomon Abebe and his nephew, Befekadu. (Feb 11)
Rarely do we comment on the technical aspects of maintaining and updating a website on world football, but a Jan 25 database collapse, followed by a switch in web hosts and assorted Windows Vista meltdowns had us grateful even for our several hundred inveterate daily spammers when normal service finally resumed, about 0300 GMT on Jan 29. (Jan 30)
Soccer bashers and advocates for soccer often take on roles in the United States resembling bickering marriage partners, rehearsing old lines and grievances in a zero-sum debate in which the game acquires the capacity to corrupt or to save. Guardian Unlimited writer Steven Wells (see 31 Oct 07) compiles a roster of the sport’s critics, including some unexpected voices from academia, and adds an important observation often missing in the meaningless discussion over whether soccer will displace American games (“The Truth the Soccerphobes Refuse to Face,” Jan 17). (Jan 22)
The longest-running radio sports program in the world, the BBC Sports Report, celebrated its 60th anniversary on Jan 3. Recognition also goes to the Edinburgh inflections of James Alexander Gordon, who as part of the show has read the classified football results at 5 p.m. every Saturday since 1972 (see Andrew Baker, “Classified Football Results Make Music at BBC,” Daily Telegraph, Jan 3). (Jan 6)
Modena, Italy, Dec 19 | Collectible football stickers (figurine) have achieved such cultural cache in Italy that they are afforded dedicated museum space and now a comprehensive exhibition running into February: “Mondo calcio—Campionati e campioni della storia del calcio in figurina” (The World of Football: Championships and Champions in the History of Football, in Sticker Form).
The New York Times in today’s editions brings us up to date on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‘s embrace of Web 2.0. The Iranian president’s blog, however, has yet to take up football, despite Ahmadinejad’s zest for the game and the nation’s running discord with FIFA. (Dec 11)
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.
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.
Atlanta, Jul 25 | Much of soccer culture in the United States remains hidden, but matches such as the Jul 28 Copa Amistad between the Atlanta Silverbacks and Cruz Azul cast light on the place of the sport in everyday lives of Latinos.
Will Ramírez, publisher of Estadio, a Spanish-language sports weekly based in Tucker, Georgia, describes in our Jul 24 podcast how he and many of the 425,000 Hispanics in the Atlanta area remain linked to soccer despite, or because of, displacement. Also joining us are Silverbacks owner Boris Jerkunica and Los Angeles Times writer Sam Quinones.