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 -
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 -
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 -
It's now been a day since we saw defending World Cup and Euro champions Spain lose to Chile, 2-0, a day since they were mathematically eliminated from the knockout stages, and a day since we witnessed the grisly end of an era. It was a profound moment in soccer and in soccer's history, and still, all I can think about is boxing.
posted by josher71
on Jun 20, 2014 -
Interested in the World Cup, but a complete ignorance of soccer tactics keeping you from enjoying the game? You need to read Zonal Marking
. A one-stop tactics warehouse, Zonal Marking is written in its entirety by Michael Cox
and includes detailed post-game analysis as well as in-depth profiles of every team taking part in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. [more inside]
posted by 256
on Jun 17, 2014 -
"It was the dark ages of American soccer,
with the United States preparing to host a World Cup for a sport that its public had virtually no common appreciation for. Since the collapse of the North American Soccer League in the 1980s, the country didn’t even have a professional top division – Major League Soccer was a mere glimmer in Doug Logan’s eye.
It was a time when the notion that airing football matches in the US could be a viable, lucrative endeavour received “zero respect”, in Keane’s words, from broadcasters. Burdened by extortionate broadcasting agreements with pay-per-view carriers, Keane would often record European matches for diehard fans who had no idea which teams won over the weekend."
posted by marienbad
on Jun 5, 2014 -
Yesterday, during the pre-World Cup friendly between England and Peru being played at Wembley Stadium, there were three goals scored, but the moment that captured the most attention has been this unbelievable, incredible paper airplane toss
posted by BeerFilter
on May 31, 2014 -
"Look at this beautiful woman that's athletically very strong beside me, I knew there were some intangibles that I could work with to turn this team around in a short space of time."
The woman Rongen refers to is Jaiyah Saelua, born Johnny, but one of the island's Fa'afafine - an integral part of traditional Samoan culture, born biologically male but embodying both masculine and feminine gender traits.
It makes her the world's first transgender national football player. While, through the force of her own personality, Jaiyah becomes an integral part of the documentary - there is no explicit battle for acceptance from her teammates, the issue of sexual identity is just not an issue for the islanders.
"Its natural in American Samoa because its part of the culture. Fa'afafine's have been around since before the missionaries came. It's so deeply embedded in the foundations of our culture to show respect and that includes respect for transgender people," says Jaiyah.
posted by marienbad
on May 6, 2014 -
It's incredibly tense in the English Premier League at the moment, with three teams fighting for the title. With Manchester United disintegrating and lucky to secure European football, the much anticipated Spurs title challenge fizzing out and Arsenal struggling to even reach their customary fourth place and access to the Champions League, it's up to Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool FC. The latter two met last Sunday in an emotional, stressfull match
which saw Liverpool win 3-2, setting a giant step forwards to winning the title.
For Liverpool fans and many neutrals it would be wonderful for Liverpool to win it now, because it's been twentyfour years since their last one, because of Steve Gerrard
who, a single childhood slipup
aside, has always been loyal to Liverpool and who has won everything but the title with them, but mostly because it's been exactly twentyfive years since the Hillsborough Disaster
and just weeks after a new inquest into the disaster and the coverup has started
. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on Apr 15, 2014 -
How many of the 114,580 people in Estadio Azteca on June 22, 1986, missed one or both of Diego Maradona’s goals against England because they were in the bathroom or buying a Budweiser? The two legendary goals that decided the World Cup quarterfinal occurred in quick succession shortly after the start of the second half. In the 51st minute, the Hand of God beat the hand of Shilton. Only four minutes later, while the outrage of English fans and players was still raw, El Diego received the ball in his own half, facing his own net. It took him 11 touches and 10.6 seconds to beat six opponents—Beardsley, Reid, Butcher (twice), Fenwick, and the goalkeeper, Shilton—and bury what many consider to be the greatest goal of all time.
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Feb 12, 2014 -
The Far Post
is a journalism series by Roads and Kingdoms and Sports Illustrated on global soccer culture that will run every other week until the start of "the largest theater that has ever existed in human history," the World Cup. So far there are five articles: Brazil 2014 Starts Now
by Laurent Dubois gives an overview of the history of the World Cup and what it means now. Messi in Kolkata
by Kanishk Tharoor is about a visit by the Argentine national team to Kolkata and the state of the game in India. Afghanistan United
By May Jeong is the story of the incredible triumph of the Afghan national team at the 2013 South Asian Championship. Soccer and the Street in Istanbul
by Izzy Finkel reports on the links between soccer and politics in Turkey. The Long Revolution of the Ultras Ahlawy
by Patrick Kingsley is the account of how hardcore soccerfans in Egypt, at the center of the 2011 revolution, have fared in the aftermath.
posted by Kattullus
on Nov 21, 2013 -
When the announcement had been made that Wimbledon FC would be moved to Milton Keynes, to later be rebranded MK Dons, a meeting was called by Wimbledon fans. Toward the end of a charged meeting in the Wimbledon Community Centre, Kris Stewart, then chair of the Wimbledon Independent Supporters Club, realized that the fans had no chance of hanging on to their club and that no amount of protests would stop the franchise moving to Milton Keynes. In that moment Stewart made his walk through the crowd toward the microphone. “I’m tired of fighting,” he said before issuing a spontaneous rallying cry that has become legendary among fans of AFC Wimbledon. “I just want to watch football.”
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Oct 24, 2013 -
"This is Brett Keisel, a defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers who makes the usually frustrating identifying process of having to look for pictures of NFL players sans helmet an unexpected pleasure. Consider two things: i) Why in the name of all that's holy would anyone want to imprison this cascading, oddly backwoodsesque yet pleasingly groomed beauty behind visor, mask or grille? And: ii) Given that he has nonetheless to do so, how the hell does he cram it all in? I'm picturing, in a pleasing sort of reverie, some sort of monstrous snood."
presents the Greatest Beards in World Sports, parts one
posted by oneirodynia
on Oct 16, 2013 -
"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 -
France has made Japan angry again
, this time with insensitive political cartoons
With radiation levels still spiking
, and the government only reticently admitting to constant leaks, some
are questioning the legitimacy of PM Abe's insistence that Tokyo is safe. With decisions not to prosecute
anyone involved in the disaster, it seems that amakudari
is, in Japan as in most other countries, still alive and well.
posted by GoingToShopping
on Sep 13, 2013 -
Soccer Euphoria The Olympic Stadium in Kabul has not seen this big a crowd since the Taliban used the place for public executions. No coercion was needed on Thursday to bring tens of thousands of delirious fans here to greet their national soccer team on its return from winning its first international championship. The underdog team stunned India, the defending South Asian champions, in a 2-0 victory in Katmandu, Nepal.
posted by Golden Eternity
on Sep 12, 2013 -
The day Harry Redknapp brought a fan on to play for West Ham.
According to one of football's most endearing fairytales, Harry Redknapp once pulled an abusive fan from the crowd and put him on the field for West Ham. This allegedly happened in 1994, but no video and scant evidence of the incident exist. Jeff Maysh chased this mystery for over a decade before finally catching up with the fan in question.
posted by Hartster
on Sep 5, 2013 -