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2014 FIFA World Cup: From the Round of 16 to the Winner

With the completion of the group stages, three quarters of the matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup have been played. Now, it's a straight round-by-round elimination for the remaining 16 teams in their quest to reach the final. There's been biting, alternative commentary, mood swings, (allegedly) sulky England players, exciting matches, the USA vs Ronaldo, Europeans taking early return flights, deep analysis, a fantasy league and many goals - but who will finally lift the trophy in Rio's Estádio do Maracanã on Sunday 13th July? [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Jun 26, 2014 - 1838 comments

Reggie Watts Joins Peter Serafinowicz For His World Cup Broadcasting

"And looks like an almost goal. If that whole goal system would have been moved over maybe thirty more feet, we would have been looking at a goal." -- MeFi favorite Reggie Watts (previously) doing World Cup commentary alongside MeFi favorite Peter Serafinowicz (previously) on his Mixlr account, where Serafinowicz has been providing comedic commentary for the games for the last week. [via]
posted by Room 641-A on Jun 26, 2014 - 16 comments

Generate a random annoyed footballer.

Karim Benzema is ticked off because you stretched out his favourite t-shirt. FIFA filmed every footballer present at the 2014 FIFA World Cup folding their arms and looking moody, to be used in VFX. Now, thanks to Josh Cluderay, you can find out why they look so pissed.
posted by running order squabble fest on Jun 25, 2014 - 40 comments

Behind the Bite

So earlier today Luis Suarez, striker for the Uruguay side, bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during their respective teams' final group play match for the World Cup. This is not the first time he's done this--in fact, folks were taking bets that Suarez would bite someone during World Cup play. Biting is a major taboo in sports, and sure enough, Suarez is now facing a ban of up to 24 games by FIFA. Indeed, Suarez has a history of violent behavior and racist statements, even when you leave aside the biting incidents. And yet, despite all this, Suarez is generally regarded as one of the best soccer players in the world today. So it's fitting that, just before this year's World Cup began, ESPN published an essay by Wright Thompson (previously) on the many myths and contradictions that surround Luis Suarez.
posted by Cash4Lead on Jun 24, 2014 - 167 comments

Algeria make history

Today sees the start of the final round of group games in the 2014 World Cup. Each day, there are 4 games, the final 2 games from each group. Both matches in each group will be played simultaneously, after a scheduling rule change by FIFA after an infamous 1982 World Cup Finals match. But last night, Algeria qualified for the knockout stages after beating South Korea 4-2. This is the first time in history an African team has scored 4 goals at the World Cup Finals.
posted by marienbad on Jun 23, 2014 - 530 comments

If you can only watch one soccer game...

Today at 6 PM Eastern, the United States plays Portugal in the World Cup. The United States has never been very successful in World Cup soccer (football), but it has come close. The United States shocked the world by coming in third in 1930 and again by defeating England in 1950. In 2002, the U.S. had an upset against Portugal, but could it happen again? Playing for Portugal is Cristiano Ronaldo, possibly the best player in the world, whose fancy footwork is legendary.
posted by twoleftfeet on Jun 22, 2014 - 352 comments

Mr. 10%

The Rise And Fall Of Chuck Blazer, The Man Who Built And Bilked American Soccer
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 8, 2014 - 9 comments

Sunday Times Qatar World Cup Corruption Claim

BBC re-reports: Fifa is facing fresh allegations of corruption over its controversial decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. The Sunday Times has obtained millions of secret documents - emails, letters and bank transfers - which it alleges are proof that the disgraced Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam made payments totalling US$5m (£3m) to football officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid.
posted by marienbad on Jun 1, 2014 - 56 comments

The ground gives up its secrets.

The closest his memories usually come to the surface is when he insists those memories no longer hold any power over him. "All of this stuff," he says, "helped me realize that you have to be happy in life. I had my childhood. It was fun. I would never change my childhood." Twenty years after fleeing with his family from the Bosnian War, Vedad Ibasevic has led his national team to an appearance in the World Cup. But nothing can stay buried. [more inside]
posted by Snarl Furillo on May 17, 2014 - 3 comments

Slaves for football

"The indispensable English footballer whose metatarsal will snap four weeks before the 2022 World Cup is currently 12 years old, but Fifa is already worrying stagily about the temperature in which he will perform disappointingly. As for the 12-year-old Nepalese boy whose family are unwittingly saving for the chance to send him off in a few years to die laying the foundations of a stadio-mall, or the 12-year-old Qatari boy wondering not when his people voted for this, but whether they'll ever vote for anything at all … well, it would be much easier if people did not concern themselves with them." The Guardian summarizes the current issues over the staging of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
posted by salishsea on Oct 4, 2013 - 23 comments

Bruised and Blattered: How Fifa's great survivor has stayed on top

"On Sunday, Joseph S Blatter attended a ceremony on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius to celebrate the renaming of the country's FA headquarters in his honour. The Fifa president would perhaps say it was a fitting tribute, given his promotion of African football and the amount of "development" money poured into the continent over recent decades. His critics would say it was typical of his egomania and note the importance of African votes in keeping him atop world football for 15 years." [more inside]
posted by marienbad on May 30, 2013 - 9 comments

Soccer match-fixing probe: 680 suspicious games worldwide ...

