Category: Regions

Origins | Henry grew up without ‘silver spoon’

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 […]

Anniversaries | 13 years since Zambian air crash

Ndola, Zambia | Columnist Christeter Macha of the Times of Zambia finds that Africans of many stripes remain scarred by the 28 April 1993 Buffalo CT 15 crash that killed 30 off the coast of Libreville, Gabon, including 18 players of Zambia’s national team. Booksellers, filling-station attendants and journalists testify that the effects of the disaster spread […]

‘Clases de baile’ | Zidane’s dance class takes final turn

Madrid | With pledges “to leave it all behind” and to start playing the game with children, archetypal playmaking midfielder Zinédine Zidane has announced his retirement from football following the World Cup finals.

Typically, the 33-year-old player for Real Madrid and France looked sheepish facing the bank of microphones and cameras at Wednesday’s press conference. “Yes, he is shy,” said France teammate Thierry Henry.

Documenting the passed | ‘Cane ball’ trapped on celluloid

Mandalay, Burma, Apr 20 | Dry dispatches announcing chinlone tournaments appear occasionally in the New Light of Myanmar, the mouthpiece of Burma’s military regime.

The terse pronouncements show that despite the political and economic torpor and the governing junta’s Orwellian logic—the capital recently was relocated from Rangoon based partly on the forecasts of astrologers—a taste for the beauties of “cane ball” remains.

Slide tackles | Football proceeds on ice, in the name of research

Halley Research Station, Antarctica (U.K. claim) | The Kansas City Star shirks no continents in a summary of how world cultures will be captivated by the forthcoming World Cup finals. An e-mail exchange with Simon Herniman, general assistant at the British Antarctic Survey’s most isolated station, confirms that radio and Internet will aid researchers as they track England matches as well as the rest of the competition.

Field artillery | Bombings in kibbutz and Gaza represent new pitch invasion

Gaza City, Palestinian Authority | Some of the most contested, densely populated land on earth offers little space for football on grass. Even less so now that a massive crater remains near the center of the Palestine national stadium in Gaza City, the result of an Israel Defense Forces bomb attack on Apr 1.

At home and away | With march, migrants seek space on foreign field

Decatur, Alabama | Until hundreds of thousands marched yesterday, it had become hard to piece together isolated movements from such places as Janesville, Wisconsin; Liberal, Kansas; Bowling Green, Kentucky; San Angelo, Texas; and Dalton, Georgia. These are small to mid-sized locales featured in recent media reports for burgeoning Hispanic populations and for the development of local, ethnically based soccer leagues.

Not real, but simulated | FIFA wants tougher policing on dives

London and San Francisco | Dave Eggers states the facts straight in a book excerpt published last weekend in the Observer. In yet another permutation of the “Why Americans don’t like soccer” argument, Eggers mentions, first, the Cold War–era “commie” taint and, second, the prevalence of diving (aka “simulation”).

Rice of the Rovers | ‘Condi’ cottons to Lancashire lads

Blackburn, England | The visit would not exactly qualify as ping-pong diplomacy, but sport as a means of high-level diplomatic exchange continues with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s excursion to what has been termed “the center of the world.”

Cross country | City of Edinburgh, following hearts, pushes west

Edinburgh, Scotland | Pity the Hearts or Hibs supporters who must plan a dawn awakening Sunday, shuffle through sleep-addled fog onto a westbound train or auto and negotiate riot-ready police cordons to enter the national football stadium at Hampden Park in Glasgow. All this is to see two fiercely supported Edinburgh clubs who, in defiance of probabilities and history, meet in a Tennent’s Scottish Cup semifinal at 1215 GMT. A Scottish Police Service spokesperson predicted “one of the biggest exoduses ever from Edinburgh.”

