Political Football

December 23, 2009


Riyas Komu, “Stadium I,” oil on canvas, 2007
“Iraq’s victory over Saudi Arabia in the 2007 Asia Cup final is likely to hold up as one the decade’s most significant wins. The team’s victory represented a complex distillation of resistance and anger. The torture and murder of Iraqi athletes is frequently cited in the litany of horrors suffered by the Iraqi people at the hands of Saddam Hussein (see this 2003 Sports Illustrated story). Responding to allegations of torture in the country’s soccer program, in 1997, FIFA investigated the architect of Iraq’s athletics program,” (art 21), (From A Left Wing)


Football Weekly: Mancini in at Manchester City

December 23, 2009

“James Richardson’s joined by Barry Glendenning, Paul Doyle, and Jonathan Wilson for the latest Football Weekly – and what a weekend it was in the Premier League. We start, of course, with the big sheik-up at Eastlands, where Manchester City have dumped Mark Hughes and replaced him with Roberto Mancini. Can the Italian get the Blues into the top four? Or should they have been looking a little closer to home – Roy Hodgson perhaps, after his Fulham side embarrassed Manchester United 3-0?” (Guardian – James Richardson)


The Scottish Football Christmas Alphabet

December 23, 2009

“It’s time again for Inside Left to take a wee break, so updates will be a little sporadic between now our return in January. But in keeping with tradition, we like to round off the year with our Christmas alphabet. A is for …” (Inside Left)


Dollars vs. Sense: A Sign of the Times…

December 23, 2009


“What did you want for Chrismas? A new Ipod? A new laptop? Well, the mid and lower table sides in the Premiership, nay, the world, really wanted something much simpler – a coherent enforcement mechanism to punish guilty parties. If Justice without Power is impotence, then power without justice is tyranny. And this Christmas, the Chelsea ‘appeal’ that overturned their transfer ban shows once again that justice for some is not the same justice for all.” (futfanatico)


Ian Rush: Reds must retain faith in Rafa Benitez

December 23, 2009

“These are dark days for Liverpool. A club so accustomed to success are out of the Champions League before Christmas, have just four wins in 17 games in all competitions and sit eight points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa. There is no doubt that this is the most crucial juncture of Rafael Benitez’s career at Anfield. Even amongst the staunchly loyal cabal that is ex-Liverpool players, cracks have appeared. Graeme Souness recently angered Benitez by voicing fears about a potential ‘meltdown’ while Ronnie Whelan delivered a very personal attack on the Spaniard, culminating in the declaration that ‘his days have got to be numbered’.” (ESPN)


From the Golden Ball to the Golden Bin

December 23, 2009

“Contrary to all the glamour and the media hype that surrounds the Ballon d’Or award for the European Footballer of the Year, you will have to search carefully through the sports pages to find out who captured the Bidone d’Oro award (‘The Golden Bin’) prize. The award is given to the worst player of the season in the Italian Serie A by Italian radio station Radio 2.” (ESPN)


Overrated England Sure to Disappoint in 2010

December 23, 2009

“As we head into the festive season, English fans are wrapping the present they give themselves before every World Cup – the gift of unbridled confidence in their national football team. And yet, as they have for the past 40+ years, those English fans are likely to stick their thumb in the Christmas pudding and pull out something far less enjoyable than the plum.” (EPL Take)