"Organized crime gangs have fixed or tried to fix hundreds of soccer matches around the world in recent years, including World Cup and European Championship qualifiers and two Champions League games, Europol announced Monday. The European Union's police agency said an 18-month review found 380 suspicious matches in Europe and another 300 questionable games outside the continent, mainly in Africa, Asia and South and Central America. It also found evidence that a Singapore-based crime syndicate was involved in some of the match-fixing."* [more inside]
posted by ericb on Feb 4, 2013 - 48 comments

Match fixing in Soccer

"The World's most popular game is also its most corrupt, with investigations into match fixing ongoing in more than 25 countries. Here's a mere sampling of events since the beginning of last year: Operation Last Bet rocked the Italian Football Federation, with 22 clubs and 52 players awaiting trial for fixing matches; the Zimbabwe Football Association banned 80 players from its national-team selection due to similar accusations; Lu Jun, the first Chinese referee of a World Cup match, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for taking more than $128,000 in bribes to fix outcomes in the Chinese Super League; prosecutors charged 57 people with match fixing in the South Korean K-League, four of whom later died in suspected suicides; the team director of second-division Hungarian club REAC Budapest jumped off a building after six of his players were arrested for fixing games; and in an under-21 friendly, Turkmenistan reportedly beat Maldives 3-2 in a "ghost match" -- neither country knew about the contest because it never actually happened, yet bookmakers still took action and fixers still profited." [All the world is staged: Bribed players, fake games. Criminal syndicates can fix any match, anywhere.]
posted by vidur on May 24, 2012 - 34 comments

Sepp Bless the Rains Down in Africa

Brian Phillips of The Run of Play (previously) examines FIFA's history of corruption from the birth of sports sponsorship deals to a serious of mysterious deaths in South Africa before the 2010 World Cup and speculates about the future of embattled FIFA President Sepp Blatter. [more inside]
posted by Copronymus on Aug 15, 2011 - 15 comments

What's a few hundred million between 24 friends?

The most powerful presidential position in the world is having its election soon, and the incumbent has just been brought up before an ethics committee for investigation. The USA's best attempt at a candidate was shut out and couldn't even be nominated. The person who is supposed to be representing the US region has been found guilty of corruption several times. Could this result in a historic revote for the 2022 World Cup location? [more inside]
posted by babar on May 27, 2011 - 28 comments

"You play football with your heart not your feet"

Pelé and Maradona: the glorious, ludicrous feud between soccer's two biggest stars. In the summer of 2000, FIFA, which does not understand computers, decided to celebrate the arrival of the millennium by hosting an online poll. Its object: to determine the best soccer player of the past 100 years, with the victor to be fêted at a gaudy banquet in Rome. The organizers of the vote assumed it would be won by Pelé, soccer's silky ambassador, who'd been cheerfully ensconced in his Greatest of All Time sinecure for 40 years.
posted by Fizz on Aug 10, 2010 - 31 comments

Finally

The World Cup Final is almost here, only 24 hours and 30 minutes away: Sunday Night, 19:30 GMT [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Jul 10, 2010 - 206 comments

Goal line technology for some, tiny vuvuzelas for others

Following the goal that wasn't a goal in the England vs Germany match and the illegal offsides goal in the Argentina vs Mexico match, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has apologized to the eliminated teams and said that goal line detection technology will be considered for future matches. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF on Jun 30, 2010 - 177 comments

Start, Approach, Take Off, Flight, Roll, Penalty

One of the least edifying aspects of professional football [soccer] is the dive. Is it just part of the game, or something that, ahem, foreigners do? In 2006 FIFA rejected the use of video evidence to punish cheaters and although "simulation" is punished, when spotted by the referee, the problem remains. In the wake of (among others) a dodgy red card to Brazilian star Kaka in the 2010 World Cup, here's a handy guide to some of the best/worst dives about (inside) and how to tell when a player is faking it. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Jun 25, 2010 - 92 comments

We're going to the moon now to find a suitable site to play three-sided football

We're going to the moon now to find a suitable site to play three-sided football.
posted by ennui.bz on Jun 19, 2010 - 27 comments

"I left my stamp."

