Category: Regions

Women’s soccer haze | Even with World Cup rush, sex always gets headlines

Evanston, Illinois | We had intended to let this one lie, but a recent posting from Newsweek columnist Mark Starr on the hazing scandal affecting the Northwestern University women’s soccer team made us reconsider. The actions of the players depicted on a vigilante-style website intended to document misbehavior among athletes cross all boundaries of decency. Yet the “girls gone wild” approach that male sports writers have taken in discussing the incident indicates more of a prurient interest in women athletes and their sex lives than genuine concern with misdeeds.

Armenian activist | Eskandarian strikes blow against an athletic cliché

Washington | “A 23-year-old professional athlete with a social conscience. What gives?” So asks Mike Wise of the Washington Post in his profile of D.C. United forward Alecko Eskandarian. The statement troubles both for what it says about the inner lives of athletes as well as about the assumptions of sports writers, who often lack time […]

News of import | Times of London plans to splash footie in U.S.

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 […]

Mr. Ed-inho? | Equines savor chance at free kicks

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 […]

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

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 […]

Greek week | Euro 2004 champs take antipodean swing

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 […]

Hail to the Chief | Ntsoelengoe remembered before Absa Cup final

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. […]

Sport space | Ice hockey fears the sleeping giant

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.

Magazines | How the media explains the soccer world

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). […]

Catalans | ‘National’ pride at stake against Gunners

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 […]

Football and war | Stray bullet invades soccer ‘sanctuary’

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 […]

Arenas | Seeking Israeli soccer bases for the U.S. pastime

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 […]

Flush with pride | Time stops ticking on Arsenal’s Clock End

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.

E-mails | M. Lukes consoles Sven re Rooney

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 […]

Seeking refuge | Mourinho finds trouble in land of ‘Apache’

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, […]

World Cup | Web ‘geolocation’ enables broadband viewing

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, […]

Kick and miss | Gay Talese and the new soccer journalism

“I am not now, nor have I ever been, fond of the game of soccer.” With these McCarthy Era echoes Gay Talese begins his memoir, A Writer’s Life, published last month by Knopf. If one had to choose where Talese, the dapper practitioner of literary journalism and chronicler of popular culture for The New Yorker and Esquire, might begin summarizing his career, the 1999 Women’s World Cup final would seem an unlikely candidate.

Religion | Jesus in soccer jersey ‘not right’

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,” […]

Maradona | If the shirt fits, wear it

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 […]

Managers | Does England really need a Scolari?

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. […]

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