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 -
lifted the FA Cup as skipper of Oxford University, represented them at five different sports ranging from athletics to real tennis, and once shared a 150-run partnership with WG Grace in the highest level of cricket.
His most notable achievement was captaining England in the first ever international football match though. About 4,000 spectators, including a "large number of ladies", gathered to watch the historic game against Scotland at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick on 30 November 1872."
posted by marienbad
on Aug 21, 2013 -
It's amazing, isn't it? Just when you think this photo shoot has peaked — that Donovan's inert lower lip or Mathis's oddly bendy face have set an unsurpassable standard — it finds a way to top itself, in this case by dressing a hulking, be-dreadlocked defensive midfielder in Stormtrooper underleggings and a miniaturized I Love Lucy housedress and convincing him to make unhurried love to a set of stadium bleachers. If "The Boys of Soccer" were Maradona, this would be his England game. Grantland investigates the greatest sports photoshoot of all time
posted by Ghostride The Whip
on Aug 9, 2013 -
"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 -
"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 -
"We're just trying to lead normal lives, doing what we want to do.
Why shouldn't we?" The members [of Afghanistan women's national team], who range in age from 16 to 24, are up against widespread resentment from their relatives* and neighbors, and threats from men who disapprove of women playing sports
. They managed to participate in an inclusive tournament in Berlin
and they registered their first official win as they defeated Pakistan national women's team 4-0 and reached the semi-finals of the 2nd SAFF women's championship in 2012 improving on their past performance (rough 2010 SAFF footage
). They're able to practice just three times a week for 90 minutes, occasionally at the stadium
) or in its gym, but more often at a helicopter landing pad on a base for NATO troops, where practices are interrupted by takeoffs and landings.
Players have some outside support from hummel
, the sponsor of the women's
and the men's
team, and have had football clinics in Stuttgart
and with Olympic U.S. player Lorrie Fair in Kabul
. [more inside]
posted by ersatz
on Jan 19, 2013 -
Downton Abbey returns to American TV screens this Sunday. Since many Americans have become fascinated with the intricate social dances featured in the English drama/soap, Grantland feels there's an opportunity to provide them a lesson about the equally intricate plot machinations associated with the English Premier League. I give you the "English Premier League to Downton Abbey plot converter." [more inside]
posted by modernnomad
on Jan 4, 2013 -