I scored a goal in the FIFA World Cup Final. A series of short films produced by ESPN about players ranging from Uruguay's Alcides Ghiggia in 1950 to Italy's Marco Materazzi in 2006. [more inside]
posted by The Card Cheat on May 31, 2010 - 25 comments

Zakumi's game is Fair Play

The paradinha is a devastating penalty kick tactic popularized by Pelé in the 1970s, and increasingly adopted by Brazilian players. This week soccer's primary governing organization, FIFA, will discuss the maneuver as it prepares for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. As the Wall Street Journal [print version] explains: The paradinha (pronounced par-a-JEEN-ya) is performed on a penalty kick by the shooter, who pauses unexpectedly before striking the ball—or even swings his foot through the air several times—before making contact. It's designed to throw off the goalkeeper's timing. When executed properly, the move can have jaw-dropping results. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Mar 4, 2010 - 72 comments

The Hand of God, Part Deux

The world of soccer has been rocked by a French player's game-defining handball in the much-anticipated qualifier match between France and Ireland. Thierry Henry has admitted to the offense, but said ultimately it is the duty of the linesman to make the call. His action and subsequent admission have drawn strong reactions, including attempts to vandalize his Wikipedia page. [more inside]
posted by lovermont on Nov 19, 2009 - 112 comments

Danish Dynamite

The Guardian recently published a beautiful article about Danish Dynamite, the '80s Danish national soccer (football) squad. Rob Smyth and Lars Eriksen write about how the success and failure of the national team highlighted national traits that Denmark has. The writing about the matches is among the most inspired I have ever read. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Nov 11, 2009 - 6 comments

A history of World Cup websites

A history of the online World Cup. Do you remember the first ever official FIFA world cup website? How much we've grown...
posted by ascullion on Jun 14, 2006 - 6 comments

The 1966 World Cup - the other story.

Pickles - The dog who won the World Cup. There were two amazing events that happened in London in 1966 that focused on the Jules Rimet Trophy (aka The World Cup): 1: England won; 2. the 15 inch, solid gold trophy tall was stolen, held to ransom, and then discovered in a bush by a dog called Pickles. The English FA had commisioned a base metal replica, which - after the Queen awarded the trophy to Bobby Moore - was substituted for the priceless trophy in the England dressing room, when a copper swapped it with legendary Manchester United & England fullback Nobby Stiles. That was the one which toured the country over the next few years - not the the real one. The replica was sold £254,000 by Sothebys in 1997... to FIFA, whereas the original was stolen again in Brazil, and has never been seen since. The replica is on long term loan to the National Football Museum in Preston, Lancashire - though they don't always tell you: it's a fake.
posted by dash_slot- on Jun 5, 2006 - 12 comments

Football is war.

Please, do mention the war. Really, it's hard not to. After all, in a sense football is war, as the General famously joked. Sometimes it's peace. Same goes for that other football, by the way.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jun 3, 2006 - 11 comments

Old Firm dialectics

Old Firm dialectics It's going down the thinnest wire tomorrow in the Scottish Premier League (football/soccer/fitba that is) as Celtic and Rangers, with one game left to play in perhaps the most absurd league in Europe, stand equal on points and goal difference after 37 games thus far.
posted by skellum on May 24, 2003 - 7 comments

Brazil vs. Germany.

Brazil vs. Germany. The 2002 FIFA World Cup has come to an end. History was made today.
posted by riffola on Jun 30, 2002 - 48 comments

A few rather mundane numbers have turned into international chart toppers by being blessed as the 'official song' of the FIFA World CupTM or being on the 'official album' and getting airplay as the theme songs for local TV broadcasts. I think this trend started during Italia '90. Neither I, nor FIFA can remember any official songs from Mexico '86 or Spain '82. While Anastacia's Boom is this year's FIFA designated 'official song;' I like Tejano singer Jennifer Peña's upbeat Vamos al Mundial, the theme song for Univision's World Cup broadcast. What's the theme song of your local World Cup broadcast? Is it any good?
posted by tamim on Jun 25, 2002 - 11 comments

Is Univision's coverage of the World Cup, like, way better than ESPN's

Is Univision's coverage of the World Cup, like, way better than ESPN's or what?
posted by brookish on Jun 25, 2002 - 16 comments

Kicked Out Of The World Cup? Kick The Blues Away Now!

Kicked Out Of The World Cup? Kick The Blues Away Now! Friday fun and consolation with a kicking little game under the expert supervision of kicked-out Italian striker Roberto Baggio. Fire away, losers!
posted by MiguelCardoso on Jun 21, 2002 - 8 comments

"Soccer scolds" attack!

