Kwame Nkrumah’s team are going to the World Cup

November 20, 2013

Ghana v Germany: Group D - 2010 FIFA World Cup
“Despite coming in for plenty of criticism from European and American journalists, Africa’s high-stakes, winner-takes-all World Cup qualifying system once again threw up an enthralling set of matches. The most remarkable result was Ghana’s whopping 6-1 win over Egypt, and “BaGhana BaGhana” confirmed their tickets to Brazil yesterday in Cairo. There has always been something special about the Black Stars. What gives football its meaning in England is largely its representative capacity: fans rally around a club, of their city, of their class, seeing the team and the institution as a projection, in many ways, of themselves. This is almost always a regional, not national, phenomenon. Since England was the coloniser rather than the colonised, national representation through football was largely unnecessary. Even today, very few English people identify with the national team. We’ll support them, sure, but we don’t see ourselves in them (thank God).” Africa is A Country


FIFA could have handled Ballon d’Or better

November 20, 2013

“There’s nothing quite like FIFA changing the rules and procedures midstream to fuel the conspiracy theories. This time, the powers-that-be have extended the deadline to vote for the FIFA Ballon d’Or by another two weeks. The vote had closed Nov. 15. Now it has been moved to Nov. 29. Ostensibly, this was done because turnout among voters was poor. Not that low turnout hasn’t been an issue before; by my count, nearly one-in-five (18.9 percent) eligible voters didn’t cast their choice last time around.” ESPN (Video)


Akademisk Boldklub vs Brønsøj – a visit, a match, and a conversation

November 20, 2013

“This blog is named after a Danish physicist, Nobel laureate, and erstwhile goalkeeper Niels Bohr. Bohr won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1922 for pioneering work on atomic structure, positing that atoms orbiting a nucleus had discrete energetic properties and could jump between orbits. He was also a footballer, though less successful than his brother Harald, who represented Denmark at the 1908 Olympics as a right-back. Niels’ son Ernest was also an Olympian, playing field hockey at the 1948 London Olympics. Both Bohr brothers played together in the University sports club team, known as Akademisk Boldklub, which had teams for cricket, handball, and basketball, as well as football.” Put Niels In Goal


Major League Soccer’s Stadium Revolution

November 20, 2013

“This weekend features the second leg of Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference Championship, a winner-take-all showdown between the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City. The series is great for fans, not only because of the talented teams involved, but also because it’s being contested in the league’s two newest stadiums, Kansas City’s Sporting Park and Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium. That may not initially seem significant, but when these two teams met in the Conference Final round just six years ago, they played in Houston’s Robertson Stadium, a decades-old football stadium that has since been demolished. That same year, Kansas City (then the Wizards) played home games at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Arrowhead Stadium, far from the ideal home for an MLS team.” Forbes


Players starting to look for a new home

November 20, 2013

Vratar-Bayera-Fabian-Giefer-izgubio-pamcenje-nakon-sudara-s-protivnickim-igracem_ca_large
Fabian Giefer
“There are over 100 contracts expiring at the end of this Bundesliga season and more than 150 at the end of this Bundesliga 2 season. Some clubs may fancy to sell during the winter in order to generate a transfer fee, other clubs are going to hold onto their players allowing them to move onto the next club on a free transfer. The Bundesliga fanatic has compiled a list of 15 potentially interesting transfer targets to keep an eye on.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Violence in World Cup Host Country Article #68899

November 20, 2013

“It’s not really a World Cup if there’s not at least one or two missed deadlines for stadium construction. It’s also not really a World Cup until major media outlets report on stereotypical ‘problems’ associated with the host country. Before South Africa 2010, folks only wanted to write, read, and hear about witch doctors and goat sacrifices and ‘voodoo.’ And Brazil?” futfanatico


World Cup play-offs and internationals: 10 things we learned

November 20, 2013

“1) Individualists ready to break out in Brazil? Is there something in the air? Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic both lived up to the hype in Stockholm, spectacularly so, and there’s something that doesn’t happen in overcooked modern football all that often. Their determination to wring every last desperate drop from their talent, in the hope of dragging their team single-handedly to the World Cup finals, was a joy to behold. More of this, please! Could it be that a few of this generation’s great individualists have decided the time is right to break ranks, shake off the tactical shackles, and stamp their name all over the 2014 finals? It’s statistically viable, if nothing else. The last two tournaments have been all about great teamplay, while a harsh observer – sorry Zizou, apologies Original Ronaldo – might argue that there hasn’t been a truly great one-month one-man residency at a finals since Roberto Baggio nearly took Italy all the way in 1994. …” Guardian