Can Football Find a Way Out of a Moral Maze?

October 11, 2021

Are we freighting football with too much responsibility? After all, the game we recognize today started as a frivolous competition for English factory workers to let off steam at the end of a miserable, emotionally unrewarding and ungratifying work week in the 19th century. Yet this futile ball...

Is the European Super League Such a Terrible Idea?

April 19, 2021

When the hysteria dies down, think carefully: Is the proposed breakaway European Super League (ESL) such a terrible idea? Most of the football clubs involved struggle to break even and most are rescued out of a financial mess by a yearly gift from their owners-cum-benefactors. With the backing...

Athletes Shake Up Sports Governance

April 14, 2021

Sports governance worldwide has had its legs knocked out from under it. Yet national and international sports administrators are slow in realizing the magnitude of what has hit them. Tectonic plates underlying the guiding principle that sports and politics are unrelated have shifted, driven by a...

Qatar and Iceland: A Study in Soft Power Strategy

October 10, 2016

Qatar should take note of Iceland’s successful use of soccer as a tool of soft power. The contrast in soccer soft power between Qatar and Iceland speaks volumes. A comparison of the strategies of both countries demonstrates that it takes more than money to leverage soccer to create political,...

Blatter Reveals Shady World of Sport and Politics

July 05, 2015

Sepp Blatter admits that sports and politics are intertwined, as a shadow falls on European and Middle Eastern dealings. Embattled FIFA President Sepp Blatter unwittingly put his finger on two fundamental issues that underlie a corruption scandal that has rocked world soccer governance: the...

Blatter Helps AFC to Keep its Skeletons in the Closet

June 01, 2015

Amid FIFA corruption allegations, the Asian Football Confederation has ensured its own skeletons remain under lock and key. Embattled FIFA President Sepp Blatter has spun the world soccer body’s crisis as a public relations and reputation management issue, and a problem caused by individuals...

The World This Week: God, Gays and the Beautiful Game

May 29, 2015

As Ireland embraces Satanic love, the Catholic Church chafes under its barefoot Argentine pope. The Catholic Church has long opposed abortion, contraception and homosexuality. Some argue that this doctrinal certitude has been a key reason for its success. Everyone knows what the Catholic Church...

FIFA Arrests Put Corruption on the Agenda

May 27, 2015

FIFA and Sepp Blatter are used to annual meetings that run like clockwork. But US and Swiss police have made sure this time it’s different. FIFA’s annual meetings are normally formulaic affairs where everything goes to plan: grand speeches are held; pats on the back are summarily dished out;...

Qatar Backtracks on Engagement With Critics

May 19, 2015

Will Qatari backtracking squander the Gulf state’s unique opportunity with the 2022 World Cup? After four years of engagement with its critics in a bid to turn its hosting of the FIFA World Cup into a successful soft power tool, Qatar appears to have decided that the Middle East’s tendency...

Israel Chides Soccer Club For Racism

April 21, 2015

The failure to confront Beitar Jerusalem and La Familia has entrenched Palestinian perceptions of an Israeli society that is inherently racist. Israel’s Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) has demanded that Beitar Jerusalem, a racist soccer club, retract recent statements that it...

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