Filmmaker, writer and footballer Gwendolyn Oxenham chronicles The Soccer Project, an in-process documentary film that tells of the intimate bonds soccer creates through pickup games (aka “kickabouts”) in South America, Israel, France, Kenya and elsewhere.
Patrick McSharry of Oxford University, analyzing scores from 1,460 international matches played at different altitudes in South America, concludes that differences in altitude do produce advantages for the acclimatized team (“High-Altitude Football Teams Have Big Advantage over Opponents,” AFP, Dec 21).
Zurich, Switzerland, Jul 6 | Is it safe to play football on the Andean altiplano or the Tibetan plateau? FIFA has not decided yet, but it continues to modify its judgment, originally decreed in May, that FIFA competitions could not be staged above 2,500m. We interview, as part of our third podcast, Eduardo Ávila of Global Voices Online to learn about Bolivia’s reaction to FIFA’s decision-making process.
La Paz, Bolivia, Jun 15 | On May 27, FIFA’s executive committee announced the ban on competitive international matches 2,500m above sea level. For once united internally and with their Andean neighbors, Bolivia—the country most severely affected—is organizing. A manifesto sponsored by several Bolivian newspapers concludes, “Bolivians are a poor people, we play football with humility, but we are dignified and we have a national character such that we will defend our rights when we are not at fault.”
Cochabamba, Bolivia | We have read of Bolivia President-elect Evo Morales‘s footballing passions, but until now had not come across a direct account. In 2004, however, Web logger Gabriel Iriarte Rico and friends invited Morales to play during a match in Morales’s central Bolivian power base of Cochabamba. Iriarte Rico recalls, according to a translation from [...]
La Paz, Bolivia, May 4 | Periodically, unrest grips Bolivia as the marginalized and oppressed indigenous majorities clash with ruling European-descent elites. Years of struggle have taught poor Bolivians that official channels for lodging their complaints and bringing about change are useless.