Football’s powers of resurrection have rarely had a better exemplar than Martin Afrika. The 32-year-old captain for South Africa at the Homeless World Cup has reconstructed his identity through sport. With podcast »
Eudy Simelane, former midfielder for the senior South African women’s national team, Banyana Banyana, shaped her world around football before her murder in Apr 08.
Some 30,000 Ukrainians descended on Moscow in Aug 1969 and sang folk songs in the heart of the Soviet empire. FC Karpaty supporters celebrated the regional second-division club’s surprising place in Soviet soccer history.
Even women’s football in Ukraine has shown effects of globalization, with players from South Africa, Spain, Mexico and Australia joining one club in 2008.
World football stands poised between an obscenity and a dream—the obscenity the £136 million to send two Lusophone footballers to Real Madrid, the dream a 2010 World Cup in South Africa that might make soccer here a sport for all.
Anatoly Kuznetsov‘s work, smuggled to the UK in 1969, contained what would become, when translated, one of the first English-language accounts of Dynamo Kyiv’s deeds during World War II.
In the whirl of 17th-century London life, diarist Samuel Pepys had too many appointments to indulge in the well-established practice of street soccer. But, one frosty morn in Jan 1665, he notices a street “full of footballs.”
We publish a translation of a 1978 short story by Brazilian author Sérgio Sant’Anna in which a goalkeeper’s anxiety and his separation from fellows figure large: “The stadium explodes and I feel my own head bursting apart. … It’s like everything is very far away, without any relation to me.”
Liberated from apartments outside Atlanta, 75 kids play in a Martin Luther King Day soccer tournament. Local nonprofits use soccer to help children from warring countries, whether Angola or Burma or Sudan, adjust. With video (8:39) »
Marta Vieira da Silva, 22, announces that she will leave her home of five years—Umeå, Sweden, the northern coastal city that nurtured her game and personality but that could not keep her from the bigger world. With timeline and podcast »
The Atlanta Beat’s successors announce their ambition to join Women’s Professional Soccer in 2010—a second, perhaps final, chance to give professional women’s football a foothold in North America.
Assaf Gavron, captain of the Israeli writers’ XI (see 9 Dec 08), regards football as a legitimate literary subject: “The main appeal is to accomplish the boyhood dream of many men really, not only writers. It is to be a football star.” With podcast »
The final installment, from Nairobi and Cape Town, from Gwendolyn Oxenham‘s diaries supporting The Soccer Project, a documentary about pickup soccer worldwide.
Ron Newman helped build the U.S. game, calling on carpentry skills to construct goalposts out of discarded building materials. In Atlanta in 1967, he jumped off a Memorial Day float and kicked a ball to youngsters. With podcast »
Claudio Tamburrini—philosophy professor and former goalkeeper—speaks about his Mar 1978 decision to “opt for life” and escape an Argentine prison. With podcast »
Twenty-two years ago, more than 1,000 buses commandeered from Kyiv rumbled north toward the company town of Pripyat to evacuate its 50,000 residents. By sunset on 27 Apr 1986, as Chernobyl reactor no. 4 burned, in one soldier’s recollection, like a “beautiful blue fire,” the town was empty.
Left behind in the silence: a newly built football stadium sitting just to the north of a bright yellow Ferris wheel, a gift from Soviet authorities in commemoration of the upcoming May Day holiday.
Which was the first American association football team? Some evidence points to Oneida Football Club of Boston, honored with an obelisk in Boston Common as “the first organized football club in the United States.” While Oneida played one of the football codes—perhaps a soccer-rugby hybrid—beginning in 1862, photographic evidence offered by a descendant of a Paterson FC captain suggests that the New Jersey side, formed in 1880, staked claim early to playing by the FA rules established in London in 1863.