There was a time not so long ago when going to a game of football was an altogether different experience to an evening at the theatre or the opera.
PLAYERS AND FANS of clubs across the globe come together each week in anticipation of a glorious victory or simply the hope of a spirited performance.
Whatever their expectations, wherever their game is played, each player and fan owes a debt of gratitude to two Yorkshiremen who in 1857 founded Sheffield Football Club, recognised by FIFA as the oldest club in world football and the providers of the game’s first set of rules.
Now, nearly 160 years after it all began, Sheffield FC are looking to lay down roots and return home to where it all began.
It’s the stuff of boyhood dreams.
Whilst mere mortals pretend to be their idols on PlayStation or Xbox, Norwegian wonder-kid Martin Ødegaard has joined them for real.
At sixteen years of age and already a full international, the teenage prodigy had his choice of Europe’s top clubs before agreeing a £40,000 per week deal to join Ronaldo, Rodriguez, Ramos, Bale and Benzema at European champions Real Madrid.
The much-anticipated Hero Indian Super League kicks-off tomorrow (Sunday) with the 8 team, 10 week tournament seeing Atlético de Kolkata host Mumbai City FC at the beginning of an exciting new chapter for sport on the sub-continent.
Atlético de Kolkata, co-owned by La Liga champions Atlético Madrid and cricketing super-star Sourav Ganguly, must seek to unite a city usually divided by the East Bengal v Mohun Bagan “Kolkata derby.” Continue reading Ready to Launch: Indian football set for lift-off
Football in India may finally emerge from cricket’s shadow with the launch of the Hero Indian Super League, an attempt to bring the game to hundreds of millions of fans and ultimately capitalise on the potential for the game’s development in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.
With a young, aspirant population comprising 25% of the world’s under-25s and an economy forecast to be the world’s 3rd largest by 2030; backers of the league know that football on the sub-continent has enormous potential.
The new league’s 8 team franchise format draws inspiration domestically from the success of cricket’s IPL Twenty20 tournament, which brought genuine international stars to Indian stadiums. The inaugural season will kick-off in October
Continue reading India: Football’s next emerging market
As the final whistle blew at Natal’s Estadio das Dunas, Uruaguay striker Luis Suárez stood alone in the centre circle. As his team-mates celebrated the 1-0 victory which had ensured their progress to the last 16 of the World Cup Finals at the expense of Italy, the Liverpool striker suspected his own tournament would end in customary controversy. Continue reading Street fighting Suárez bites off more than he can chew
The incident leading to Portugal defender Pepe’s red-card against Germany at the World Cup Finals has again drawn the issue of “play-acting” into sharp focus.
With the Germans 2-0 up and comfortably heading for half-time, attacking-midfielder Thomas Müller, 24, was felled by a stray finger to his upper lip whilst competing for the ball with Pepe.
The World Cup begins on Thursday evening in São Paulo with hosts and 5 times champions, Brazil, taking on a Croatian side with 2 members of their squad returning to the land of their birth.
Fresh claims surrounding the choice to award the 2022 World Cup Finals to Qatar surfaced this week; the latest in a long line of stories to challenge the legacy of football’s world governing body FIFA, and its president Sepp Blatter. Continue reading Sepp, FIFA, and a challenged global legacy