With World at Stake, Far More Than a Game

The U.S. men’s soccer team heads out onto the field.
“The penultimate lap of the marathon of World Cup qualifying left little decided with just three certainties: Cameroon, Nigeria and New Zealand advanced to the last 32 in South Africa. For 12 other nations, vying for six remaining places, it goes down to the wire across three continents on Wednesday. And of those, it will be a blessed relief when Egypt and Algeria settle their differences on neutral soil in Sudan because the encounter Saturday in Cairo fired nationalistic enmity that forced huge police mobilization, not just in their lands but also in Marseille. Soccer is more than just a game. Its contrasts were writ large on the Sunday morning front pages.” (NYT)

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