"Soccer scolds" attack! The Weekly Standard's Jonathan Last has had it with gushing soccer writers like Slate's David Thomson ("[Soccer is] something made out of muscle, speed, grace and the soul") who see American lack of enthusiasm for the sport as a deep-seated national character flaw worthy of dire-sounding pronouncements. Is he right, or, as The San Francisco Chronicle would have it, can soccer really bring world peace?
posted by transona5 on Jun 20, 2002 - 29 comments

Korea 2-1 Italy. A classic World Cup in the making?

Korea 2-1 Italy. A classic World Cup in the making? First it was Senegal dumping out the French, and then the Argies and the Portuguese were left biting the dust. Spain and Ireland fought out a nail-biting penalty shoot-out, Saudi Arabia got hit for eight, and now South Korea continue their miraculous journey by sending Italy home. Next on the cards: let's hope for another classic when England take on Brazil!
posted by arrowhead on Jun 18, 2002 - 39 comments

Yet another African dream.

Yet another African dream. After Cameroon's heroics of Italia '90, Senegal follow up with a quarter-final achievement themselves.
posted by arrowhead on Jun 16, 2002 - 10 comments

How two perfect moments in time brought such tremendous joy and pride to a nation.

How two perfect moments in time brought such tremendous joy and pride to a nation. To me, this truly is the world's most beautiful game, if just for moments like these. I wish everyone could feel this kind of passion for something, whether it be football or not. Sadly, we may never experience this kind of a reaction to anything here in the US.
posted by dopamine on Jun 4, 2002 - 120 comments

so which site has the best soccer live coverage? is it yahoo!'s fifaworldcup.com? is it the bbc? is it someone else? right now from here (germany) it looks like none of the big sites is holding up to the traffic. is any site as well prepared as msnbc was for the olympics? oh, and it looks like senegal is winning the opening match.
posted by HeikoH on May 31, 2002 - 17 comments

I have a bad feeling about this.

I have a bad feeling about this. The UK government has urged employers to be leniant to staff who want to watch the World Cup when they should be working. Isn't this instantly discriminating against people who happen to like football (Soccer) all that much? For example, I'm sure I know what would happen if I broached the idea of turning up for work late on May 16th after I've been to the first showing of this thing.
posted by feelinglistless on Apr 29, 2002 - 15 comments

It's the Shperiks!

It's the Shperiks! Those wacky mascots for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Korea-Japan! I can't tell what the heck is going on here, and if it weren't for the upbeat BGM, I'd probably be scared to visit this site again. But it was an interesting little adventure...
posted by Bixby23 on Mar 26, 2002 - 6 comments

Preparing Asia for the World Cup.

Preparing Asia for the World Cup.
posted by Spoon on Mar 15, 2002 - 1 comment

Welcome to the 2002 FIFA Worldcup, er, make that WorldCup, um...

Welcome to the 2002 FIFA Worldcup, er, make that WorldCup, um... "The efforts being made by organizations of all kinds to ensure that a positive image of [Korea] is projected this summer deserve the highest praise. It is a crying shame, however, that so many of these efforts will be undermined by the comedic quality of much of the English being used." Not intended as a poke at Korea, but an interesting example of how hard it is for people (or a people) to change their mindset (more inside).
posted by Bixby23 on Feb 24, 2002 - 13 comments

Live webcast ban of the World Cup (FIFA) finals BY German media group Kirch:

Live webcast ban of the World Cup (FIFA) finals BY German media group Kirch: An interesting perspective by Alan Docherty in the Guardian. (via Politech) More inside .......
posted by justlooking on Feb 3, 2002 - 5 comments

As Seoul Prepares for Soccer World Cup, a Debate Is Unleashed Over Dog Meat. Cultures collide as FIFA warns and Brigitte Bardot threatens to organize boycotts of Korea over their Canine Cuisine. Koreans are offended. (more)...
posted by Mack Twain on Dec 11, 2001 - 27 comments

World Cup Fever!

World Cup Fever! The draw for the group stages of the FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan was made on 1st December. England got an awful draw: Argentina, Sweden and Nigeria. The USA look like they did much better: Portugal, Poland and one of the hosts, South Korea. As an Englishman, I'm pretty down about it at the moment.
posted by salmacis on Dec 3, 2001 - 36 comments

The World Cup draw is Saturday,

The World Cup draw is Saturday, though I am a bit confused about the process. Why on earth is England ranked behind Germany?
posted by tranquileye on Nov 28, 2001 - 19 comments

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