European World Cup Playoffs Set

October 19, 2009

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“Europe, the competitive and financial capital of soccer (and some say the spiritual heart) earns more than twice as many spots in the FIFA World Cup as any other continental region. Fifty-three teams compete for 13 spots, nine of which have been decided. The final four spots will be contested in a home-and-away playoff next month with France, Portugal, Russia and Greece receiving the benefit of ‘seeding’.” (NYT)


Do managers who are not white get a raw deal in the English game?

October 19, 2009

“Every time John Barnes loses his job, the chorus swells: do managers who are not white get a raw deal in the English game? To me the answer is straightforward. Because we have no way of knowing, there is no point in asking. And I find the subject an especially irksome waste of time and energy because it does not matter if we have 92 white managers or none. There is nothing better in English football than the disregard for racial origin that has formed over the past quarter of a century, since bananas were thrown at Barnes.” (TimesOnline)


Should supporters be involved in running their own clubs?

October 19, 2009

“When a conference on supporter involvement in English football includes speakers from Barcelona, UEFA, the F.A. and non-league football clubs, you know something unusual is going on. This isn’t the Leaders in Football conference of a couple of weeks ago, but it might have been just as important: Supporters Direct’s annual conference concluded last week in Birmingham, and it seems to have cut to the heart of the question of how and why supporters should be involved in the governance of their clubs.” (Pitch Invasion)


The Netherlands: 2009-10 Eredivisie, with 08/09 average attendances, and stadium photos.

October 19, 2009

“The reigning Eredivisie champions are AZ . The club is located in Alkmaar, Nord-Holland, which is 33 km. (20 mi.) north-west of Amsterdam. KNVB Cup (Dutch Cup) Holders are SC Heerenveen, from Heerenveen, Friesland. At the top of the map are the crests of each club, sized to reflect their 2008-09 average attendance in either the Eredivisie or the second division, which is called the Eerste Divisie. At the top left, there is a list of the cities with 09/10 Eredivisie representation. Below is the list I used.” (billsportsmaps)


Scotland’s 10 Greatest Matches

October 19, 2009

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“As participants in the first ever international football match there have been some glory nights for our Tartan cousins down the years. They’ve never progressed beyond the group stages of a major tournament, but in reaching every World Cup between 1974 and 1990 and always raising the game when the Auld Enemy hove into view, they have traditionally punched above their weight internationally (yes, we know, pre-Bertie).” (midfielddynamo)


Paris Foot Gay & Creteil Bebel: Homophobia Extraordinary and Ordinary

October 19, 2009

“Last week, Creteil Bebel, an amateur French team, refused to play a league match against Paris Foot Gay – citing a range of reasons, all homophobic. They have since agreed to take the field against PFG, after they were threatened with being banned from the league and made national headlines in France as the homophobic Muslim team (the manager cited the fact that players on his team were ‘practicing Muslims’ to explain the refusal).” (From A Left Wing)


Lessons to learn for Colombia & Ecuador

October 19, 2009

“World Cup qualification in South America came to a close with only one change from the previous two campaigns. Brazil, Paraguay and, in the end, Argentina made it through once again, while Uruguay claimed fifth spot, the play-off position, for the third time running. The sole modification is that Chile have qualified instead of Ecuador.” (BBC – Tim Vickery)