Ahmadinejad and Morales Play Futsal

It seems like every time I turn around there’s a president playing soccer. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad apparently didn’t want to be left out of the YouTube action and recently took to the futsal court with special guest, Bolivian President and YouTube superstar Evo Morales.

Morales was in Iran for trade talks and was invited to join Ahmadinejad and other local players for some staged exercise. Things seemingly went well. Thus far, there have been no reports of Morales getting out of hand. Although if he did, I’m not sure we’d hear about it.

The way things are going, I fully expect to see Gaddafi and Mugabe practicing free kicks next week. Anyway, check out the video up top.

Cabbage

There are Repercussions for Throwing Vuvuzelas and Cabbage

This is how you take care of crowd trouble.

Impose a record fine, demand a public apology from the team’s chairman, and threaten harsh penalties for any further problems.

In South Africa, Kaiser Chiefs fans decided to spice up a recent game by throwing vuvuzelas on the field. Oh, and a cabbage too. Unruly, I know.

South Africa’s Premier Socccer League (PSL) prosecutor, Zola Majavu, wasn’t having it. He told reporters: Continue reading

Linky Treats: Stuff Directly, Kinda or Barely Related to Soccer

NR Three Quartetr Logo wo Name FINAL [Converted]2 CROP3

Interesting links tangentially related to soccer …

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggests that German multicultural society has utterly failed. Except for Mesut Özil, he’s a success.

Russia’s World Cup Bid: Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Smokes

Sometimes the folks in charge don’t tell you the entire story.

If you always listened to authorities, you might have once thought that smoking is good for your health. Or perhaps that racism isn’t a problem in certain places.

Imagine a stadium full of spectators cheering on their team. Imagine you are in the crowd and unfortunate enough to witness sections waving banners and chanting, making it painfully clear that people like you are not welcome. Imagine listening to derogatory chants every time a player who looks like you touches the ball, degrading your existence as if you were, well, an animal. Continue reading

Debates

I Want Debates

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, the candidates, Bob Bradley and Coachy McCoacherson.”

(Applause.)

Imagine a coaching selection process where prospective coaches are required to engage in a public debate over their ideas. Imagine coaches having to publicly assess the state of the union and submit a vision for moving forward. Not only would it be great theater, said move would set off a flurry of intelligent and much needed debate based on concrete ideas. Continue reading

Empty Yard

The Myth of the Meaningless Friendly

A funny thing happens during international friendlies, particularly when a team loses.

Invariably, cries that “this game doesn’t matter” emanate from supporters, conveying a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of international friendlies. In many ways, it’s self-delusion at its finest. It’s like a jaded boyfriend saying, “I didn’t like her anyway,” after a girlfriend breaks up with him. These are defense mechanisms signifying denial and/or hurt, which is why you rarely hear this refrain after an emphatic victory.

I won’t mince words. Friendlies matter. Sure, the final result is not the penultimate measure of mattering. However, player performances and how players combine certainly matter given the limited assessment opportunities on the international calendar prior to the games that really count. Continue reading

Not Making The Cut: Soccer Documentary “Soccer Slaves'”

The game of soccer is increasingly global. Many of game’s biggest stars are African.  Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Samuel Eto’o are a few of the continent’s best home grown talents who ply their trade at some of Europe’s most prestigious clubs.  While much is known about these African superstars, not much is known about the countless others who don’t make it to the game’s biggest stage. “Soccer Slaves” is a documentary covering the travails of these young, desperate soccer hopefuls.  From the fields of hope in Africa to black market games in Europe, the exploitation of the Lost Boys of Soccer is vast and shameful. Continue reading

Pablo Aurrecochea, Baddest Goalkeeper in the World, Plays Dress Up During Match … Again

Pablo Aurrecochea Superman

Uruguayan goalkeeper Pablo Aurrecochea is a certifiable, bad mother shut-yo-mouth. Last night, Aurrecochea, who plays for Club Guarani of Paraguay, faced off against Argentina’s River Plate in the Copa Sudamericana in this fly Superman goalkeeper jersey. If that doesn’t intimidate the opposition, I don’t know what will. I mean, nothing gets by Superman, right? Continue reading


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