Malays in football | Criticize if you like, but they’re still ‘MyTeam’

Kuala Lumpur | The fantasy of discovering previously unknown talent—the fuel behind American Idol and a host of schlocky televised talent shows worldwide—has been adapted in Malaysia to football. Producers of MyTeam (short for Malay Team), a planned 12-part production on TV3 Malaysia, believe that their idea of fielding a side of amateur footballers drawn from Malaysia’s 13 states will help reinvigorate a moribund domestic game. They hope that the ragtag outfit, following a seven-week training camp, will show well and perhaps defeat the national team on 28 May.

The vital home leg | Freetown players find support for game efforts

Freetown, Sierra Leone | The physical prowess of amputee footballers shows clearly in the pictures and text supplied by Robyn Dixon in last Friday’s Los Angeles Times. The victims of atrocities or other injuries incurred during a 10-year civil war, members of the Single Leg Amputee Sports Club must shed prostheses before taking the field and confront the handicap as well as the prejudices of the able-bodied.

‘El superclásico’ | Sound and fury masks struggle of greater significance

Buenos Aires | More interesting even than the game passions and the crushes of shirtless supporters in La Bombonera, some boosting themselves precariously on stanchion bases, the political context for this version of el superclásico lent the end-of-summer derby a compelling backdrop. English-language commentators did not appear to appreciate the significance of River Plate’s XI holding a white banner, reading “Nunca Más,” at the introductions, nor did they mention the reason for the pre-game moment of silence, interrupted by chanting Boca fans at Estadio Dr Camilo Cichero.

Caught in the vertex | Korean dancers sharpen ‘official cheering tool’

Seoul | We are unable to determine exactly what actions constitute the kkokjijeom, the “vertex dance” consisting of “simple, repetitive rhythmic movements” with which South Koreans will be supporting their side during the World Cup finals. Dancers have assembled across the country, outside the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Mar 1 before a friendly against Angola, to demonstrate its addictive qualities.

‘Wir für euch’ | Germans battle angst as the clock ticks

Dortmund, Germany | Supporters lent a raucous surrounding to today’s friendly between Germany and the United States. We did not see denizens of the Signal Iduna Park wearing any of the free 11,000 T-shirts reading “Ihr für uns und wir für euch” (“You’re for us and we’re for you”) meant to soften feared hostility toward Germany’s manager. At least the U.S. television commentators were not wearing them.

Holding pattern | Immigrants in Spanish enclave turn to fútbol

Melilla, Spain | For a taste of the familiar after months-long journeys by land and sea, football has much to offer hundreds of displaced Africans. Recently the CETI Club de Fútbol started to compete in a 10-team city league in this Spanish enclave on the coast of northern Morocco.

London diaries | The sweet embrace of the crowd

Part 2 of the diary finally arrives, featuring evenings at Upton Park and Highbury. At Upton Park, home to West Ham United, we fake a Cockney accent and most of the words to “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” Besides this, we learn what literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin might have to say about our zest for football chants.

Keyboard flurry | Writer’s cramp setting in for academics, Rooney

London | Wayne Rooney may be developing writer’s cramp along with his football injuries in years to come. But of more interest than Rooney’s £5 million publishing deal are several other football titles showing that the game lends itself to multiple genres.

Mid-Atlantic jolt | Energy drink takes New Jersey out of MetroStars

East Rutherford, New Jersey | Names for Major League Soccer clubs these days appear to have all the staying power of names for PGA Tour events. Last week Red Bull New York—which, confusingly, will compete as the New York Red Bulls—supplanted the MetroStars with the latter’s acquisition by Red Bull GmbH of Austria. This follows the rebranding […]

Great Gençlerbirligi smoke-out | Stadium regulars worry about going cold turkey

Ankara, Turkey | Few recent news items have reminded us of late Beat poet and Bob Dylan confidant Allen Ginsberg‘s live performance of “Put Down Your Cigarette Rag (Don’t Smoke)” at the Duke University Gross Chemistry building sometime in 1979. But postings in the soccer “blogosphere”—specifically, at “The Round Ball in Ankara”—concerning new anti-smoking initiatives under […]

Page 12 of 19« First...1011121314...Last »

Switch to our mobile site