The current controversy over the vuvuzela at the Confederations Cup in South Africa is hardly the first debate about "artificial" noisemakers used by football fans. Is the vuvuzela an organic instrument of South African football culture we should respect, or a commercialised nuisance that should be banned?
North Korea have clinched a place in the World Cup finals for the first time since 1966. That appearance in England remains one of the most extraordinary in the history of the finals -- perhaps as extraordinary as the fact that the North Korean team of today is almost as much as an enigma emerging from a closed society as that of their predecessor over forty years ago.
Red Bull has rebranded yet another club in its attempt to establish itself as a global football power. Red Bull are the backers behind the rebranding of SSV Markranstädt as RB Leipzig, who will begin play under that name next season in the fifth tier of the German league.
Since the death of police inspector Filippo Raciti in February 2007, the world of Italian football has been in a state of institutional flux. A series of legal measures intended to prevent and punish violence more effectively have also been accompanied by changes in stadium organization and management, but the process is not complete so far as the authorities are concerned. The next step, to be implemented before the start of the 2009-10 season, is the so-called 'tessera del tifoso'.
Commentators groaned. Minute-by-minute reporters fell asleep. A man in Scotland put over a hundred thousand pounds on England to win and pocketed just over six hundred quid. It was England versus Andorra, and by the time Peter Crouch jigged the ball past Andorran keeper Alvarez to make it 6-0, the old debate on whether the Andorras, the Lichtensteins, the Faroe Islands deserve a co-equal berth against larger nations in World Cup qualifying was raging once again.
In a follow-up piece to our discussion on whether soccer to have more statistics to thrive in the States, Josh Crockett looks at the history of American sports culture and concludes it's the stories behind the numbers that matter.
I am a founding officer for the Union Football League, an AYSO-affiliated adult league which plays near downtown Los Angeles. When we heard that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) would field a team during our first season we were a bit wary.
What motivates a supporter to spend every game with his back turned to the action on the pitch? To spend the game imploring other supporters to sing, chant, jump in unison? To be the man on the stand, above the fray, to be recognised by all in his end of the stadium?
I was recently asked by ESPN the Magazine writer Chris Sprow whether I paid much attention to statistics in football. My answer was pretty abrupt, and didn't exactly highlight me as a scholar of the statistical side of the game. "I honestly hardly ever look at stats," I told him, and he quoted me with that in this look at statistics and the appeal of soccer in the States.
In the fiftieth minute, a guttural roar went up in unison with the flares lighting up the Harlem End of the stadium. Numerous individual wildfires up and down the stands came together in an instant, the darkness dissipated, the noise and the smoke and the bright bright lights enraptured the Chicago Fire supporters packed into Section 8.